Pumpkin Stout Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting


I’m back from Toronto. I miss my clean, empty hotel room with its crisp white sheets and view of the city.

This afternoon I spent a blissful 2 1/2 hours wandering down Queen Street, through Chinatown, past the Ontario College of Art & Design, where everyone wore great-fitting jeans and cute blazers with hip, poufy scarves and rode bikes and had perfect skin…

to Kensington Market.

I bought cheese – Wensleydale, as a coming-home gift for W, who adores Wallace and Gromit and loves to say Wensweydale in the cutest sort of way, and a thin wedge of emmental – at the same cheese shop my mum brought me to when I was little and we lived there. I bought a glossy, tawny sesame seed bagel at the Market Bakery, and walked past the fish mongers, recalling having walked through that same stretch when I was pregnant and had a bionic sense of smell, and the aroma coming from that cluster of fresh fish shops had me hunched over the gutter.

And I’m pretty sure I saw Bob Geldof running to get into his car before he got a parking ticket.

I also saw a bright orange squid bra in Chinatown. Honestly – doesn’t this look like it would feel ultra-realistic? And with tassels! You’d just have to get past the smell…

And impossibly cheap produce – 5 pomegranates for $1? Three heads of lettuce for $1?

I stopped for lunch at Little India on Queen Street, temptingly close to John Fluevog, and ate spinach paneer, curried chick peas, sweet, almost ketchupy butter chicken, lamb something or other and crispy zucchini pakoras. A great deal for $11.

Back home past 7, the boys had eaten so I settled on a wedge of gingerbread I made earlier in the week using pumpkin puree and stout (like Guinness, or any dark beer) and topped with cream cheese frosting. Time to unpack, repack, and get some stuff done before heading to Vancouver tomorrow before dawn.

And wow, look at that, well past midnight already!


Pumpkin Stout Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe link


October 9, 2009


1 cup dark stout, such as Guinness or Wild Rose Alberta Crude Oatmeal Stout

1/2 cup molasses

1 tsp. baking soda

3 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)

1/4 cup butter, softened

half an 8 oz. (250 g) pkg. regular or light cream cheese

2-3 cups icing sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla


1Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a Bundt pan really well with nonstick spray.

2In a medium saucepan (you need room for the mixture to foam up), combine the stout and molasses over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Set aside until the foam subsides and the mixture cools slightly.

3In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, oil, pumpkin puree and ginger. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt.

4Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir just until combined. Add half the molasses mixture, then another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the molasses mixture and the rest of the dry ingredients, stirring after each addition just until combined.

5Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, until the top is springy to the touch. Cool for a few minutes, then invert onto a wire rack while still warm. Cool completely before spreading with cream cheese frosting.

6To make frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla, beating until the mixture is creamy and well-blended.

7 Add a little more sugar or milk if necessary to achieve a spreadable frosting.


One Year Ago: Bean Cookies


About Julie

32 comments on “Pumpkin Stout Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Anonymous
    October 9, 2009 at 4:36 am

    Thanks for the great photos, Julie! I am a faithful follower of your blog and love the way you write. I also just watched the bit about soup on good bite. Nice parka!

  2. Staci
    October 9, 2009 at 4:38 am

    Oops, forgot to enter my name. I’m the one who left you an “anonymous” comment. :-)

  3. Barb
    October 9, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Living through you Julie. I seldom leave home but I’m feeling freshly back from T.O. and jetting to Vancouver already. Take care of yourself!

  4. heather
    October 9, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Whoa. Stop me in my tracks. It’s 9a and I’m considering make that right now for breakfast! Delightful!



  5. Manon from Ontario
    October 9, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Hey girl, man you are busy, even busier than me!

    Thanks for those amazing pics, good thing you said it was Toronto, I would have never known, cool building!

    Sorry to say I’m way to busy to cook much anything else than regular meals for now, but Monday I plan to make that turkey in the crockpot…

    Take care my friend.


  6. Jessica
    October 9, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Is it crazy that I’m probably going to make this recipe because I have a little stub of fresh ginger left in the fridge that I don’t want to dry out and have to throw away (as it does so quickly up here!)? Well, that, AND the bread looks DELICIOUS. I would have to go buy some stout – hope I can find that Wild Rose, sounds intriguing! And cream cheese frosting *optional*? I don’t think so.

  7. Vivian
    October 9, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Mmmm, the cakey gingerbread looks so dark and inviting. This will be a first gingerbread for me, not something I’ve tackled before but dark stout in anything would make it fabulous. Have a great time in Vancouver, glad Toronto was so much fun. I loved the mini-tour!

  8. punkrawkknitter
    October 9, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I’m trying to convince my bf to go to Vancouver just to go to the Fluevog store…

  9. Hélène
    October 9, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I love gingerbread cake. I made one not too long ago. Next time I’ll have to try with the Guinness. Great idea.

  10. Erica B.
    October 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve made a similar gingerbread but not with pumpkin – brilliant addition. How you even find the time to post let alone bake I’ll never know. :)

    My $0.02: Watch the stout & molasses on the stove carefully – boil-overs can be hot & messy

  11. Sprouted Kitchen
    October 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    yum! this looks like it would be perfect for thanksgiving! maybe even in a layer cake so it looks fancier. Thanks for the idea, great post!

  12. Dana McCauley
    October 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Not only does your cake sound (and look fantastic), but your pics of my town are fantastic!

  13. Mama JJ
    October 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    When do you sleep????

  14. thepinkpeppercorn
    October 9, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    That cake looks SO good. I am also wondering when you sleep!

  15. Carol SB
    October 9, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Oh yeah. So I got the ginger out and chopped it, opened the stout… Oh, I should mention it’s Okanagan Springs Porter…It really is a lovely porter. Dark, rich… I’m sitting here with a wonderful bottle of porter in my hand, and.. well. The chopped ginger will go very well indeed in a batch of pear chutney.

  16. JulieVR
    October 9, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Sleep? What is this sleep you speak of?

  17. Jessica
    October 10, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I made the gingerbread last night with my boys – it was/is VERY tasty. Off to have another piece for breakfast. I used 1 cup white flour and 1 cup rye flour; I’ve been using this combination lately to try and vary my grain intake, and it was delicious. Congrats on all that’s going on, and have a great time in Vancouver. And do try to rest a bit while you’re there! :o)

  18. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    October 10, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Julie, that cake looks perfect for a fall day. Thank you! And thanks for taking us around Toronto via your photos. I’ll have to get my husband out and about next time we are in TO — rather than from the hotel to the conference and back to the hotel again, we are such chickens when it comes to exploring the big city.
    Just wondering, where do you stay while in Toronto?
    Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

  19. JulieVR
    October 10, 2009 at 10:11 am

    This time I stayed at the Hilton downtown – beautiful! The smoking room I ended up in the first night not so much – when they moved me the next day the same room in the non-smoking section was much nicer!

  20. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    October 10, 2009 at 10:12 am

    P.S. Loved the segment on Canada AM. It’s quite a sight to see a ham being shoved into a turkey. Thanks for the chuckle! Will have to give it a try one day.

  21. Sam@BingeNYC
    October 11, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Oh ma gawd. This looks fantastic. I love love love cream cheese frosting. Now I just need an excuse to bake a cake!

  22. Hilary
    October 12, 2009 at 7:06 am

    I never seem to tire of finding new pumpkin recipes during the month of October. This one looks especially inviting.

    That photo of your Indian meal is making me hungry. Time for lunch!

  23. Anna
    October 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for a little while now – and this is the first recipe I’ve tried. Good grief is it delicious! My housemate and I made it this weekend, and wanted to drink the molasses/Guiness mixture – it smelled that good. Our house still smells like fall. Thank you!!!

  24. Christine
    October 14, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I made the cake with Samuel Smith Imperial Stout and left off the frosting. Very good flavor! I might try it in a regular pan next time because I loved the damp tacky top on the “bottom” of the bundt cake. Great with coffee on a rainy day.

  25. Inga
    October 18, 2009 at 8:46 am


    Made the cake and it turned out better than expected. Thanks for that recipe.
    Also really like the “linkswithin” you’ve added to your blog.

  26. chelsea
    November 10, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Hi – I read your interview at Simmer Till Done last month and this recipe jumped out at me. I made this the other day and it is fantastic! Thank you so much! I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve posted a picture of mine with a link to your post and interview on my own blog. This is really a scrumptious take on gingerbread. Thanks again!

  27. Julie
    October 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Guinness and pumpkin and spices – all fave ingredients! What a lovely combo.

  28. Bridget Oland
    October 16, 2013 at 5:57 am

    I have gingerbread on the brain this morning so am having a ball surfing your site for recipes. This one looks especially delicious…

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