Have you ever tried a slice of old-fashioned molasses cake? The rich, deep flavor of molasses combined with warm spices makes for an irresistible treat. Not only that but making this bundt cake is also a piece of cake (pun intended)! Brush on a homemade rum glaze, and you have a show-stopping dessert that is perfect for any occasion.
I'm excited to share this molasses cake recipe with you!
This isn't just any ordinary party cake; it's a delightful bundt cake with a moist, rich crumb that's beautifully flavored with a spice mix medley. The molasses and brown sugar combine to create a deep, caramel-like sweetness that pairs perfectly with the warm spices.
Whether you're a seasoned baker or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is simple enough for anyone to make. So, let's get ready to fill your kitchen with the intoxicating aroma of old-fashioned molasses cake baking in the oven!
Ready? Let's get baking!
Why you'll love this recipe
- All you need are a handful of ingredients.
- This bundt cake recipe is super easy to make!
- The homemade spice mix adds a beautiful depth of flavor.
- The combination of molasses and spices creates a flavor explosion in every bite.
- Adding a rum glaze is the perfect finishing touch to this already delicious cake! If you can't get enough, my pecan rum cake is also equally delicious!
Key ingredients and why we use them
This bundt cake is made with a bundle of ingredients that work together to create a deliciously moist and flavorful treat.
Here is a list of all the cake ingredients I used:
Molasses: A key ingredient in this recipe that gives the cake its signature taste. Molasses adds a depth of flavor and rich, dark color (check out my molasses sugar cookies if you like this flavor)! It tastes like a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup.
Spice Mix: The perfect combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and allspice to give the cake a warm and comforting flavor. The spices balance out the sweetness of the molasses and brown sugar.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar has a deeper, more caramelized flavor compared to white sugar. It also helps to keep the cake moist and gives it a beautiful golden color. Use these tips to make sure your brown sugar hasn't gone bad.
Butter: Butter adds richness and moisture to the cake, making it tender and delicious. I recommend using unsalted butter when baking, so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
Eggs: Adding two eggs to your cake batter acts as a binding agent and also helps to create a fluffy texture in the cake. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before adding them to the batter.
You'll need the following pieces of equipment to make this old-fashioned molasses cake:
- Bundt cake pan: I used a 10-14-cup bundt cake pan to make this spice cake. The size of your bundt pan will affect the baking time, so keep an eye on your cake and use a toothpick to check for doneness.
- Mixing bowl: You are going to need a mixing bowl to blend together the dry ingredients.
- Stand mixer: A stand mixer is handy for mixing together the cake batter. Use the paddle attachment if you have one. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can also use a hand-held electric mixer.
- Spatula: Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and ensure all ingredients are well mixed.
- Aluminum foil: Covering the cake with an aluminum foil "tent" towards the end of baking helps to prevent it from browning too much.
- Silicone brush: Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the glaze over your cake.
Heather's helpful hints
To help prevent your cake from sticking to the bundt pan, make sure to generously grease it with butter or cooking spray.
Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before starting the recipe. This will help ensure that they blend together nicely and create a smooth batter.
Use a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready to be taken out of the oven!
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack. This will help prevent any cracks or splits in the cake. You should also check out this tutorial on how to remove a cake from a bundt cake pan.
Once you have all of your molasses cake ingredients prepped, it's time to get baking!
Step 1) Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray your bundt pan with baking spray. Set aside.
Step 2) Add all of the cake spices in a bowl to blend together.
Step 3) In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix them together well and set aside.
Step 4) Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together, followed by the eggs and molasses. Add the flour mixture slowly, alternating with the water until the cake batter is smooth.
Step 5) Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake for 60 - 65 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, remove the pan and cover with tented aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
Step 6) Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack. Invert the cake and allow it to cool to room temperature. Brush the cake with the glaze and allow it to cool completely before serving.
Feel free to get creative with this recipe and make it your own. Here are some variations you can try:
- Add chopped nuts or raisins to the cake batter for some extra texture and flavor.
- Experiment with different spice combinations, such as cardamom, allspice, or pumpkin pie spice. You can replace the measured spices with a gingerbread spice mixture from the store.
- Top the cake with a cream cheese frosting instead of the glaze for a richer and tangier flavor.
Make ahead and storage tips
This molasses cake can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze the cake for up to 2 weeks. When you are ready to enjoy and eat, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight and bring it to room temperature before serving.
Frequently asked questions
What is a substitute for molasses?
If you don't have molasses on hand, you can substitute with an equal amount of dark corn syrup or maple syrup. Keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly different.
Can I use a different type of sugar?
Yes, you can use granulated sugar instead of brown sugar in this recipe. However, the cake may not be as moist and flavorful.
Do I have to use both baking soda and baking powder?
Yes, both baking soda and baking powder are needed in this recipe to help the cake rise.
The baking soda helps the cake to rise immediately, while the baking powder helps it to continue rising as it bakes.
Check out some of my other favorite bundt cake recipes that are sure to wow a crowd!
- 1 bundt pan with 10-14 cup capacity
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray your bundt pan with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix them together well and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for one minute. Add the brown sugar and continue to cream on medium speed for four minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low until incorporated. You will need to scrape down the sides of the mixer to ensure that all ingredients are well combined. Add in the molasses.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the water. Start and end with the flour, mixing until smooth.
- Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 60 - 65 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, remove the pan and cover with tented aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Test for doneness with a toothpick that should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack. Invert the cake and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Brush the cake with the glaze and allow it to cool completely before serving.
Notes and Tips
- This cake tastes delicious with a rum glaze. Simply combine 1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup unsalted butter, ¼ cup rum, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Whisk together over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Use a brush to cover the cake!
- You can replace the measured spices with a gingerbread spice mixture from the store. This is a great way to save time. You can even make your own gingerbread spice mix.
- Make sure you coat your bundt pan with baking spray (a mixture of oil and flour) and not cooking spray (oil only).