gingerbread featured image
Nothing screams holidays like gingerbread, and this is the ultimate gingerbread recipe!
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Table of Contents
  1. Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Recipe
  2. Why We Love This Gingerbread Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Recommended Tools
  5. How to Make the Recipe
  6. Tips
  7. Storage Tips
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Other Easy Christmas Recipes
  10. Gingerbread Recipe

Gingerbread is a classic Christmas dessert. It’s warm, spicy, and nostalgic. You can’t go wrong with our old-fashioned gingerbread recipe which makes a dense, but moist cake with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves spices that will fill your home with all of the warm and yummy holiday scents!

gingerbread hero image

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Recipe

You simply can’t have Christmas without a little gingerbread! I love it so much that I have a hard time waiting until this time of year to whip up a batch. This is my tried and true gingerbread recipe, and I absolutely love it, I know you will too!

Gingerbread is a traditional classic recipe. But let’s get something straight, when I refer to gingerbread here, you might assume I’m talking about gingerbread cookies… but, I’m not! This is traditional gingerbread, which is more like a gingerbread cake.

It’s simple to put together, and when topped off with rich whipped cream and served with a cup of coffee, it doesn’t get much better! It’s the perfect wintertime dessert.

This recipe is so full of flavor and makes a super moist cake that seriously melts in your mouth. If you’ve never tried it, you are in for a real treat. Continue reading for the ingredients and how to make this classic Christmas dessert, you won’t be sorry you did!

Why We Love This Gingerbread Recipe

  • Classic gingerbread cake recipe
  • Easy to make.
  • Your house will smell amazing.
  • Moist cake – never dried out.
  • Delicious topped with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce (or all 3!)
gingerbread on a plate

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Unsulphured molasses
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Boiling water

Whipped Cream Topping:

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
gingerbread
  • 9×9 baking pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Mixing bowls
  • Hand held mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment
slices of gingerbread

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How to Make the Recipe

  1. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper, or spray with baking spray, and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves and stir.
    Pro-Tip: Remove 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture to use as a garnish sprinkle.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the spice blend (not the 1 teaspoon reserved) and whisk until completely incorporated.
    In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves. In a medium mixing bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the spice blend
  4. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter, brown sugar and egg until completely incorporated.
  5. Add the molasses and vanilla extract to the creamed butter mixture and mix to combine well.
    mix together the butter, brown sugar and egg. Add the molasses and vanilla extract to the creamed butter mixture
  6. Add the flour mixture to butter and combine just until all the flour has been evenly incorporated.
  7. Slowly pour the boiling water into the batter.
    Pro-Tip: Do not overmix. Use spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure that all the batter is evenly mixed.
    Add the flour mixture to butter . add boiling water
  8. Carefully pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes.
    pour the batter into the prepared pan
  10. Allow the cake to cool completely, on the counter, prior to slicing and garnishing with the whipped cream topping.
  11. Make the whipped cream topping while waiting for the cake to cool completely. Mix very cold heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  12. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag, or a zip top plastic bag with the corner snipped, and pipe a pretty swirl to the top of each piece of the gingerbread cake. 
    Pro-Tip: Use a pinch of that reserved spice blend to sprinkle lightly on top of the whipped cream and gingerbread cake.
    Mix very cold heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla extract in a large bowl.

Tips

  • Make sure to use unsulphured molasses. Unsulphured molasses is the finest quality molasses. It’s made using made from mature sugarcane, whereas sulphured molasses is made from sugarcane that hasn’t had as much time to mature. This is going to really affect the flavors in your gingerbread!
  • If you’re looking for extra strong flavor, you can choose to up the amount of cinnamon and ginger. Some recipes call for more and if you like strong gingerbread, it’s definitely a good option!
  • If you do not wish to make a homemade whipped cream, the squirt kind from the can works just as well.
  • Alternately, you can top individual pieces of gingerbread cake with a store bought, or homemade, caramel sauce drizzle.
    top gingerbread with caramel sauce

Storage Tips

  • To Store: This gingerbread cake is best served at room temperature.  It can be stored, in a covered container, on the counter for 3 days or in the refrigerator for upto 5 days.
gingerbread with gingerbread man on top

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gingerbread?

When you think about gingerbread, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is gingerbread houses and cookies! But, gingerbread, in general, refers to any baked good that has the gingerbread flavor. Gingerbread flavor is created by using ginger, cloves, nutmeg and/or cinnamon. Usually, it is sweetened up with something such as sugar.

There is a wide range of foods in the gingerbread category. Most common would be gingerbread cookies, but here we are talking about the moist loaf cake!

Can I Freeze Gingerbread?

Yes! Freezing your gingerbread can help keep it fresh for longer. If you store it in an air-tight container and put it in the freezer it can help to not only keep it fresh but to keep the moist and delicious flavor. If you’ll be serving it regularly, you can also store it in the fridge, but it may dry out faster that way.

What to Serve with Gingerbread?

As said above, you can keep things simple and serve your gingerbread with creamy whipped cream. Another option, is to serve with a rich vanilla ice cream, or to top it off with frosting. Really, anything creamy and white will do the trick!

I also love to serve this with a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or a latte! It’s the perfect compliment to any warm drink on a winter’s day.

Why did my gingerbread sink

There can be many reasons why your gingerbread cake sank. If your batter sits too long, if it is undercooked or if you open and close the oven door often during baking your gingerbread cake can sink.

How do I know when my gingerbread cake is done baking

A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

I can’t wait for you to enjoy this dessert. It’s the best comfort on a winter day. The gingerbread is moist and full of spicy flavors! It’s become a favorite in my house and I have a feeling it will in yours as well.

gingerbread with no topping

Other Easy Christmas Recipes

5 from 2 votes
gingerbread featured image

Gingerbread

Serves — 9
Nothing screams holidays like gingerbread, and this is the ultimate gingerbread recipe!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients
  

Cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp cloves
  • 1 cup boiling water

Whipped cream topping:

  • cups heavy whipping cream very cold
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350* F. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper, or spray with baking spray, and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Stir to make a spice blend. Remove 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture and set aside to use as a garnish sprinkle for the cake pieces when serving.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the spice blend (not the 1 teaspoon reserved). Whisk together to completely incorporate all the spices evenly into the flour. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and mix for another 30 seconds until the egg is completely incorporated.
  • Add the molasses and vanilla extract to the creamed butter mixture and mix to combine well.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to butter and combine, on low speed, just until all the flour has been evenly incorporated.
  • While your mixer is on low, slowly pour the boiling water into the batter. Mix just until all the water is incorporated. Do not overmix. You can use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure that all the batter is evenly mixed.
  • Carefully pour your batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow your cake to cool completely, on the counter, prior to slicing and garnishing with the whipped cream topping.
  • While your cake is cooling you can make your whipped cream topping by adding your very cold heavy whipping cream to a large bowl and mixing on low speed, with a handheld mixer, for 1 minute.
  • Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip, on high speed, for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • You can transfer your whipped cream to a piping bag, or a zip top plastic bag with the corner snipped, and pipe a pretty swirl to the top of each piece of your gingerbread cake.
  • You can use a pinch of that 1 teaspoon of spice blend you reserved to sprinkle lightly on top of the whipped cream and onto the top of your piece of gingerbread cake.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
This gingerbread cake is best served at room temperature.  It can be stored, in a covered container, on the counter for 3 days or in the refrigerator for upto 5 days.
Tips:
  • Make sure to use unsulphured molasses. Unsulphured molasses is the finest quality molasses. It’s made using made from mature sugarcane, whereas sulphured molasses is made from sugarcane that hasn’t had as much time to mature. This is going to really affect the flavors in your gingerbread!
  • If you’re looking for extra strong flavor, you can choose to up the amount of cinnamon and ginger. Some recipes call for more and if you like strong gingerbread, it’s definitely a good option!
  • If you do not wish to make a homemade whipped cream, the squirt kind from the can works just as well.
  • Alternately, you can top individual pieces of gingerbread cake with a store bought, or homemade, caramel sauce drizzle.
  • You can eat a piece of this gingerbread cake with your morning cup of coffee or heated up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delicious holiday dessert.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 715mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 926IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 4mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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