Homemade Gingerbread


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Bake up a pan of Homemade Gingerbread for the warm and tingly taste of the winter holiday season. This simple recipe produces moist and tender cake flavored with the pleasant bite of ginger spice. Molasses provides depth of flavor and body.

Serve warm with dollops of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a cup of homemade eggnog on the side for a luscious Christmas treat.

A slice of gingerbread of a plate topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and cinnamon.

Why Is It Called Gingerbread?

As you no doubt know, gingerbread is really cake and not bread. According to Wikipedia, in past centuries ginger was preserved in honey. This candied confection was referred to as gingerbread.  Nowadays, of course, we buy dried, powdered ginger for use in all sorts of sweet and savory recipes.

Throughout the Middle Ages in Europe, gingerbread was baked into cakes, cookies, and gingerbread men which are still popular around the holidays. The candy studded gingerbread house that has become a tradition wherever Christmas is celebrated has its origins in Germany.

Left image - prepared gingerbread batter. Right image - batter being poured into the baking tray.

How to Make Gingerbread

Mixing gingerbread is just like preparing a cake batter.

  1. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another (per recipe below).
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients.
  3. Stir from the center out to combine, slowly incorporating the flour mixture and minimizing lumps.
  4. Pour batter into a pan and bake.

I use buttermilk in my recipe for the lift and softness produced by the acids reacting with the baking soda.  If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, it’s easy to make a substitute version:

  • Stir 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into 1 cup of whole milk.
  • Allow it to sit for five minutes to thicken.

You can alter the spice according to your preference. Cinnamon, cloves or other warming spices work well and will give this easy dessert more of a spice cake character.

How to Store It

Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and place in zippered bags. Gingerbread will keep 4 days at room temperature, or up to a week in the fridge.

  • Freezing is also an option for up to six months in freezer bags. Be sure gingerbread is completely cool before freezing to prevent the top from becoming gooey when thawed.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, or in your microwave at a low setting.

Holiday Treats and Cookies

Gingerbread

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
This recipe produces a moist and tender cake flavored with the pleasant bite of ginger spice.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour sifted (measure before sifting)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x9 cake pan.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and ginger in a small bowl.
  3. Combine egg, molases, sugar, buttermilk, and melted butter in a separate bowl.

  4. Using a hand mixer, mix wet and dry ingredients just until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe Notes

When measuring flour for this recipe, measure first then sift your flour.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 177, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 133mg, Potassium: 353mg, Carbohydrates: 35g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 20g, Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 105%, Calcium: 66%, Iron: 2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword gingerbread
Gingerbread lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
Gingerbread lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
Top photo - Gingerbread lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Bottom photo - A slice of gingerbread on a plate topped with powdered sugar.

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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