A timeless, classic, traditional Gingerbread recipe! This is one of my family’s favorite recipes. It makes for a dense but soft, moist, and richly flavored gingerbread, perfectly flavored with molasses, brown sugar, and lots of cozy spices!
Not to be confused with gingerbread cookies, this cake is so simple to whip together. Make sure to top yours off with a dollop of homemade whipped cream! Recipe includes a how-to video at the bottom of the post!
Maybe you’ve noticed by now that nearly all of my family favorite recipes originate from the same source. My favorite Angel Food Cake, Chocolate Fudge, and now this Gingerbread recipe all originate from my mom’s incredibly worn out Good Housekeeping cookbook.
And that book is really, really, worn out, too. The binding has literally been duct taped together at this point. Each time you open it, pages flutter out and onto the floor. The most well-loved pages are covered in chocolate and molasses stains. It is probably the most well-used cookbook I’ve ever known, and for good reason. The recipes inside of it are classics, and they’re really, really good.
I knew that I wanted to share a Gingerbread recipe for the holidays, but not just any recipe, I wanted it to be this one.
A Classic Gingerbread Recipe
My mom makes this recipe often and it never lasts long. It’s so simple to make, is richly flavored with molasses and traditional gingerbread spices, and it comes out perfectly every. single. time.
I did make a few minor tweaks to this recipe to make it my own. After a few recipe test runs, I decided that I preferred to use butter rather than the shortening that the recipe called for originally (and I recommend using European butter, if you can get your hands on it). I also traded out white sugar for dark brown sugar for even more of that rich molasses flavor.
Make sure that you use unsulphured molasses for this gingerbread. I always use Grandma’s brand because that’s what my grocery store carries, and it says “unsulphured” right on the label.
Gingerbread comes out heavy, but each bite is perfectly flavored and moist and just melts in your mouth. This is the perfect cozy wintertime treat.
I recommend serving your Gingerbread while it’s still warm rather than waiting to allow it to cool completely. Don’t get me wrong, the leftovers are incredible, but there’s just something so delectable about still-warm gingerbread .
My siblings and I always topped ours off with Cool Whip, but now that I’m older and wiser I only use my homemade whipped cream recipe 😉. A big scoop of vanilla ice cream would also be a great pairing, now that I’m thinking about it.
More Recipes You May Enjoy:
How to Make Gingerbread
Be sure to check out my Gingerbread Recipe VIDEO just below the recipe! If you enjoy these videos, please consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel so you can be the first to see all of my cooking videos <3
- ½ cup unsalted butter (preferably European butter) softened to room temperature (113g)
- ½ cup dark brown sugar tightly packed (100g)
- 1 cup unsulphured molasses (235ml) (I use Grandma's brand)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (312g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup boiling water (235ml)
- Whipped Cream for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and prepare a 9"x9" baking pan by either generously greasing and flouring or by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine butter and brown sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until creamy.
- Add molasses and stir until well combined.
- Add egg and vanilla extract. Stir well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet until completely combined.
- Carefully stir in boiling water until ingredients are smooth and well-combined.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake on 350F (175C) for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Allow to cool before slicing and serving. This Gingerbread tastes best when topped with whipped cream!
Treat yourself to a FREE E-BOOK!
This Gingerbread recipe was originally published 12/15/2017, post updated to include video and more tips 11/12/2018.