Grease a 10x10-inch cake pan, and then dust generously with flour.
Alternatively, add greased and floured parchment paper and place into cake pan.
Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, fold the flour and lard together on low speed until completely combined, about four to five minutes.
Add the molasses, cinnamon, fresh ginger (if using), and allspice, and mix on low. Make sure to occasionally stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the molasses, lard, and seasonings are blended.
Add the baking soda and salt, then the milk to the batter, and stir until well incorporated.
Pour the batter into the pan, and place into the oven.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake has receded from the edges of the pan and a toothpick placed in the centre comes out clean. Depending on the size of your pan, it may take a bit more or less time. Just keep checking until it comes out nice and clean.
Leave cake in pan for about 20 minutes, and then invert onto a rack.
Serve on its own or as a dessert with maple whipped cream.
For the maple whipped cream:
In a bowl, sift the icing sugar over the whipping cream.
Start whipping the cream until soft peaks form.
Add the maple syrup and continue whipping until stiff peaks just start to form, Serve immediately in dollops on molasses cake.