December 1, 2014

Blackstrap Gingerbread

The Christmas baking season is upon us! One of my favorites is gingerbread. This recipe was adapted from one given me by a friend whose husband is diabetic. She made it with blackstrap molasses and it was a sweet treat he could enjoy. Blackstrap is the end product of the third and last boiling of sugar cane juice in the sugar making process. Most of the sucrose has already been crystalized for sugar, so that it is less sweet than other molasses. It has a low glycemic index, which means the glucose and carbohydrates are metabolized slowly, requiring less insulin plus stabilizing blood sugar. The result is less lipids or fats in the blood, making it an excellent sweetener for anyone concerned about blood sugar levels.

I'm embarrassed to be showing you store butter instead of homemade! The
molasses is Golden Barrel brand, which I've been using for years. It's "real",
i.e. from cane sugar and unsulfured, plus the price is unbeatable ($7.99/gal)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses (black treacle) *see recipe notes
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

I also love my Polish dough whisk. It's my favorite mixing tool!

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and molasses, beat thoroughly. Sift together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with boiling water. Bake in greased, floured 8"x8" baking pan at 350° F for 35 - 45 minutes. 

Recipe notes:
  • Blackstrap is a strong flavored molasses, but you can mix it with lighter molasses or even honey. If you're uncertain about it try 1 tablespoon to start. 
  • For non-baking powder leavening power, the chemical reaction is between the molasses (acidic) and baking soda (alkaline). The cake is very light and tender.
  • Molasses is the waste product of the sugar refining process, both cane and sugar beets. Commercial sugar beets are genetically modified and the two molasses types are very different.
  • Molasses is rich in calcium, iron, and carbohydrates.
  • Blackstrap molasses contains the above plus folate & other B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper.

Served with goat milk whipped cream.
We also love it with applesauce or apple butter.

Blackstrap molasses is a must-have for goat owners as well. A couple of tablespoons is commonly mixed in a gallon of warm water for does after they kid. They appreciate the extra energy.


Blackstrap Gingerbread © December 2014


Tina T-P said...

That looks yummy - we always had lemon sauce with our gingerbread. (I like it with my bread pudding too)

Happy holidays to you - I hope you are staying warm and cozy there on the homestead. T.

Debby Riddle said...

Great info on Blackstrap, thanks! Looks delicious too:)

Unknown said...

Cant say ive ever seen it here for sale but then im probably not looking in the right spot. Maybe a health food store might have it. It certainly would be useful for diabetics. Molasses itself is uncommon and i've only heard of it being used in animal feed. If we are not using actual sugar crystals then its honey or golden syrup,which also comes from sugar so perhaps its a very light molasses. (i'm shrugging shoulders).

Farmer Barb said...

So yummy I can smell it from here!

Mama Pea said...

M-m-m-m, looks sooo good! We love gingerbread. I use a bit of "regular" molasses and blackstrap molasses, too, in many recipes including my Christmas fruitcake . . . which is nothing like store bought (inedible, preservative laced) fruitcake . . . more like a dense, moist, heavy sweet bread. My grandma believed molasses was a great spring time tonic. But that picture of your gingerbread with the goat's cream whipped topping looks just perfect for this time of year!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, that looks so delish! Thank you for sharing :)

Leigh said...

Tina, so good to hear from you. My apologies for not visiting your blog more often. I adore lemon but have never tried lemon sauce on gingerbread! How strange is that. I'd love it on bread pudding too.

Debby, thanks!

Lynda, you're right about it being common in animal feed, and I don't think folks use molasses much these days, except for those special holiday recipes. It's interesting what different flavors the various types have.

Barb, and it stays moist for a long time too! At least for as long as it lasts, which isn't long. :)

Mama Pea, I like to put it in various things too, for the added nutrition. Hadn't thought of fruit cake, but that's a great idea.

Sandy Livesay said...


Your black-strap gingerbread cake looks good! I've never made gingerbread cake, I'm going to save this recipe and try it.
Thanks for sharing.

Mom at home said...

That's a great price for the molasses. My girls love it on biscuits mixed together with butter:)

DFW said...


The cake sounds delicious but what caught my attention was the goat milk whipped cream!

Anonymous said...

Love blackstrap molasses or treacle. An at a pinch meal here is treacle on bread! Yep, the sweet treat that's healthy and nutritious! :) Our goats get it mixed into porridge oats and warm water when feeling poorly, it's very cold and it's on stand by for kidding.
Here in Australia it's more about the golden syrup but I must admit I am a big fan of treacle.

Harry Flashman said...

I didn't know that about blackstrap. We have regular molasses and sorghum syrup here, but I don't think any blackstrap is produced locally. I'll have to get some, now that I know it is healthy.

Quinn said...

I use molasses for cooking and for the goats (warm water with a glug of molasses right after kidding, and the does suck it down like they've never had a drink before...and it's the only time they will drink it!). But add me to the folks who've never used blackstrap! I didn't even know it was still available, so thanks very much for mentioning the brand. Now I'll be looking for it!

Quinn said...

Oh, forgot to say, I have the same type whisk, which I've heard called a "Danish" whisk! I just call it "my food processor" ;)

Off-Grid Homestead said...

That looks amazing!!!

Leigh said...

Oh gosh, I somehow managed to not respond to a whole bunch of comments! My apologies!

Quinn, I've seen it as a Danish whisk too, but I think it's made in Poland. No matter, it is an excellent tool!

Off-Grid Homestead, it was!