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November 18, 2013


Winter makes me hungry. Everywhere I look there are TV commercials, blog posts, and store displays that showcase holiday foods. My brain says I want gingerbread.

After wanting gingerbread for what felt like weeks, I gave in. I went hunting for my mother's gingerbread recipe. I could not find it. I went through her cookbooks on my bookshelves. I found one book that had "Gingerbread" circled in the index, and thought that must be The One, but it had sour cream in it and I don't remember that she put sour cream in her gingerbread.

When I exhausted her cookbooks, I looked through my grandma's and my aunt's cookbooks. I had no idea there were so many ways to make gingerbread. Some required two eggs, some just one egg, I even found a recipe that did not use an egg at all. And while they all used 1/2 cup of some kind of shortening (butter, shortening, and even bacon grease), the amounts of water and molasses and flour all varied widely. Some used baking soda and others used baking powder.

I finally settled on this recipe from the Gold Medal Century of Success Cookbook. (I sent in several proofs of purchase to get this paperback book many years ago. To buy it used on Amazon now will cost you around $43!) It's called "Gingerbread with Butterscotch-Pear Sauce". Doesn't that sound yummy? I didn't plan to make the sauce though, since it requires half-and-half and I don't have any at the moment.

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup light or dark molasses
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt

I am sure my mother's recipe included cloves and nutmeg and even mace. Mace is over $5 a bottle at my little grocery store, so I don't have any. I did, however, add 1/4 teaspoon of cloves and of nutmeg to my mixing bowl - those were the amounts suggested in some of the other gingerbread recipes.

"Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour baking pan 9x9x2 inches. Beat all ingredients in large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 3 minutes. Pour into pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes."
Flour, sugar, egg

Rather than mix it all in one bowl, I mixed the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another, and then combined the two.

Butter, molasses, boiling water

My mother always made gingerbread in a loaf pan, like banana bread and pumpkin bread are done, but as soon as I poured this into the loaf pan I knew it was too full, so I used the 9x9x2-inch pan that all of the recipes recommended.

So, how was it? Good. It's not my mother's gingerbread, but it's good. I imagine it's fantastic with the sauce poured over the top. But I'm still on a quest to find a recipe more like Mom's. That might mean I have to make a lot of gingerbread. Maybe I need to try the one with sour cream in it.

Just in case you want to try making that yummy-sounding Butterscotch-Pear Sauce to go on top, here's the recipe for that:

Butterscotch-Pear Sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 can (16-ounces) sliced pears, drained [or a pint of home-canned pears]

Mix brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and half-and-half in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in lemon peel and pears, heat through.

Do you like gingerbread? (I found out my hubby doesn't much care for it, which explains why I haven't made any in years.) What is your favorite recipe?

This post has been shared at the following: 
Homestead Barn Hop, Backyard Farming Connection, Tuesdays with a Twist, Down Home Hop, Thankful HomeAcre Hop, Home and Garden Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursdays, Frugal Ways Sustainable Days, Fall Into the Holidays, From the Farm, Freedom Fridays, Farm Girl Fridays, FJI's Party Junk, Strut Your Stuff, Simply Natural Saturdays, Modern Homesteaders, Clever Chicks, Creative HomeAcre Hop,
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  1. I love gingerbread. It's so old-fashioned and comforting. I want to try this recipe! It looks delicious!

    1. Holiday comfort food, right, Leslie?

  2. This makes me so happy. :-) I was craving gingerbread yesterday, but REAL gingerbread, like yours. Now I have a recipe. Thank you! :-)

    1. You're welcome, Rambling Tart. I hope you find it delicious.

  3. The last time I made gingerbread was 4 1/2 years ago, for our wedding. I made a total of 5 cakes, & the gingerbread was tipped with a lemon glaze of my own creation. Competing against carrot cake, lemon silk cake, a ridiculously decadent chocolate one, a very white, white cake (that took me 5 test recipes, before finding THE white cake, at hubby's request - I think he just wanted to keep those test cakes coming!) , the gingerbread was the least eaten. But there were only 20 people in attendance, & not only was that a lot of cake, but, we had a huge grill-full of kabobs, in 3 different meats, & a slew of other favorites. I was kind of surprised ANY of it was eaten! Lol

    Thanks for the reminder of the gingerbread! Its high time another found its way onto out plates!

  4. Carla, all those cakes sound delicious. What a wedding feast that must have been! I'm smiling at your comment about your hubby enjoying all the test cakes.

  5. Rachelle, thank you for visiting!

  6. Love this recipe. I have always loved gingerbread since I was a child and love the pear sauce - sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Tuesday with a Twist.

  7. The pear sauce does sound good, doesn't it? I was wishing I had the half-and-half to make it with our gingerbread.

  8. This looks so yummy. I'm pinning the recipe. I'll have to make this over the next month or so.

  9. I hope you enjoy it, Rhonda. Thanks for the pin.

  10. That looks wonderful! I'm going to pin this for later.

    Thanks so much for sharing at Handmade Christmas!

  11. I've really enjoyed your series, Angi.

  12. Thanks for sharing on From the Farm hop. I don't yet have a good gingerbread recipe, so I may try this one. It looks delicious in the photo, and also looks easy to make.

  13. This is the perfect time of the year for this lovely gingerbread! Just pinned and shared on FB:)))

    Thanks so much for sharing this lovely recipe!
    Hugs from Freedom Fridays With All My Bloggy Friends!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing it, Evelyn.

  15. Anonymous12:43 PM

    You always have the best pictures with your recipes! Mmmm. This sounds like it would be perfect with coffee. :)

  16. My favorite recipe comes from a cookbook from Campbell's . Not only did it have recipes but a brief history about it.

  17. How wonderful a small piece of this would be, especially not that the air has become so cool.

  18. Ann, Ann and Lynn: I love it with a mug of hot chocolate. I wonder if that's one reason I was craving it: the weather is cooler and it's time for "fall" things.

    Thank you all for stopping by!

  19. I love Gingerbread in the winter! Thanks so much for linking to Freedom Fridays! I've pinned this and have it scheduled to be shared on FB today :) Have a Happy Thanksgiving - we hope you'll join us again this week! {hugs}

  20. Thank you for sharing the post, Jamie. :-)

  21. Hi Kathi! I featured your post on The Creative Home & Garden! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Kathi, I saw this featured at the Creative Home and Garden Hop- I can see why- it looks wonderful! I know what you mean about trying to re-create that certain taste that we remember- mom's gingerbread or grandmother's tea cakes. I do love gingerbread- I make a shoo-fly cake that has a great gingerbread flavor.

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! :)

    Love, Joy @ Yesterfood

    1. Thank you, Joy. I'm glad you stopped by. :-)

  23. Anonymous8:26 AM

    I love your tutorial and especially love the recipe for ginger bread, I will be making it soon. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick