Orange Spice Gingerbread Cake

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Orange spice gingerbread sm

A sticky gingerbread served warm – is there any dessert more comforting?

Hot apple crisp comes close but there is something about the texture and spicing of a gingerbread that wraps your up in a blanket.

I have been thinking a lot about an orange spiced gingerbread after reading a novel that featured just such a recipe (Delicious! by Ruth Reichl). The whole time I was reading the novel (an okay novel filled with amazing food writing) I was dreaming about eating a piece of the cake and I was delighted to discover the recipe printed at the end of the book.

Only the recipe didn’t call for molasses, just white sugar, the zest of two oranges and an abundance of ginger, of course.

I can’t imagine a gingerbread without molasses. For me, the bright, tangy flavour of molasses is part of a gingerbread’s character. And molasses is what gives true gingerbread it’s lovely texture.

Orange spice gingerbread cake

Orange zest is a lovely addition to gingerbread. It takes the flavour in a whole new direction and works perfectly with molasses and the spices. You decide just how much orange zest you want to add (a little or a lot). The cardamom can be omitted if you don’t have it on hand.

This recipe is an adaptation of a gingerbread recipe found in the wonderful cookbook, Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens (recently reprinted). The spicing is borrowed, in part, from the gingerbread recipe in the book Delicious! by Ruth Reichl.

Orange Spice Gingerbread Cake Recipe


  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • Zest of 1-2 oranges
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour (spooned in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • 1 cup of hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9”x9” pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
  3. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar then beat in egg and molasses. Stir in orange zest.
  4. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water.
  5. Pour into a prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 350 until a tester comes out clean, 40-45 minutes.

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4 thoughts on “Orange Spice Gingerbread Cake

  1. Dorothy MacIsaac says:

    Would u please mail me your most recent box love your recipes,making orange spice gingerbread cake tomorrow.
    159 River Lane Bedford N S. 25/207 B4a2b8

  2. F. Crumb says:

    Would also love it if you would send me the orange spice gingerbread cake recipe

    Freda Crumb
    317, 10103 – 111 Street
    Edmonton, AB T5K 2y1

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      Freda, I will mail you a copy of our cookbook, Simple Fare, later this week. It has the Orange Spice Gingerbread recipe in it, as well as many others.

  3. Carole Pucci says:

    Would you sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of Orange Spice Gingerbread Cake. I just put it in the oven.

    Carole Pucci

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