Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pomegranate Molasses Butter Cake

I recently became aware of pomegranate molasses and decided to try making my own today. It seemed simple enough, just simmer the juice with some sugar and a little lemon juice and in about half an hour you have molasses. Although I've never really been a fan of pomegrante juice, I liked the idea of using the molasses in a dessert..and it's such a pretty color! ( My camera doesn't show the pretty light pink color of the glaze very well..but it's there).
So once I made the molasses, I went in search of a cake recipe and found this one from the New York Times.
It sounded easy enough and I had just enough molasses to make the cake. You get three "hits" of the molasses, once in the cake, again in the glaze and then mixed with the nuts that are sprinkled on top of the cake. Yet with all that, the pomegranate flavor is still very subtle.
The cake turned out great, though. It's moist, not too sweet and the nuts on top give it a wonderful crunch.
So to make the molasses, just place 1 cup pomegranate juice in a small saucepan with a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and let it simmer til it becomes thicker and coats the back of a spoon.
Stir the mixture occasionally and be sure to lower the heat as it simmers but keep an eye on it.
Then pour it into a small bowl. Set it aside to cool down.

To begin the cake, mix the milk with 2 tablespoons of the molasses and set it aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl til light and fluffy.
Then add the eggs, then the flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with the milk/molasses mixture.
Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan and bake.

I used a round pan, rather than the square pan originally called for in the recipe.

Once the cake has baked and cooled, place the nuts in a small saucepan with the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the molasses and cook on low heat til the sugar has dissolved.

Also make the glaze at this time by combining powdered sugar and light cream with 1 tablespoon of the molasses.

Once the cake has cooled, put it on a pretty plate and pour the glaze on top, allowing it to drip down the sides. ( I only used half the glaze amount.)
Then sprinkle on the nut mixture. That's it!
Pomegranate Molasses Butter Cake ( from the New York Times, March 2010)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses ( recipe follows)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup confectioners sugar
6 tbsp. light cream ( I used 3 tbsp. heavy cream and 3 tbsp. half & half)
1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans ( I used pecans)
1 tsp. pomegranate molasses
4 tsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Butter, then lightly flour a 9" square cake pan ( I used a round cake pan).

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.
2. In a small bowl, combine the milk and 2 tbsp. of molasses.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar til light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk/molasses mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes. ( Mine took 30 minutes).
7. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.
8. Make the glaze by whisking the confectioners sugar, cream and 1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses.
9. Pour and smooth out the glaze on top of the cake.
10. Make the topping by mixing in a small saucepan, the walnuts or pecans, 1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses and 4 tsp. sugar and cook over low heat about a minute til the sugar dissolves.
11. Sprinkle the nut mixture on top of the glaze.

Pomegranate molasses ( makes enough for this cake):

Place 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice in a small saucepan.
Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or til it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and has been reduced by more than half. Pour into a small dish to cool.
(Yields approx. 1/3 cup molasses)


  1. What a beautiful cake! The glaze is so creative.

  2. That cake looks amazing! You really did a good job there, :)
    I will definitely give this a try, I love baking. Pecan nuts are the best and I'm quite intrigued with the pomegranate flavor. I can't wait to give it a go. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Yes, this cake is definitely worth it!



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