Molasses Cake

If you like molasses cookies then there is a good chance you will like this molasses cake as well. I can’t say that its subtle in flavor because it’s not. It’s rich and deep with a spiced bitterness. It has the kind of flavor that will remind you of a good bittersweet chocolate bar

Old Fashion Molasses Cake via Bakers Royale1

Old Fashion Molasses Cake

I realize molasses anything isn’t mainstream. I also realize from my own experience and watching so many people turn the other way at the mention of molasses that it’s not so much molasses, but its the kind of molasses people have experience with. Unfortunately, most stores don’t offer unsulphured mild flavor molasses and instead the shelf is stacked with the original flavor which tends to be too harsh in taste as opposed to being pleasantly bittersweet in baked goods.

I’m going to mention that the picture is too craptastic to show off the cake properly—so just trust me when I say this cake is well worth trying.

Old Fashion Molasses Cake via Bakers Royale 210x260

this recipe

Old Fashion Molasses Cake

Yield: Makes on 8x8 cake


  • 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup warm water



Line pan with parchment paper and heat oven to 325 degrees F.

  1. Place flour, oatmeal, sugar, spices and baking soda in a food processor bowl or blender and pulse until mixture is well combined and oatmeal is cut to a coarse grind.
  2. In a small sauce pan over medium heat add in butter, corn syrup and molasses and stir until well combined; set aside. Place egg and water in a small bowl and lightly beat until combined. Add egg mixture into molasses mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Add wet mixture into dry mixture and vigorously stir to combine, until a smooth texture is achieved. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until the surface of the cake springs back when pushed down slightly.
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Store cake in an airtight container in a cool place (not refrigerated). Cake will keep for a 1 week in an airtight container.

A few notes:

  • This recipe is adapted from Julian Day's Classic Artisan Baking cookbook. If you get a chance to check out this book, you won't be sorry. It's filled with classic English desserts that are full of flavor and not cloying sweet.
  • The original recipe doesn't state what kind of molasses (known as treacle in the UK and probably other places as well), so for this recipe I used Brer Rabbit All Natural Unsulphured Molasses Mild Flavor.
  • This is the kind of cake that gets better the next day. The flavor settles and mellows.
  • You can certainly tone down the molasses with a cream cheese frosting or give the cake a light dusting of confectioner of sugar. I stayed to true to the recipe because I love the bittersweet notes of molasses.

Adapted from Classic Artisan Baking

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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I made a molasses cake 2 weeks ago – for pre-Xmas blogging, you know, in early Sept. I was prepared :) Havent posted it yet but thank you for posting yours! I LOVE molasses! I bet this cake is just awesome. Gorgeous dishes, too!

  2. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    We were just talking about molasses at work and how I love it, but how a lot of people don’t. I think it’s something you either love or hate. I always look forward to this time of year when I can use it in my baking. Have a great weekend!

  3. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Molasses should be mainstream, though–it’s so good! I definitely am on the molasses cookie train, so I’m looking forward to trying out this cake.

  4. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I love molasses. Is it wrong to eat it straight from the jar though? =X

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — October 26th, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

      Stephanie – Holy braveness. I can’t go that far with molasses. Wow. I’m impressed.

  5. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I wish my GOOD pics were as good a your “craptastic” ones. I am seriously in such awe of your artistic eye with photos and composition. I read so many food blogs and study the way people take pics and try to figure them out. I have no formal photography training at all so I am trying to teach myself just from observation and I keep coming back to your site to study how you took your pics the way you do and why. You really tell a story in your pics and that’s what I want to learn. And this cake looks really good, I have always been a fan of molasses so I will put this on my to bake list!

  6. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBonnie says

    I’m saving this recipe because it’s different from the one I have from my great-grandmother. But, here in the South (Texas), molasses cake was almost a staple. Here in this area, people grew their own cane and so many people had syrup mills making their own syrup which was called Ribbon Cane Syrup. What we call Molasses Cakes was called a Syrup Cake then. And, Ms. Naomi…you are so right: 1) it’s much better the next day and 2) quite fine without icing. I have made my recipe using anything from regular molasses, Ribbon Cane syrup and even regular table syrup in a pinch. My family prefers the Ribbon Cane. One other point: Molasses is great for getting your dose of iron for the day…so this cake is actually good for ya! 😉