Easy Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Recipe

A slice of gingerbread on a white plate.

Winter is comfort food season, and what can be more comforting than an old-fashioned gingerbread cake? This gingerbread recipe is easy to make, and the result is warm and spicy and absolutely delicious.

Easy, old-fashioned gingerbread recipe

Winter makes us all hungry for comfort food. Cold weather and warm and spicy cake are made for each other!

What I wanted was a piece of my mom's gingerbread.

How to make this delicious gingerbread from scratch

I tried to resist my craving for gingerbread, but it was a losing battle. Gingerbread isn't one of my husband's favorite foods, so if I made some, I would have to eat most all of it by myself. And I would! I really didn't need all those calories.

But after wanting gingerbread for what felt like weeks, I finally gave in.

I went hunting for my mother's gingerbread recipe, because the definition of comfort food is the food you remember from your childhood, right?

I thumbed through her cookbooks on my bookshelves, finding one book that had "Gingerbread" circled in the index. I 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 Mom's cookbooks, I looked through my grandma's and my aunt's cookbooks.

My goodness, I had no idea there were so many ways to make gingerbread. Some recipes 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 was sure Mom had used baking soda, so that narrowed down the recipes a bit.

Some recipes used ginger as the only spice, while still others had a variety of spices in the ingredients.

White measuring cup with spices inside

I remember Mom adding more than just ginger, and I wanted more depth of flavor than is given by ginger alone. So, as I often do, I experimented until I had a recipe that tasted - as far as I can remember - like my Mom's gingerbread.

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The gingerbread recipe

If you'd like to give this warm and spicy gingerbread a try (and you'll be glad you did), this recipe will make a 9"x9" pan full of gingerbread that will soothe all your comfort-food cravings.


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


Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9"x9"x2" baking pan.

Beat the first three ingredients (molasses, water and butter) in a large mixing bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, for 30 seconds.

A bowl of molasses, water and butter

Combine the rest of the ingredients in another large bowl, then add to the wet ingredients.

Beat on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally for about 3 minutes.

Flour, sugar and an egg in a mixing bowl

Pour the batter into the greased and floured pan.

Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then cut into squares. Serve warm with butter on top, or cold with a topping of whipped cream.

A slice of gingerbread on a white plate

The result is absolutely delicious, a warm and spicy gingerbread cake. I like it even better than my Mom's gingerbread.

Maybe someday my own children will want their mom's gingerbread recipe.

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Related Posts:
My Mother's World-Famous Pumpkin Bread
How to Prepare for Winter Storms

Old-fashioned gingerbread on a white plate with fork.


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