A timeless, classic recipe for traditional gingerbread! 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! Make sure to top it off with a dollop of homemade whipped cream!
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 (affiliate).
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, and 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.
My mom makes this recipe a lot 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. 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) and I 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.
The cake 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 it 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 scoopful of vanilla ice cream would also taste great along a warm slice of gingerbread, now that I’m thinking about it.
A classic gingerbread recipe! Closely adapted from Good Housekeeping (affiliate).
- 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!