Gingerbread isn’t just for cookies! Give your cookie cutter a break and try this easy snack cake instead.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray inside bottom and sides of 8-inch square metal baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom of baking pan with 8-inch square piece of parchment paper.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, water, molasses, eggs, and oil until smooth.
Add half of brown sugar mixture to flour mixture. Use rubber spatula to stir well until batter is very smooth, about 1 minute. Add remaining brown sugar mixture and stir well again until batter is completely smooth, about 1 minute.
Use rubber spatula to scrape batter into parchment-lined baking pan and smooth top (make sure to spread batter into corners to create even layer).
Place baking pan in oven. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
Use oven mitts to remove baking pan from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking pan on cooling rack and let cake cool completely in pan, about 1½ hours.
Usually, when making cakes, it’s important to stir the batter very gently (and not a lot!). That’s because gluten, the protein in flour that turns into a network when mixed with water, becomes stronger and stronger the more you stir. Often, a super-strong gluten network means a tough cake. And nobody wants that. But this cake is different. Gingerbread batter is heavy and wet and needs a strong gluten network to make sure it doesn’t sink in the middle while baking. So it’s important to work your arm muscles with this recipe, stirring and stirring the batter until it’s super smooth!