Ginger + Porter cake.

Dark, imposing, sultry, spicy.
This is the dark ’n’ stormy of cakes. The George Clooney of cakes.
And served with orange + clove ice-cream, it’s a perpetual gateway to Christmas.
(Quite seriously, you shouldn’t have one without the other.*)

Ginger Porter Cake

Recipe from The New York Times.
Paired with orange + clove ice-cream if you know what’s good for you.

To prep
1 bundt tin
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup demerara sugar

For the cake
1 cup porter (or stout**)
1 cup molasses
1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp grated fresh ginger (a medium-sized “hand”)
3 eggs (room temp.)
1 tsp vanilla extract***
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup light-flavoured oil (I used rice bran)


  1. Preheat the oven to 176º C.
  2. Butter the inside of a bundt tin, then sprinkle the demerara sugar into the tin, aiming for the “walls” — you want an even layer of sugar stuck to an even layer of butter, on all surfaces.
    Prepped bundt tin
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the beer and molasses, stirring well until just simmering, then whisk in the baking soda. (It will froth up quite a bit, then subside.) Set aside to cool while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
    Porter and molasses
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, spices and salt. Set aside.
  5. Grate the fresh ginger into the bowl of your stand mixer (with the whisk attachment****) then add the eggs, vanilla (or rum), sugars and oil, and whisk/mix for 5 minutes.
  6. Slowly add in the porter/molasses mixture, and mix for another 5 minutes.
  7. Still mixing, add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time until fully incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepped bundt tin, and bake for 55–60 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer comes out clean. (The exposed surface will get quite dark and maybe cracked, but that’s fine — the batter is already dark so it’s probably not burning, and you’ll never see this side of the cake once you’ve finished baking anyway.)
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin, right side up (i.e. don’t invert it yet).
  10. Once the cake has cooled a little, place a plate on the top and flip it over — the butter + sugar layer not only forms an incredibly delicious crust, it also means the cake will slip straight out of the tin, no awkward “jimmying with a butter knife” required. It’s SO satisfying.
    Ginger Porter Cake
  11. Allow to cool completely… and serve with orange + clove ice-cream. (If I say it often enough you’ll do it, right?)
    Ginger Porter Cake


This cake is, among other things, sturdy. So you can make it at home and carry it to a party pretty easily. Or make it a few days in advance and just keep it in an airtight container until you’re ready to bring out the big guns.

*But if you must, double cream mixed with a little brandy and ground clove might suffice.
**Or just the darkest, chocolate-iest, spiciest beer you can get your hands on.
***Or spiced rum. Why not?
****Whisk attachment is important. I tried with the regular paddle and… it’s messy. The mixture is quite wet, so the whisk = less disturbance, and also incorporates the flour more evenly.

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