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Ginger Cake: Bolo Do Gingibre

This is a spice cake recipe with the texture of a poundcake. Recipe courtesy Jean Anderson, The Food of Portugal.

Ready In:
1hr 35mins



  • Preheat the oven to moderately slow (325 degrees F.) Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices onto a piece of wax paper and set aside. Cream together the butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy-light. Add the molasses and cream well; beat in the eggs yolks, 1 at a time. Combine the Madeira and the milk. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the combined liquids, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold gently into the batter but thoroughly.
  • Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured 10-inch tube pan and bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake beings to pull from the sides of the pan and feels springy to the touch. Cool the cake right-side up in its pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; loosen with a spatula then the cake out of the rack, remove the pan, and cool to room temperature before cutting. Serve plain, or frost if you like with your favorite butter cream to which you have added about 1 tablespoon of Madeira wine and 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped preserved ginger.
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"This is a spice cake recipe with the texture of a poundcake. Recipe courtesy Jean Anderson, The Food of Portugal."
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  1. stormylee
    Delicious cake, and what a lovely texture! I used all butter (300 grams) but otherwise followed the recipe. I don't own a tube pan big enough for such a big cake, so I made one 8x4 cake and a 8" tube cake - the loaf took about 55 minutes to bake and the tube about an hour! Thank you cookiedog!
  2. Lynne M
    Really an amazing cake -- although the directions are far from clear in some places and could stand to be clarified ("loosen with a spatula then the cake out of the rack"?). I used butter for the shortening, so between that and the butter called for I ended up using 2 sticks of butter -- one unsalted, one salted -- plus 5 teaspoons of canola oil. It worked *great* and produced a wonderful flavor. Also, since I can never find "light" molasses, I used the regular kind and thought that it just added to the spiciness of the cake. My guests loved it! (Five people polished off two-thirds of the cake in one night.) Thanks for a keeper!
  3. ksduffster
    Oh my goodness, this cake is amazing! It did take quite a bit of work to get it into the oven, but it was well worth it. My batter was very thick and almost killed my hand-mixer, so I would recommend using a stand mixer for this cake. Also, I don't bake very often so I had to borrow a tube cake pan from a friend. I wasn't aware that there were different size tube pans though, and apparently she has a smaller size than cookiedog because as the cake rose it also decided it didn't want to be a tube cake. Luckily, I had set the pan on a cookie sheet so my oven didn't get messy an somehow the cake cooked through, but the "hole" was not cooked. I left it unfrosted and brought it into work for everyone to share and everyone here loves it! Thanks so much cookiedog!
  4. pattikay in L.A.
    This is a lovely cake - not overly sweet and I think the madeira adds a nice depth to the flavor. I topped it with Recipe #216980 and whipped cream. Thanks for sharing!
  5. free-free
    DH gave this a very enthusiastic 2 thumbs up 5 star rating. His description was cute he called it a "slice of Autumn"!! This was made for the "ZWT3 Spain and Portugal Dessert Challenge". I made a few alterations in the recipe to accommodate what I had on hand and to lighten things up a bit. I used 1/2 whole wheat flour, substituted the sugar with a Splenda/brown sugar blend and substituted the liquid with low-fat milk and juice. All of the other decadent ingredients I left as is - the butter, shortening, and eggs - (YIKES!!). Each creamy, rich and spicy bite was worth all the calories and fat!! The spice is what gives this recipe its wonderful layers of flavor and I believe the technique in how the eggs are used is key to giving it its unusual airy quality. I did not frost the cake (in all honesty, I had intended to but it was attacked before I had the chance) - I sometimes frost a homemade cake just to "pretty it up" a little as my oven is not always level -but no worries ** this cake is rich and sweet enough without it**!! A recipe to definitely bring out again in the Fall...maybe adding a cup of nuts or currents next time to experiment with the texture a bit. A lovely cake - Thanks for sharing "cookiedog"!!
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