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sharing recipes from one generation to the next

Spicy Buckwheat Gingerbread Cake


Slices of Spicy Buckwheat Gingerbread Cake

Spicy Buckwheat Gingerbread Cake

This is not the first recipe for spicy gingerbread cake that I have shared. The first was my Grandma’s recipe, a cake that I used to make regularly because it was simple, cheap and stayed moist for weeks in an airtight container. Sadly I can no longer enjoy Grandma’s traditional cake because wheat plays havoc with my gut, but I have found THE perfect substitute within the pages of one of my Christmas presents, “Flavor Flours” by Alice Medrich.

Made with brown rice and buckwheat flours strengthened with xantham gum, the remainder of the ingredients are old school, molasses, ground spices, brown sugar, butter, egg with the surprise inclusion of fresh ginger root.

I found the recipe a tad confusing initially because of the difference between recipes written for the American market with a focus on measurements in cups, and my penchant to weigh in grams for accuracy. Instructions for both are included however, so once I had weighed the ingredients, making the batter was straightforward. Medrich recommended a 20cm round pan, I opted to make a loaf for ease of storage. Next time I’ll lower the oven temperature to minimise the cracking on the top of the cake, but that’s a small criticism, the cake was astonishingly good.

Deep, dense, spicy and moist, the moreish flavour temptingly lingered on my palate. I defy the uninformed to identify this cake as gluten free.

This buckwheat gingerbread recipe is from Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich

Buckwheat Gingerbread Cake.

110g brown rice flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Scant 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

30g peeled fresh root ginger, finely chopped

140g brown sugar

120g molasses

115g unsalted butter*, melted and still warm

1 large egg

110g buckwheat flour

1/2 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 160C fan forced. Grease a large loaf tin and line with baking paper.

In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the rice flour, xantham gum, spices and soda. Set side.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse the brown sugar and ginger together into a thick smooth puree.

Add the molasses, warm butter, lightly beaten egg and the flour mix. Process for 20 seconds.

Scrape down the inside of the jug then add the buckwheat flour and hot water. Process only for 5 seconds more.** Finish mixing the dough with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake 30-35 minutes, until cooked in the centre when tested with a skewer.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minute, then remove to a wire cake stand to cool.

Dust with pure icing sugar just before serving.

*Substitute margarine for butter if you are lactose intolerant.

**Medrich advises that overprocessing buckwheat flour can lead to a pasty texture.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

19 comments on “Spicy Buckwheat Gingerbread Cake

  1. Jenny B
    March 8, 2015

    Looks so moist and delicious!


  2. marymtf
    March 7, 2015

    I bought a packet of buckwheat once and it sat in my pantry for ages because I didn’t know what to do with it. I bought it in a moment of madness, thinking I’d do something creative with it. Using it in a ginger cake sounds as if it might be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      March 7, 2015

      Buckwheat flour is good in cake, but it also makes great pancakes


  3. MamaD1xx4xy
    March 7, 2015

    This looks delicious, I love a good ginger cake. How nice that you were able to find a good recipe you are able to eat.


  4. Michelle
    March 7, 2015

    I love Medrich’s recipes. Especially the way that she almost always just melts the butter. No planning ahead required!


    • ladyredspecs
      March 7, 2015

      Medrich is little known in Oz, but I think her book Flavor Flours will change that. Yes it was simple to throw together and delicious to eat


  5. This sounds like a wonderful recipe Sandra, though after linking through to your grandma’s recipe for Parkin, I think I’ll give that one a try first – sounds delicious! 🙂 Hope you’re having a fab time in NZ… we lived in Wellington for a couple of years about 7 or 8 years ago and fell completely in love with the city and country!


  6. Elisa
    March 6, 2015

    Oh! I was so excited to grab this recipe and now I can’t do it as I don’t weigh and I need those American measurements. Help! 🙂


    • ladyredspecs
      March 6, 2015

      Elisa I’ll add the cup measurments to the recipe for you, but you’ll have to wait until the end of the month when I’m back in my home kitchen.


  7. chefconnie
    March 5, 2015

    Lovely. Buckwheat and ginger go so well together.


  8. suej
    March 5, 2015

    I love ginger bread, this looks good! I had thought of trying an old recipe I have by substituting rice flour for wheat. Flour but I might give this one a go….what is the purpose of Xantham gum??


    • ladyredspecs
      March 6, 2015

      Without wheat, cake structure tends to be crumbly but a small amount of Xantham adds strength to the dough and improves the mouthfeel. It’s a natural thickener and completely tasteless

      Liked by 1 person

      • suej
        March 6, 2015

        Thank you!


  9. cheergerm
    March 5, 2015

    Ahh, just lovely. We adore anything with ginger in it, I have been looking at my fave gingerbread recipe with an eye to convert to GF but will certainly be making this once first Mrs R!


  10. My Kitchen Witch
    March 5, 2015

    I find converting American recipes also confusing, even though this is how I learned to cook! Love your inventiveness. I can imagine that the buckwheat would add to the flavour of this cake. Since I don’t have similar gut problems, I wonder if it could be made substituting the rice flour for wheat? Sounds like there will be a bit of experimenting in my kitchen. We are all partial to a bit of gingerbread.


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