Classic Gingerbread


The ultimate Christmas treat, gingerbread is wonderful warm from the oven with a drizzle of tangy lemon sauce. Or skip the sauce and serve it with ice cream.

Classic Gingerbread
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cool Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ cup shortening

  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup mild-flavored molasses

  • ½ cup water

  • Lemon Sauce

  • Thin lemon peel strips (optional)

Lemon Sauce

  • cup sugar

  • 4 teaspoon cornstarch

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 6 tablespoon butter

  • ¼ cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x1-1/2-inch round cake pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg and molasses; beat for 1 minute. Alternately add the flour mixture and the water to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Spoon Lemon Sauce over individual servings. If desired, garnish with lemon peel strips. Makes 9 servings.

Lemon Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water, finely shredded lemon peel, and lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is slighty thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Gradually stir hot mixture into 2 beaten egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Gradully stir in butter, cut up, stirring until melted. Stir in half-and-half, light cream, or milk. Serve warm.

To Bake Ahead:

Prepare and bake gingerbread as directed. Completely cool in pan on rack. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place gingerbread in an airtight container; cover. Freeze for up to 3 months. Prepare the Lemon Sauce as directed. Cool for 15 minutes. Spoon into an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. In a small saucepan, heat and stir over low heat just until warm.

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