Soaked Ginger Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce (Gingerbread poke cake)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 10 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Take me to the recipe

This is a gingerbread poke cake recipe, a classic gingerbread cake that is soaked with a buttery brown sugar sauce. It’s a simple recipe that tastes extra special.    Soaked-ginger-6

With such an alluring name this cake is at the top of my Valentine’s Day menu. The recipe is from a local outdoor adventure centre. I have names it after Denise, the woman who shared the recipe with me. She and her husband run Elmhurst Outdoors and and on Thursday mornings through the winter they offer “Snowshoe and vittles” , a two-hour snowshoeing excursion through miles of trails on their property, followed by a hot lunch in their cozy lodge.

This soaked ginger cake with brown sugar sauce was on the menu one time and the name alone made me request the recipe.

Soaked with a buttery brown sugar sauce while it’s still warm from the oven, this gingerbread poke cake is beyond moist. A dollop of whipped cream is all it needs for a final dressing.


Denise’s Soaked Ginger Cake Recipe


  • 2 1/4 cups flour (works with brown rice flour)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs


  1. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.
  2. In another bowl beat together the water, oil, eggs and molasses.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased 8” x 8” pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for 45 -55 min until the edges of the cake start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

**Reader tip: Add 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger to the batter.

While the cake is in the oven prepare the sauce:

Buttery Brown Sugar Sauce

In a medium pot combine:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. Heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
  2. When cake is cooked, cool in pan for 10 minutes then prick with a fork or skewer and pour over the sauce.
  3. Serve cake warm with whipped cream.

Poke holes in the cake for the sauce to soak through: While the sauce is still hot…Spoon it over the cake, taking care to cover it well.

Pour every last drop (no matter how tempting it is to save a spoonful for yourself).

Serve immediately, while it’s still warm.

Gâteau au gingembre trempé pour votre Valentin

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68 thoughts on “Soaked Ginger Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce (Gingerbread poke cake)

  1. Beatrice Grant says:

    Sounds yummy

  2. Brigitte says:

    That’s looks really good probably on my list to do for the week-end.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Brigitte,
      I hope that you had a chance to give this a try!

  3. Carmel Anderson says:

    going to try these recipe they look delisious

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Carmel,
      I hope that you enjoy them!

  4. sylvia says:

    It sounds yummy will be making it soon

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Sylvia,
      I hope that you enjoy it!

  5. Marie says:

    OMG…my mouth is watering so bad right now. Must drink some Crosby’s until I can get this cake made. You have been in my life for 56 years and will be till one of us die!!! I love you!!!

    1. Bridget says:

      Marie, you’re hilarious. This message made my day!

  6. Marie says:

    I could care less if there is no chocolate! Ever since I was a little child, I loved Vanilla better, so this cake looks so delicious that I’m nearly afraid to try it — but not that afraid!
    I will definitely be making this for Valentines day dessert.
    Thank you for this

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Marie,
      I hope that you enjoy it! The extra bonus is that it’s quick and easy to make.

  7. Carol Ann says:

    Even in an 8 x8 pan, this cake will take a few days for my husband and I to get through. Any suggestions on how to not make it turn into mush after 24 hours, perhaps only soak a quarter of it at a time?

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Carol Ann,
      Good suggestion to soak just 1/4 of it at a time. That way it’ll last a lot longer and you won’t feel obliged to eat a whole cake at once.

  8. Gail Richard says:

    This was the very best ginger cake ever. My husband had two servings after supper and our little grand-daughter loved it too. Soooo moist and delicant. Wanted so much to post a picture of our little and the look of anticipation on her face when she had her piece of cake. Yummy!

    1. Bridget says:

      Dear Gail,
      I’m so pleased that you loved the cake and am even happier that you let me know. Love the image of your grand-daughter enjoying it too.

  9. Jennie Landry says:

    was delicious, would definitely recommend any one to make. my husband said it was the best desert I ever made.
    Going to make two more now, the one I made last night was so good it”s all gone.

  10. Yolande says:

    I made it in a 8″ x 8″ pan as it says and after
    I poured it in the pan I only had about 1/4 inch
    left on the top so at this point I knew something
    was wrong to I put a cookie sheet under it on a
    second rack and its a good thing I did it spilled alot

    So what did I do wrong

    1. Bridget says:

      I wonder if your 8×8 pan is smaller than mine? I’ll update the recipe to say that it can be made in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.

  11. Donna says:

    this cake looks great. As for the putting the sauce on 1/4 at a time.. just cutting it into 4, overwrapping and freezing with 1/4 of sauce in sm container.. would do nicely. thaw..heat and serve…a little at a time…

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Donna,
      What a great suggestion and a treat to know you have more in the freezer when you get a craving.

  12. carol says:

    I have places this in my favorites.
    I am going to make this !!!

  13. Beatrice says:

    My mother made this when we were kids. We put the sauce on each piece so that the leftovers didn’t get soggy.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Beatrice,
      That’s a great idea (assuming there are leftovers!)

  14. Joan says:

    Wow!! Just in the nic of time….tomorrow is my daughters birthday…guess what kind of cake she is getting!!!!!!!!
    Will let you know how it goes over. But I have to make it in a 9X13, (7 of us) Just hoping it works.

  15. Viola says:

    Hi Beatrice.

    This is almost identical to the recipe that our Mom and Dad made at home. They always put the sauce on each individual piece as well and I have always done the same for our own family. It is still a favorite of my husband too!
    – Thanks for sharing!

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Viola,
      There’s nothing like a familiar gingerbread recipe to bring back memories. By the way, I am now a convert to putting the sauce on individual pieces!

  16. Joan says:

    I made this for my daughter’s birthday…..turned out great!!!!

    But, I needed more than 1 pan…thought of using a 9X13 pan…but decided to use two 9X9 pans.

    I got a bit more in one pan than the other, so the middle of one wasn’t quite done, but it was just a (in case we need it) one, so…was no problem.

    I put the sauce over individual pieces, so any leftovers wouldn’t be soggy…

    And everyone took some home…with sauce in bottles.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Joan,
      What a great idea to use this recipe as a birthday cake. Love your idea to pour the sauce on individual pieces and sending people home with their little jars of sauce was very sweet. Thanks for telling me all about it!

  17. lorraine brown says:

    i;m going to try cake,will let you know the results,,ty for receipe

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Lorraine — I hope that you enjoyed it!

  18. Cathy says:

    I made this a few weeks back for a family dinner. I had also made a blueberry cheesecake type dessert. This was the dessert everyone went for. I also saved the sauce and served it over each serving, rather than poking the cake and pouring it over. It definately was a hit!

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Cathy,
      I’m so glad everyone loved it! I like your idea of serving the sauce on the side too.

  19. Karen Williams says:

    In the oven cooking now,it smells delicious .i put it in a 9x9pan but it seems like a lot of batter,the cake is right to the top, I don’t think there will be enough room to put the sauce on when it is done

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Karen. Did the sauce soak in alright for you? I should add that it’s okay to remove the cake from the pan first if it seems as though the sauce will just pour over the edges.

  20. Pat says:

    made this cake this morning, having it when we play cards this evening. Will put the sauce on the side. Can I add raisins ??

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Pat, Yes, feel free to wait with the sauce. Although I know some who have made a double batch of sauce, one for soaking and the other for pouring over. As well, raisins would be a yummy addition too. Enjoy.

  21. Mike says:

    Made this last weekend for my wife. Love ginger flavour so I added 1 tbsp. finely minced crystallized ginger to batter before baking. Didn’t want leftover to get mushy on second day so didn’t put sauce on till we served it on plates. Popped cake in micro to warm next day. Warmed up the sauce and poured on as we served it to our guests. Great Cake ! Thanks

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Mike, Thanks for the suggestion to add crystallized ginger. It sounds so delicious that I think I’ll add it to the recipe, as an option.

  22. Francie says:

    Made this cake for my family tonight. I cannot have flour so I used brown rice flour as a substitute and it came out delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe :) I enjoyed the fact that i was able to use b rice flour and make it gluten free….awesome!

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Francie, I’m so pleased that it worked with brown rice flour. I’ll add that to the blog post so others know it’s possible. Thanks so much for letting me know.

  23. Deborah says:

    We making this Gingerbread Cake With Brown Sugar Sauce for years. Growing up we always had this once a week for dessert.

    1. Hi Deborah, I love how gingerbread recipes are often family classics. This cake was a new discovery for me but I grew up eating gingerbread with a different sauce on the side. It’s still one of my favourites.

    2. Lucille says:

      my name is Lucille and i am a weight Watcher i NEED THE NUTRITIONAL INGREDIENTS to calculate the points …..

      1. Hi Lucille, Bit by bit I have been adding nutritional info to recipes. It’s a long process though…

    3. Carmen Braddick says:

      my mom always made gingerbread cake but she made a lemon sauce with it which i have done for years. i put the sauce on each piece. going to try this sauce it sure sounds deliicous. goodbye lemon sauce, you were so good.

      1. Hi Carmen, I love lemon sauce with my gingerbread too. It’s an old fashioned classic, I think.

  24. Deborah says:

    We’ve been making this Gingerbread Cake With Brown Sugar Sauce for years. Growing up we always had this once a week for dessert.

  25. Lorraine says:

    Hi there;
    I made this as dessert for bookclub and they loved it. It was a great fit for the meal I served which was a hearty winter type affair. Thanks for the recipe…another keeper!

    1. Hi Lorraine, I’m pleased this was a hit with your book club. It’s a favourite for me too!

  26. Margaret Barry says:

    I am certainly going to make it and I know that there will be no leftovers.

  27. D’Ann Kelly says:

    Omg I have been looking for this cake recipe for years.

  28. ginny james says:

    My grandmother used to make this for us with the brown sugar sauce and she gave me the recipe but I lost it. I am so glad that you posted this can’t wait to make it.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Ginny, Yes, that brown sugar sauce is an old classic. Glad you rediscovered it.

  29. It is very delicious.. I made it in a 9 / 13 pan and loved it. I think putting it into a bigger size pan the cake is not as thick . I also use 3/4 cup of (milk) instead of water.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Brigitte, Great suggestion to use milk in place of the water and to make it in a bigger pan. That way the sauce can sink all the way through :)

  30. Brigitte St Jean says:

    I made mine n a 9 by 13 pan and it was delicious!!

  31. Michelle Doucette says:

    I made this yesterday (Jan 29/19)… it was good but I would suggest it does not need to bake that long… I would probably suggest 35 to 40 min… and I made the sauce using cream rather than water… served it on the side… very good and will make again

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Thanks Michelle, Cooking time is a funny thing and hard to pinpoint sometimes. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll make a note in the recipe that baking times may vary.

  32. Jenny says:

    Hi Bridget, I am planning to make this for the weekend. I will tell you a story about how naughty I was as a child. I loved my Mum’s gingerbread, especially if it sank a bit in the middle and was stickier than usual. As I started learning to cook I was told that opening and closing the oven door while a cake was in it could cause the cake not to rise. After that if Mum was cooking gingerbread and went out of the kitchen to feed the chickens or pick veggies for dinner I would open the door and slam it shut. She couldn’t understand why sometimes it rose and sometimes it would sink!!!! Just in case I never mentioned that little trick to my children! ;-)

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Jenny, That is a hilarious story. Your poor mom :)

  33. Linda says:

    I made this for the first time, but I made it in my square muffin tin pan. So I had 12 little cakes…6 disappeared within minutes. I’ve hidden the rest.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Linda, I love the idea to make this recipe in muffin tins. (Easier to hide, too :))

  34. Janet says:

    How soft do the leftovers get the next day? Can you refrigerate or freeze the cake for later use?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Janet, I’d refrigerate any leftovers. SUrprisingly the cake doesn’t get too soft. That’s why it’s great to serve extra sauce alongside :)

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