I’ve loved gingerbread since I was very young. My mother used Dromedary’s mix and served the gingerbread warm with sliced canned peaches and whipped cream. We all loved it. Now that I am older and wiser, I looked for an oil- and egg-free gingerbread recipe. Susan Voisin, has a very good recipe for Applesauce Ginger Cake with Maple Glaze. I recommend it to anyone who wants a light cake. However, I am partial to gingerbread with lots of molasses as well as ale or stout. So I came up with the following recipe using Kettlehouse Coldsmoke Scotch Ale and molasses. I also used Susan Voisin’s Maple Glaze to finish this new gingerbread. The cake is intensely spicy, and, surprisingly, not too sweet.


  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup of Kettlehouse Coldsmoke Scotch Ale
  •  2-1/2 cups unbleached cake flour (substitute up to ¾ cup of white whole wheat flour)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 teas. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teas. ground cloves
  • ½ teas. nutmeg
  • ½ teas. salt
  • 1 cup minced crystallized ginger
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. grated lemon zest (from 2-3 lemons)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups of unsweetened applesauce


  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1–1/2 teas. corn starch
  • ½ teas. ground ginger


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line the bottom and sides of two loaf pans with parchment paper.

In a 3-4 quart saucepan, bring the Coldsmoke and the molasses to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. The mixture will foam up quite a bit. Let the mixture cool.

Put the flour, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, crystallized ginger, lemon zest and cornstarch in a large bowl and stir with a whip to blend the ingredients.

Add the applesauce to the ale and molasses and stir with a spoon to mix. Then add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until all the ingredients are just blended. Pour the batter into the two loaf pans.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Put the pans on a wire rack until very cool.

Make the maple glaze by bringing all the ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to thicken as it cools.

When the cakes are cool, put a plate facedown over each pan and holding them carefully, flip the loaf pan over so that the cake comes out onto the plate. Gently remove the parchment paper from the loaves.  When the cake and the glaze are completely cool, spoon the glaze over the cake.

Each loaf makes 6-8 servings. The cake is very intense so small pieces are preferred. As the cake is very tender I usually make 3-4 slices across and then one slice down the length of the loaf.  Also, I usually wrap the second loaf, unsliced, with wax paper, then foil, and then put it in a freezer bag. It will keep for a couple of months frozen ready for the next special occasion. Thaw at room temperature.

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