Not My Mom's Gingerbread Recipe

Gingerbread, in search of Mom's recipe with a depth of spice and flavor

Winter makes me hungry for comfort food.

Everywhere I look there are TV commercials, blog posts, and store displays that showcase holiday foods. The power of suggestion is real, folks.

And while it wasn't the subject of a commercial, what I wanted was a piece of my mom's gingerbread.

How to make the most delicious gingerbread from scratch

I tried to be strong but it was a losing battle. Since gingerbread isn't one of hubby's favorites, if I made some, I would have to eat most of it by myself. I really don'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 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 a recipe from very old cookbook even though it didn't contain all the spices that I was sure were in Mom's gingerbread.

But I wanted more depth of flavor than is given by ginger alone so, as I often do, I combined two recipes into one.

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The directions

If you'd like to give this warm and spicy gingerbread recipe a try too, you'll need the following to make a pan full of gingerbread that will soothe all your comfort-food cravings.

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
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 wet ingredients (molasses, water and shortening) in a large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, for 30 seconds.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in another bowl, then add to the wet ingredients. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally for about 3 minutes. Pour into the greased and floured pan.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

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 square baking  pan that all of those recipes had recommended.

Gingerbread spices



Gingerbread, holiday comfort food

How was it? Excellent! I'll make it again, for sure!

And yet, it wasn't quite my mother's gingerbread.

I could continue looking for a recipe more like Mom's, which would mean I might have to make a lot of gingerbread!

Or maybe, after making this warm-and-spicy recipe, I've decided I like it better.

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

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Gingerbread, the perfect holiday comfort food

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

Make this oh-so-delicious gingerbread recipe for a warm and spicy holiday snack.

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