You’ll love this Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze recipe. If you’ve only had gingerbread cookies, you’ll be delighted with this moist, light, and cakey old-fashioned gingerbread scented with warm spices and topped with a sweet-tart lemon glaze.
The only good thing about cold weather at this time of the year is that it puts everyone in the Christmas spirit. All our tastiest cold weather recipes start making appearances. Soups, chilis, and stews. Hot cocoa. Mulled wine. And spicy, warm, fragrant Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze.
If you’ve never had the classic pairing of gingerbread with lemon glaze, you’ll be pleasantly pleased with this delicious combination. The glaze is just a light kiss of citrus on top of the warm, spicy gingerbread. It’s a flavor profile you never knew you were missing until you have it.
The fragrance of gingerbread baking is just delightful as the cinnamon, cloves, and ginger fill the house with holiday cheer. The spices used in gingerbread are truly ancient.
There have been volumes written about gingerbread’s origins and most experts feel sure it originated in the middle east. I think, considering the spices involved, that conclusion makes sense. It’s known to have been made in ancient Greece and Egypt, making its appearance in Europe in the 11th century when the Crusaders brought over new spices, including the very exotic ginger.
My gingerbread recipe is probably most similar to British gingerbreads. It’s moist, cakey, and very pungent from the molasses. The spices give it a warm feel in the mouth and the lemon glaze adds just the right amount of tart sweetness.
❤ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- SEASONAL – Gingerbread is a holiday staple with warm, winter spices.
- UNIQUE – It has a unique and distinct flavor profile.
- EASY! – It’s easy to make and the lemon glaze puts it over the top!
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🛒 About the Ingredients
- All of the ingredients in this recipe are standard pantry ingredients with the possible exception of molasses (also called black treacle). If you don’t have molasses on hand, you’ll need to pick up some as it is essential to the flavor of gingerbread. Just can’t make it without molasses.
🥄 How to Make Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking dish or pan with cooking spray or grease it well with butter.
Mix the Batter
Step 1. In a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy.
Step 2. Gradually add the sugar, beating well.
Step 3. Add the molasses and egg and beat until well combined.
Step 4. In a separate bowl, Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
Step 5. Add the flour and spice mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with water, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Step 6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan or dish.
Bake the Gingerbread
Step 7. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Make the Lemon Glaze
Step 8. While the gingerbread cools slightly, make the glaze. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has melted and the glaze is warm.
Step 9. Slowly pour over the top of the warm gingerbread.
👉 PRO TIP: Using a thin skewer or toothpick to make holes all over the gingerbread before pouring the glaze over will allow some of the glaze to run down into the gingerbread.
Step 10. Serve immediately.
❗ Recipe Tips
If you prefer, you can offer the glaze on the side rather than pouring it over the gingerbread. Or offer a choice of lemon glaze or a dollop of whipped cream.
🍚 Storage and Make Ahead Information
Gingerbread may be made up to 5 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature. It should keep for about a week.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
For this recipe, I recommend unsulfured molasses (such as Grandma’s Original). This is the least refined type of molasses.
This recipe is for a soft, old-fashioned gingerbread cake, not to be confused with gingerbread cookies.
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Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze
For the Gingerbread:
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup hot water
- Cooking Spray
For the Lemon Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- Grated rind of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Gingerbread:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the margarine or butter at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, beating well. Add molasses and egg and beat well. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with water, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Pour batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then pour Warm Lemon Glaze over gingerbread.
- Serve immediately.
For the Lemon Glaze:
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until warm.
- If you prefer, you can offer the lemon glaze on the side rather than pouring it over the gingerbread.
- Gingerbread may be made up to 5 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature. It should keep for about a week.
- This recipe is for a soft, old-fashioned gingerbread cake, not to be confused with gingerbread cookies.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on December 6, 2010. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.