Gingerbread with Sugared Walnuts

Menu Part: 

Chef-author Mollie Katzen
San Francisco

Few desserts evoke the aromas and memories of the holiday season quite like gingerbread. This old-fashioned recipe gets a modern update with sugared walnuts as a garnish.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cloves
3 tbsp. grated fresh gingerroot
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup molasses
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk
Sweetly coated walnuts
2 egg whites
¼ tsp. salt
4-5 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 cups walnut halves


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease Bundt pan or 9- X13-inch baking pan.
2. In medium bowl, combine flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cloves; stir to combine. Stir in grated ginger; set aside.
3. In mixing bowl, combine butter and brown sugar; beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and molasses, beating after each addition and scraping bowl. Add vanilla extract; beat 1 minute longer or until well combined.
4. Add about one-third of flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing just enough to blend. Stir in one-third the buttermilk until blended. Continue alternating dry ingredients and buttermilk until all ingredients are combined. Stir with a spoon to blend well but not overmix.
5. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake in center of oven for 40 minutes or until top is springy to the touch. Let cake cool in pan 15 minutes before removing from pan.
6. For sugared walnuts: Raise oven temperature to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
7. In pie pan, whisk egg whites until foamy. Beat in salt and sugar. Add walnuts and stir until thoroughly coated. Transfer coated nuts to baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely before using
8. To serve, cut cake into slices and garnish with sugared nuts.

Photo courtesy of California Walnuts

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