If you hadn't already noticed, Christmas is officially upon us. My baking is finally done, grocery shopping for the big day is done and I am slowly starting to get things ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals. I am cooking for 5 this year, which - I know - is much less than some people cook for at the Holidays. But it is also much more for me than last year when we spent Christmas alone.
Traditionally, my family eats Ukrainian food on Christmas Eve and a standard "holiday" meal of turkey or ham, stuffing and sides on Christmas day. Since I'm one that likes to stick to tradition, I'm following that same plan. I absolutely do NOT want to be spending my Christmas in the kitchen all day, so I'm preparing as many dishes ahead of time as possible. This Slow Cooker Gingerbread Pudding Cake is one of those type of dishes. You can get it all mixed up, and toss it into the slow cooker ahead of time. It can even stay in there for a little while after it's done cooking to keep warm. And, as an added bonus, this spicy, molasses-y dessert is exceptionally tasty!
I have made this cake many times, both in the slow cooker and in the regular oven. It turns out great both ways, so it depends on your schedule and oven requirements which way you do it. Slow cooker takes longer, but it's hands off and frees up the oven.
When you take a look at the ingredient list for this cake, don't be daunted by the seemingly long list of ingredients - they're mostly spices, as well as a couple of duplicates like water and butter. This cake really is easy to whip up. You mix the dry ingredients together, then cream butter and sugar together and add egg. Mix in the flour mixture and water-molasses mixture to form a batter, which gets transferred to your baking dish or slow cooker.
Then the batter is sprinkled with brown sugar. DON'T forget this step! I did once. The results - though semi edible - were not good, despite all the raves from the people I was feeding it too. This is a dessert and it does need sugar.
Now for what makes the "pudding" part of the Pudding Cake. You douse the whole thing in a water-butter mixture. Don't worry, it's supposed to look like that. The water will form a pudding-like sauce in the bottom of the pan, that is basically the cake's own sauce.
When the cake is done, either in the slow cooker or oven, it will develop cracks on the top. In the oven, the cracks will appear slightly drier, whereas in the slow cooker they will be a little wetter and "brain-like" in appearance. Don't overcook it. If you're making it in the slow cooker, turn it off when the cake is done, and you can keep in in there until you're ready to serve it - up to an hour or two.
This pudding cake is absolutely best served warm. And although it is definitely good enough on it's own, it's even better served with a lightly sweetened whipped cream or your favorite vanilla ice cream. Merry Christmas!
Gingerbread Pudding Cake Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe below does not include any whipped cream or ice cream.
To make this recipe dairy-free, replace the butter in the recipe with your favorite dairy-free butter substitute.
Slow Cooker Gingerbread Pudding Cake
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 Tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg)
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened and divided (Use Dairy Free butter alternative to make this recipe Dairy Free)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup molasses
- 2 cups warm water divided
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x9" glass baking dish or similar sized casserole dish. (I used a 2.8L Corningware)
- Whisk together all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cream together 4 Tablespoons of the butter and the granulated sugar on medium speed using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add egg (and fresh ginger if using) and beat until just combined.
- Stir together ½ cup of the warm water and the molasses in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Alternately mix ⅓ of the flour mixture and ⅓ of the molasses mixture into butter mixture until completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the batter evenly with the brown sugar. Melt the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter in a heat proof bowl or measuring cup and combine with the remaining 1 ½ cups of warm water. Pour this mixture gently over the batter and brown sugar (the batter will be completely covered with liquid).
- Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Note that the cake should be dry on the top, but should have a slight jiggle when gently shaken. Cook for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm. If desered, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Nutrition Disclaimer: I try my best to make sure the nutrition information I provide is accurate to provide you with the best information possible. However, due to ingredient discrepancies and other factors, the above nutrition information should be considered an estimation only.
*Recipe adapted from Whitewater Cooks with Friends