My mother always made sure a dessert ended our family meals. She especially loved cakes, and her Devil’s Food cake was legendary (see Helen’s Devil’s Food Cake listed in recipe column). But that required too much time on a daily basis, so she relied on Betty Crocker package mixes. I’ve inherited her love for baking, but I am a purist. No package mixes for me. I make my cakes from scratch. I love the tangy lemon and piquant ginger combo in this cake. It’s a small cake, serves six, but is delicious.
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter, then flour, a 4 – 5 cup bundt pan or a loaf pan, knocking out excess flour. Chill 10 minutes.
Finely grind together fresh ginger and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor (mixtue will be wet). Whisk together flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt. Stir together milk and vanilla in a small bowl.
Beat together butter, remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour and milk mixtures to butter and eggs in 4 batches, beginning with flour and mixing at low speed until each batch is just incorporated. Mix in ginger sugar until just combined, then lemon juice.
Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown on top and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes (about 1 hour for a loaf pan). Carefully loosen edges with a knife and immediately invert onto a rack to cool completely.
Make Glaze: Gradually add confectioners sugar to 1 tablespoon lemon juice, whisking until smooth and adding more juice one drop at a time if glaze too thick. Drizzle decoratively over top of cake.