Friday, October 22, 2010

My Mom's Favorite Gingerbread

Recently, when I was in Kentucky, I came across more recipes from my mother and grandmother that  Kelly had "borrowed."  I was delighted to see the gingerbread recipe my Mom had made for us and since the day was cool and blustery, I thought it would be a good one for me to make too.

Gingerbread was brought to Europe by an Armenian.  English gingerbread is a soft treacly (molasses) cake, usually baked in a square pan. My Mom baked this gingerbread in a square pan, but I decided to do it today in a ring.  Now, mind you, gingerbread by itself is good, but Mom would make this warm lemon sauce that enhanced the gingerbread even more.  This was one of my Dad's absolute favorites.  He liked molasses so much that when Mom made pancakes or waffles, Dad would pour molasses over them instead of maple syrup.

Gingerbread is definitely one of those flavors I associate with Fall, right along with pumpkin and apples.  I'm not sure where this recipe came from, but it was one that my Mom made over and over again.  I have updated her version with just a few changes, but I know she would love it.  It was her favorite!

My Mom's Favorite Gingerbread

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven 350F-degrees.  Use a non-stick spray on your preferred pan: 9-inch square, 8-cup bundt pan, or mini Bundt pans

In the bowl of the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar completely.  Add the molasses and beat again.  Add the egg and beat to incorporate well.  Add the vanilla and spices and beat to combine.  Sift the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Pour batter into prepared pan.
  I used this paper ring mold and place it onto a baking sheet before putting it in the oven for 40-45 minutes.  Bake square pan 35-40 minutes, bundt cake pan 40-45 minutes and mini bundt pans 25-28 minutes.

Lemon-Ginger sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
2T cornstarch
1 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. ginger extract

In a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch together.  Gradully add the water, whisking to combine.  Cook over medium heat until the mixture boils and starts to thicken.  Add the butter, one  tablespoon, mixing well.  Add the juice and zest and stir well.  Take the mixture off the heat and add 1/2 tsp. ginger extract.  Serve warm sauce over the gingerbread.  Enjoy!


  1. Looks wonderful Susan! I am very intrigued to try this with the lemon sauce :) might be the perfect thing to take to my MIL's tonight for a bday party!

  2. Allison, you could also put some chopped apples or pears in the batter, but as a purest, I just love a slab of gingerbread and the lemon sauce will definitely become a favorite with this cake and other "plain" cakes. xoxo

  3. Hi Susan! This looks delicious - another of "Susan's Must-Try Recipes". This week I baked your Pumpkin Banana Bread with Cranberries & Walnuts and Pistachio-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. I made them in small loaf pans and incorporated them into a gift basket for our neighbor who is recovering from heart surgery. She loved them. Now I must decide what to bake next. Hmmm...I'm really wanting to decorate cupcakes for Halloween!
    Hugs, -mary

  4. I haven't had gingerbread with lemon sauce before... looks scrumptious!

  5. You definitely should have your own cooking show. You are better & more original than any of the programs on TV. Great combinations!

  6. I baked the gingerbread this afternoon and it smelled heavenly---tasted even better!! (I used a 9" square pan.) The lemon sauce is the easiest and best and is one of my favorites. Today was a perfect day for baking---the temp had fallen to 35 degrees overnight and it was a cool 66 in the house this morning.