Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ginger Pound Cake: A 19th c. Maryland Recipe

Ginger Pound Cake

This recipe is from a favorite historic Maryland cookery book, Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen by Mrs. B.C. Howard, published in 1881. 

Here is the original recipe (the modern adaptation follows):

Modern Recipe Adaptation


  • 6 2/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 3 Tablespoons of Ground Allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Ground Ginger 
  • 1 Pound (4 sticks) Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1 Pound Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Cups Molasses 
  • Grated Peel of 2 Lemons
  • 6 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice


1. Grease a large pan such as a steam tray measuring 20 3/4 L x 12 3/4" W x 3 3/8" D.
2. Heat the oven to 350ยบ F.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the  flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the butter until light and then add the brown sugar. Mix until light and fluffy.
5. Add the molasses to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until evenly blended. Then, add the grated lemon peel and mix again until just blended.
6. Add half the flour mixture and half the beaten eggs. Mix until well blended. Repeat with remaining flour and eggs.
7. Add the lemon juice and mix.
8. Spoon into the prepared pan and bake for 65-75 minutes.
9. Serve warm topped with confectioner's sugar and/or whipped cream.

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