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Everyday Best Gingerbread Cake

Dark, moist and delicious, this cake is easy to make and foolproof. It's good plain for snacking or lunch boxes; it can be fancied up with a fluff of whipped topping. Cooks who avoid dairy products can substitute 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light flavored olive oil for the butter.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup molasses, light or dark
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Preheat to 325 degrees when using a glass pan.) Spray an 8-by-8-inch pan with no-stick cooking spray. Mix melted and slightly cooled butter, sugar and egg and set aside. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients. Combine molasses and hot water and stir to combine. Add flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture alternately with the molasses mixture and whisk to combine. Pour batter into pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan 5 minutes. Serve from the pan, or turn out onto a rack.

Thursday, December 14, 2000

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