If you like an easy-to-prepare, flavorful cake that is rich and moist (even days after it is baked) and requires no frosting, here's the cake for you.
Swedes call it Bruna Pepparkaka (also spelled Pepparkakor or -kaker) which loosely translated means brown gingerbread cake. This is not to be confused with the thin ginger cookies which are also called Pepparkaka.
The cake is traditionally baked in a small to medium-size Bundt style ring-shaped pan. The fun part, of course, is finding the perfect pan. My husband's mother and aunts all have the perfect pan — not too big and not too small. They were probably passed down from their mothers. If you have a super large Bundt pan, I'd skip that pan and bake this is something smaller like a 9 x 9 brownie pan.
A tip: If your baking pan has a flat bottom, cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit it. Grease the top of it as well as the rest of the pan. This ensures a perfect finish to your cake!
No frosting is necessary — just a little dusting of powdered sugar to make it pretty.
Swedish Bruna Pepparkaka Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup half & half, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda (mixed w/ 2 Tablespoons warm water)
Shortening (such as Crisco) and little flour for greasing the pan
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting.
With an electric hand mixer, cream softened butter with brown sugar in large bowl. Add eggs and mix on low. Add the spices and mix. Stir in flour with half & half alternately. Do not over mix. Finally, stir the baking soda in a separate little cup with the water, then add to your batter and mix.
Pour into a very well greased and floured medium size bundt style pan (super large bundt pans are too big for this recipe). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350˚.
Check for doneness when toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes before removing cake from pan. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired and serve.