When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Old Fashioned Molasses Cake Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on October 8, 2023

Indulge in the sweet nostalgia of yesteryears with our Old Fashioned Molasses Cake recipe. This cake is a delightful trip down memory lane, harking back to a time when recipes were simple, yet deeply satisfying. The rich, earthy sweetness of molasses, combined with a unique blend of spices, creates a moist and flavorful treat that is truly timeless. Its rustic charm is perfect for cozy family gatherings or just a quiet afternoon tea.

So, let’s journey together into the heart of traditional home baking and rediscover the magic of this old-fashioned favorite.

Old Fashioned Molasses Cake Recipe

What is old-fashioned molasses cake?

An Old Fashioned Molasses Cake is a traditional baked dessert that has been enjoyed by generations. Its roots can be traced back to the days when refined sugar was a luxury and molasses, a byproduct of sugar production, was a common sweetener. This cake is characterized by its rich, deep flavor and moist, dense texture, both of which come from the use of molasses.

The recipe usually involves basic pantry ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, combined with spices such as cinnamon and ginger. The result is a deliciously aromatic cake with a flavor profile that is both sweet and slightly spicy.

The cake’s dark color comes from the molasses, giving it a distinctive look. In many old-fashioned recipes, hot water is used to dissolve the baking soda and ensure even distribution of the molasses, ensuring a smooth batter and a uniformly textured cake.

Why You’ll Love this old-fashioned molasses cake?

The Old Fashioned Molasses Cake is a dessert that you will undoubtedly love for several reasons. The unique deep and rich flavor provided by the molasses makes this cake stand out. It’s perfectly sweet, not too overpowering, and balanced. The added spices of cinnamon and ginger provide a warm aromatic layer to the cake, making every bite an absolute delight.

The texture is another highlight; it’s moist and dense, providing a satisfying eating experience. Despite having such a complex flavor profile, this cake is surprisingly easy to make with simple ingredients that you’re likely to already have in your kitchen. Apart from its delicious taste and texture, this cake has a nostalgic appeal. It brings back memories of simpler times when food was made from scratch with love and care.

The versatility of this cake is another reason to love it; it can be enjoyed on its own or paired with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or caramel sauce. Lastly, as this cake bakes, it fills your home with a warm, sweet, and inviting aroma that builds anticipation for the finished product. In essence, the Old Fashioned Molasses Cake is not just a dessert but a sensory experience that delights the palate, satisfies the stomach, and warms the heart.

You’ll also like the following Dessert recipes!

The Ingredients 

  1. Large Eggs: Eggs are a crucial part of most baking recipes, including the old-fashioned molasses cake. They provide structure, leavening, and moisture to the cake. The proteins in eggs are set during baking, helping to form the structure of the cake. Additionally, the yolk contributes to the cake’s rich flavor.
  2. Molasses: This is the star ingredient in this recipe. Molasses is a thick, sweet syrup that gives the cake its unique, rich flavor. It also adds moisture and gives the cake its dark color. In old-fashioned recipes, molasses was often used as a sweetener before granulated sugar became widely available.
  3. Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of other ingredients. Even in sweet recipes like cakes, a small amount of salt can make a big difference by balancing sweetness and preventing the cake from tasting flat.
  4. Sugar: Sugar not only sweetens the cake but also contributes to its texture. When sugar melts during baking, it helps to create a tender crumb.
  5. Hot Water: Hot water is used in this recipe to dissolve the baking soda. It also helps to evenly distribute the molasses and sugar, ensuring a smooth batter.
  6. All-Purpose Flour: This is the base of the cake, providing structure. The proteins in flour combine to form gluten when mixed with liquids, which gives the cake its shape and texture.
  7. Ground Cinnamon and ground Ginger: These spices add warmth and complexity to the cake’s flavor. They pair well with the rich taste of molasses, creating a deeply flavored cake that’s characteristic of old-fashioned recipes.
  8. Butter: Butter adds richness, flavor, and moisture to the cake. It also helps to create a tender crumb by coating the proteins in the flour, limiting gluten development.
  9. Baking Soda: This is a leavening agent that reacts with acidic molasses to create carbon dioxide gas. This gas helps the cake rise and become light and fluffy.
  10. Whipped Topping (optional): While not a part of the cake itself, whipped topping can add a light, creamy contrast to the dense, rich flavor of the molasses cake. It’s a matter of personal preference but can enhance the overall eating experience.
How to Make Old Fashioned Molasses Cake Recipe

Step by Step Instructions 

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Cake Tin

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). While it’s heating up, grease the sides of an 8-inch round cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper. This ensures that your cake won’t stick and will easily come out when it’s done.

Step 2: Whisk the Eggs

In a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs and whisk them vigorously until they become light and fluffy. This step is essential for incorporating air into the batter, which will help your cake rise and have a tender texture.

Step 3: Combine the Ingredients

Now, it’s time to create the cake batter. Add molasses, a pinch of salt, sugar, hot water, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and butter to the whisked eggs. Blend all these ingredients until they are fully combined. This mixture will give your cake its rich, spiced flavor and a moist crumb.

Step 4: Pour the Batter and Bake

Carefully pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Use a spatula to level the surface for baking. Place the cake tin in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. To check if it’s done, insert a skewer into the center of the cake – if it comes out clean, your cake is ready.

Step 5: Allow to Cool

Once your cake has reached perfection and boasts that beautiful golden-brown hue, remove it from the oven. But don’t rush to take it out of the tin just yet. Allow the cake to cool in the tin. This cooling period is crucial for the cake to set and become easy to handle.

Notes 

  • To ensure that your cake doesn’t stick to the tin, be sure to grease it well with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Always check if your cake is done by inserting a skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready!
  • Allow the baked cake to cool in the tin before attempting to take it out. This cooling period is essential for the cake to set and become easy to handle.
Old Fashioned Molasses Cake Copycat Recipe

Nutrition Information

T4Nt3SgyVmWHZTYUNOFmJR9SVG Iso9H3N1sCfdstlPCAzAlBKOtsPUpm1PzF 8ii43a QyKE0PcwARfz eEfGCe2DI3Y8RCmo OHJK4i1 iC8jeTrHYlpXX iAZOsie28ATxgIzDlB0YQbjozE Tfw

How to store old-fashioned molasses cake?

Storing your Old Fashioned Molasses Cake properly is crucial to retain its freshness and flavor. Start by allowing the cake to cool thoroughly before storing, as this will prevent condensation from forming in the storage container and make the cake soggy. Once cooled, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to protect it from exposure to air, which can cause it to dry out and become stale. If you plan to consume the cake within a week, refrigeration is suitable.

However, for longer storage, freezing the cake is recommended. Place the wrapped cake in a freezer-safe bag or container. To maintain its texture and flavor, defrost the frozen cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Remember to store the cake separately from strong-smelling foods to avoid it absorbing unwanted odors.

Variations 

  • Spiced Molasses Cake: Add extra spices like cloves, nutmeg, or allspice to the cake batter for an even more intense flavor.
  • Gingerbread Cake: Reduce the amount of all-purpose flour and replace it with white whole wheat flour or almond meal for a denser texture.
  • Chocolate Molasses Cake: Replace 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour with cocoa powder and add in some dark chocolate chips for a decadent twist.
Old Fashioned Molasses Cake Copycat Recipe

Old Fashioned Molasses Cake Recipe

Indulge in the sweet nostalgia of yesteryears with our Old Fashioned Molasses Cake recipe. This cake is a delightful trip down memory lane, harking back to a time when recipes were simple, yet deeply satisfying.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 18

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • Whipped topping optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line an 8-inch round cake tin with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until they become light and fluffy.
  • Add molasses, a pinch of salt, sugar, hot water, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and butter to the whisked eggs. Mix until all ingredients are fully combined.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin before removing it.

Notes

  • To ensure that your cake doesn’t stick to the tin, be sure to grease it well with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Always check if your cake is done by inserting a skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready!
  • Allow the baked cake to cool in the tin before attempting to take it out. This cooling period is essential for the cake to set and become easy to handle.
Keyword: Old Fashioned Molasses Cake Recipe

FAQs

Can I use a different type of sweetener instead of molasses?

Molasses is the key ingredient that gives this cake its unique, rich flavor and dark color. While you can substitute molasses with other sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, it’s important to note that this will significantly alter the taste and color of the cake. Honey is lighter and sweeter, while maple syrup has a distinct flavor that might not pair well with the spices in the cake. If you choose to use a substitute, adjust the quantity to match the sweetness level of molasses.

How can I make this cake vegan?

To make a Vegan Old Fashioned Molasses Cake, you’ll need to find substitutes for the eggs and butter in the recipe. For the eggs, you can use flax eggs (a mix of ground flaxseed and water), applesauce, or mashed bananas. For the butter, use a vegan butter substitute or coconut oil. Keep in mind that using coconut oil might give the cake a slight coconut flavor.

Can I add fruits or nuts to this cake?

Yes, adding fruits or nuts can give a delightful twist to the classic Old Fashioned Molasses Cake. For instance, incorporating chopped apples or pears can add a fruity note and extra moisture. Alternatively, nuts like walnuts or pecans can provide a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor.

 My cake turned out dry. What went wrong?

A dry cake can result from several factors. Overbaking is one of the most common culprits. When the cake is left in the oven for too long, it loses moisture, resulting in a dry texture. Always start checking your cake a few minutes before the suggested baking time to avoid over-baking.

Wrapping Up

Old-fashioned molasses cake is a delicious and simple treat that captures the essence of traditional baking. With its unique flavor, moist texture, and beautiful dark color, it’s sure to become a family favorite.

From prepping the ingredients to enjoying it with some whipped topping, this cake is easy enough for beginner bakers yet delicious enough for everyone to enjoy! So get in the kitchen and give this classic cake a try. You won’t regret it!

Also, don’t forget to share your experience with us by leaving a comment below.

You’ll also like the latest recipes!

Author Profile

My name is Lori Walker. I’m a registered dietitian, food blogger and food enthusiast. I share easy healthy, delicious recipes on my blog and review necessary kitchen items. The recipes I share take less… Read more

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating