How to Make Gingerbread

When learning how to make gingerbread, you might be talking about many recipes. Everything from crunchy and soft ginger cookies to bread pudding and cake are referred to as gingerbread. Here I want to eliminate the cookies, cakes, muffins, etc. and stick to what I consider gingerbreads. You will be able to find those other recipes in their special sections of this website.

How to Make GingerbreadHow to Make Gingerbread

Different forms of gingerbread have been around for centuries. Many of these old fashioned recipes have been around since the eighteenth century. The slightly sweet peppery flavor of ginger makes wonderful breads, cakes, cookies and candies as well as entrée dishes. The fragrance of fresh homemade gingerbread regularly radiated from cooks’ kitchens. Unfortunately, it is not as common in today’s world.


Dried ground ginger was one of those common spices always found in Mom’s kitchen and then in mine. It was only natural for me to learn how to make gingerbread when I was young. Since that time, many recipes have been created for this bread. It is also possible that many of these recipes were brought here by people arriving from other countries.


Since my early learning days (I am still learning.) I have learned how to make gingerbread with other forms of this wonderful spice. I often use dried ginger boiled in my spice tea or in dishes when I cook for longer periods. Candied ginger or crystallized ginger is called for in some of my recipes. To me this gives a milder flavor to the recipe. 


My favorite form of ginger above all is fresh ginger. I love the stronger pepper taste when it is fresh and I use it in almost all entrees. Since I learned how to make gingerbread, sometimes I replace other forms with grated fresh. At first, I was surprised at how I loved the fresh in cakes, cookies and gingerbread. If you love the taste of ginger, do not be afraid to try the fresh in different recipes like the bread.


I have so many what I call “basic” gingerbread recipes. I cannot say I like one so much more than others; all are good. Most contain basically the same ingredients, maybe a little more or less of some things like eggs. Some are made with boiling water, hot water or cold water and some made with milk, sour milk or buttermilk. All seem to have a lot of flavorful spices and most contain molasses. The first 4 recipes are a few of my basic ones.

KAHLUA GINGERBREAD with key lime curd

Kahlua Gingerbread with Key Lime SauceKahlua Gingerbread with Key Lime Sauce
Kahlua GingerbreadKahlua Gingerbread

Learn how to make gingerbread flavored with Kahlua and served with Key lime sauce.

  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 1/3 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • 2/3 Cup hot water
  • 1/3 Cup Kahlua
  • 2 Tablespoons brewed coffee
  • Key Lime Curd (Recipe Below)
  • Whipped cream
  • Mint sprigs/ key lime rind (OPTIONAL garnish)

Preheat oven to 325F degrees; grease and flour baking pan (9X13 inches).

Beat butter in mixing bowl with mixer until creamy; gradually beat in sugar.

Add egg to butter mixture; beat until well blended.

Add the flour and the next 9 ingredients; beat on medium speed until blended.

Spread batter in prepared pan; bake 35 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Cool to room temperature; cut in triangles.

Serve with Key Lime Curd and whipped cream; serves 12.


Key Lime Curd

Key Lime CurdKey Lime Curd
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Cup butter (Cut in pieces)
  • 2/3 Cup fresh Key lime juice (If not available, use lime)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated Key lime rind OPTIONAL
  • 4 Beaten eggs

Combine first 3 ingredients of curd and rind in heavy saucepan.

Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until butter melts.

Gradually stir in A FOURTH of the hot mixture into eggs.

Add egg mixture into the remaining hot mixture in the saucepan.

Cook and stir over low heat until thickened enough to coat a spoon.

Remove from heat and cool; cover and chill at least 2 hours.


HOW TO MAKE GINGERBREAD with butterscotch pear sauce

Gingerbread Recipe Served with a Butterscotch Pear SauceGingerbread Recipe Served with a Butterscotch Pear Sauce

Learn how to make gingerbread with delicious butterscotch pear sauce.

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ½ Cup solid shortening
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ Teaspoon salt
  • Butterscotch Pear Sauce (Recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325F degrees; grease and flour baking pan (9 Inches square).

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT pear sauce in large mixing bowl.

Beat on low speed of mixer to combine ingredients; INCREASE to medium.

Beat for 3 minutes until well blended scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 50 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Butterscotch Pear Sauce

  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • ½ Cup half and half
  • 2 Teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 Can sliced pears (Drain)

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and half and half in heavy saucepan.

Cook over low heat 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Stir in lemon peel and pears; heat thoroughly and serve with gingerbread.


OLD FASHIONED BASIC GINGERBREAD

Learn how to make gingerbread with basic recipe using hot water.

  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • 2 ½ Cups flour
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Cup hot water
  • Sweetened whipped cream OPTIONAL garnish

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease and lightly flour 9 inch pan.

Cream butter; gradually beat in sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Ass egg and molasses; beat until well blended.

In another bowl combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

Add flour mixture alternately with water to creamed mixture.

NOTE: After each addition to creamed mixture beat well to blend.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 35 to 40 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold with a dollop of whipped cream; serves 9.


OLD FASHIONED BASIC GINGERBREAD

Learn how to make gingerbread with buttermilk in the recipe.

  • ½ Cup solid shortening
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • 3 Eggs (Separated)
  • 1 Tablespoons ginger
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 Cups flour (Sift)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease and flour 9 or 10 inch baking pan.

Beat egg WHITES until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy; beat in molasses, egg YOLKS and ginger.

In another bowl stir together buttermilk and soda; add to the creamed mixture.

Add flour to mixture and mix well; fold in beaten egg whites.

Dump batter into prepared pan; bake for 45 minutes until pick comes out clean.


BASIC GINGERBREAD RECIPE

Learn how to make gingerbread with a basic recipe using boiling water.

  • ½ Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • 1 Cup corn syrup
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons hot water
  • 2 Cups sifted flour
  • 1 Cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease and flour baking pan (8X12 inches)

Combine spices, molasses, oil, eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl; beat well.

Dissolve soda in 2 tablespoons hot water; add and blend into mixture.

Stir flour into the mixture; add boiling water; beat quickly and lightly.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 30 to 35 minutes until pick is clean.


BASIC OLD FASHIONED GINGERBREAD RECIPE

Learn how to make gingerbread with a basic recipe including sour milk.

  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Cup sour milk *See Note below
  • 3 Cups flour
  • ¾ Cup molasses
  • ¾ Cup melted shortening (Old timers used melted lard)
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt

NOTE: Years ago cooks saved the older soured milk for cooking. Today it is hard to get because the pasteurized milk does not “sour” like the raw milk use to. You can use buttermilk instead of sour milk.

Preheat oven to 375F degrees; grease baking pan (9X13 inches).

Combine and mix eggs, sugar, shortening and molasses in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.

Add flour mixture alternately with sour milk to egg mixture; blend well.

Pour into prepared pan; bake 40 to 45 minutes.


FRESH GINGERY GINGERBREAD RECIPE

Learn how to make gingerbread with the great flavor of fresh grated ginger.

  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • ½ Cup grated fresh ginger
  • 2 ½ Cups flour
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease baking pan (9X13 inches).

Beat butter in mixing bowl until creamy; gradually add sugar beating well.

Add egg and molasses beating until well blended.

In another bowl combine flour and next 5 ingredients.

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternating with hot water.

Beat on low speed of mixer until blended and smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 40 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

Serves 12.


HOT FROSTED GINGERBREAD RECIPE

Learn how to make gingerbread with hot coffee and frosting over the hot bread.

  • ½ Cup shortening
  • ½ Cup strong hot coffee
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup molasses
  • 1 ½ Cups sifted flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger

Frosting

  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cream
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease 8 inch square baking pan.

Melt shortening in hot coffee; set aside.

Beat eggs, sugar and molasses, add shortening and coffee mixture.

Sift flour, baking powder and ginger; mix into egg mixture until blended.

Spread batter into prepared pan (Should be ½ inch deep); bake 25 minutes.

FOR FROSTING combine powdered sugar, cream and vanilla until smooth.

Spread over the hot baked gingerbread; cool to warm and serve.

Makes 9 servings.


TROPICAL GINGERBREAD RECIPE

Learn how to make gingerbread with the added flavor of coconut.

  • ½ Cup butter
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup molasses
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ½ Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger
  • ¼ Teaspoon EACH allspice, cloves, nutmeg’
  • ½ Cup cold water
  • 1 Can moist coconut

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease shallow pan (8 inches).

Cream butter and sugar; add remaining ingredients in the order listed.

Place batter in prepared pan; bake 30 to 35 minutes.

Cut in squares and serve with whipped cream; serves 6 to 8.


GINGERBREAD RING with lemon sauce

Learn how to make gingerbread in a tube pan with flavorful lemon sauce.

  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¾ Cup water
  • Powdered sugar

Lemon Sauce

  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ Teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1 Cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; coat inside 6 CUP TUBE PAN with nonstick spray.

In mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, ginger and baking powder.

Add to the bowl the ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.

In a small bowl combine brown sugar, molasses, oil and ¾ cup of water.

Stir the molasses mixture into the flour mixture just until blended.

Quickly pour batter into prepared pan; bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool to warm.

Dust gingerbread with powdered sugar.

FOR SAUCE combine sugar, cornstarch and lemon peel in small saucepan.

Add 1 cup water; cook and stir until bubbly and mixture thickens.

Cook 2 minutes longer; stir in the lemon juice.

Serve sauce with warm gingerbread; serves 12.


PUMPKIN GINGERBREAD RECIPE

Learn how to make gingerbread with pumpkin.

  • 3 ½ Cups flour
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • ½ Cup light molasses
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) pumpkin
  • 4 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease and flour baking pan (9X13 inches).

Beat all ingredients in a large mixing bowl on low speed for 30 seconds.

Beat on medium speed 3 minutes scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

Pour into prepared pan; bake 50 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Makes 16 servings.


GINGERBREAD PUDDING CAKE RECIPE

Learn how to make gingerbread in the microwave.

  • 1 Cup flour
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ Cup softened butter
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs (Separated)
  • ¼ Cup molasses
  • ½ Cup milk
  • 1 Can (21 Ounces) pie filling (Cherry, apple, peach, blueberry OR pineapple)
  • ¼ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

In a small mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon.

In another mixing bowl beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy; add egg YOLKS and molasses.

Beat mixture until well combined.

Add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the beaten mixture.

Beat just until well combined; set aside.

With clean beaters beat egg WHITES in mixing bowl until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Place pie filling, water and lemon juice in shallow microwave baking dish (8X8).

Cook uncovered on HIGH 4 to 5 minutes until hot and bubbly stirring one time.

Fold beaten egg whites into batter; spoon batter on top of pie filling.

Cook uncovered on HIGH 9 to 13 minutes or until done.

NOTE: Give the dish a quarter turn every 3 minutes. Scratch the surface with a wooden pick to check for doneness. If done a cooked texture will appear under the surface.

Serve warm; serves 8.


YEAST GINGERBREAD MEN

Learn how to make gingerbread with yeast.

  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • ¼ Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • ¾ Cup milk
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Cups flour (Divided)
  • 1 Cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 Egg (Beaten)

Combine yeast with warm water in measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Combine milk and next 3 ingredients in a small saucepan.

Heat mixture over low until butter melts stirring occasionally; cool to 115F degrees.

Combine the yeast mixture, milk mixture, 1 egg and 1 CUP of the flour in mixing bowl.

Add the graham crumbs, cinnamon, cloves and ginger; beat on medium speed until smooth.

Gradually stir in the 2 remaining CUPS of flour.

Cover dough and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide into 6 parts; set 5 parts aside.

Shape THREE FOURTHS of 1 part into an oblong shape about 5 inches long.

Place oblong shape on lightly greased cookie sheet.

Cut a lengthwise slit halfway through bottom to form legs.

Divide REMAINING ONE FOURTH into 3 equal parts.

Shape 1 part into a HEAD and 2 parts into 2 ARMS; press to attach to body.

Gently press raisins into dough for EYES and BUTTONS; repeat with remaining parts.

Cover and let rise in warm place 40 minutes; PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Gently brush with beaten egg; bake 15 minutes until golden brown.

Cool on wire racks; makes 6 gingerbread men.

› Gingerbread

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