Molasses cake with cream cheese icing *

How long can a cake stick in your mind for? In the case of this cake, it was weeks. Several long weeks.

Something about the dark cake, the creamy looking cream cheese icing – as soon as I saw the post on The Kitchn, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Despite the fact that this cake is in no way paleo, I knew I had to make it.

Seeing that it serves 10 people though, it had to be for a specific occasion so I could share it around with others. It would be disaster to have a cake that size sitting around at home! So with Melbourne Cup this week and plans for a picnic, it was finally time to get baking.

And boy, was the wait worth it. This cake really needs no talking up, however since I’m not really one for subtlety – let me tell you: THIS IS ONE GOOD CAKE. Suuuure, a slice gave me a sugar headache (I think that’s from a general lack of cake eating rather than due to the cake itself), but the fact remains: THIS IS ONE GOOD CAKE.

It has a gorgeous moist, fudgy texture, notes of dark caramel liquorice with swoon worthy cream cheese icing. Are you a liquorice hater? Don’t despair because it’s not very strong, and it totally works in this cake. It’s sweet, but not overwhelming so, thanks to the slight bitterness from the molasses. My cake didn’t look as dark as the one in the original post, but I was still happy with how it looked and tasted. And the cream cheese icing? I ate so much of it that I’m surprised I had enough to cover the cake!

My only wish is that I had baked the batter in a smaller tin so the cake came out taller. I used the tin size specified in the recipe but mine looked a bit flat so I’ve put this note in the recipe below.

Have you seen a cake lately that you can’t get off your mind? Perhaps it’ll be this one… 😀

Molasses cake with cooked cream cheese icing

Adapted and converted to metric from The Kitchn
Serves 10

170g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
340g (1&1/2 cups) unsulphured dark or unsulphured blackstrap molasses
150g brown sugar
75g caster sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee (optional)
410g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs, beaten
360ml full cream milk

Heat the oven to 175°C. Lightly grease a 23cm/9-inch springform cake pan (the original recipe stated a 25cm/10-inch pan, but I found it to be a bit flat. I’d recommend slightly smaller).

Place the butter, molasses, instant coffee (if using) and sugar into a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until the butter melts and the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the salt.

Whisk the vanilla, eggs and milk into the molasses and butter mixture to completely combine. Pour this liquid slowly into the bowl of dry ingredients and whisk to combine, making sure there are no lumps.

Pour the batter into your prepared cake tin and bake at 175°C for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (if using a smaller pan, your cake may take slightly larger).

Let it cool and then run a knife around the inside of the pan to release the cake edges. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely being icing.

For the cooked cream cheese icing

Enough for one cake

250g full fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature for at least 1 hour
15g plain flour
110g caster sugar
pinch of salt
125ml (1/2 cup) full cream milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the soft cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high speed for several minutes until smooth and silky. Scrape out into a separate bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Turn the heat on to medium and slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until it comes together in a small paste.

Whisk continuously as it comes up to simmer. It will start to thicken – keep whisking and let it simmer for a minute to thicken and turn off the heat. Scrape the flour/milk paste into your mixer bowl and turn on the mixer to whisk it on low speed for about ten minutes, or until lukewarm or cooler.

Slowly add the cream cheese and vanilla, whipping constantly. Continue whipping until it is completely combined and smooth and silky. If necessary, put the icing in the fridge for a bit to firm up before icing the cake.

Spread over the cold cake, decorate with nuts if desired, and keep the iced cake in the fridge.