2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup light unsulphured molasses
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice raw turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Film the inside of a 9-inch round baking pan (2 inches deep) with nonstick flour-and-oil spray.
For the batter, sift the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and granulated sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk any small flakes of whole wheat flour left in the bottom of the sifter into the flour mixture. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk the melted butter, molasses, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract until well-blended, about 1 minute. Pour the whisked ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir to form a batter, using a wooden spoon or paddle. The batter will be thick.
Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it into an even layer with a rubber spatula.
For the finish, sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top of the batter.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until risen and set. A wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake will withdraw clean. The baked cake pull away slightly from the sides of the baking pan.
Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto another cooling rack, lift off the baking pan, then invert again to stand right-side up. Cool completely. Cut the cake into pie-shaped wedges for serving, using a serrated knife. Store in an airtight cake keeper.
one 9-inch cake, creating one dozen slices
on baking day, or up to three days in advance, stored in an airtight cake keeper
◊ use the thickest buttermilk available to maintain the stability of the batter as it bakes
◊ using evaporated cane juice raw turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top of the batter creates a crunchy textural finish