Favorite Old-Fashioned Gingerbread


Old-fashioned gingerbread is everyone's holiday favorite. This recipe is so easy to make and probably very similar to the one your great-grandmother used to make. This moist and lightly spiced gingerbread cake can be served with a dusting of powdered sugar, a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you prefer a gingerbread with more spice, just double or triple the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
1 9-inch cake

Old-fashioned gingerbread is festive, nostalgic, and wonderfully flavorful. This gingerbread recipe will quickly become a holiday tradition in your household.

Gingerbread Ingredients

These are the ingredients you'll need to make this top-rated gingerbread recipe:

· Butter: This gingerbread recipe starts with a stick of softened, unsalted butter.
· Sugar: White sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
· Egg: A large egg adds moisture and acts as a binder, which means it holds the batter together.
· Molasses: Make sure you use regular molasses and not blackstrap molasses, as the latter is likely to overpower the other flavors.
· Flour: All-purpose flour creates structure and helps hold the batter together.
· Baking soda: Baking soda acts as a leavener, which means it helps the gingerbread rise.
· Spices: This gingerbread is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and a pinch of salt.
· Water: Make sure to use very hot water — it'll loosen the gluten and create a light, fluffy texture.

slice of gingerbread cake topped with whipped cream and cinnamon
Rachell Schockey

How to Make Gingerbread

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this old-fashioned gingerbread:

1. Beat the butter, then beat in the sugar. Mix in the egg and molasses.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together.
3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix in the water.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

How to Store Gingerbread

Place the cooled gingerbread in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to three days. It will last for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Gingerbread?

Yes, you can freeze gingerbread. Wrap the cooled cake in storage wrap, then wrap it again in a layer of foil. Freeze for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

close up view of a slice of Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread on a plate with mint and cream

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"You can't beat a good gingerbread recipe," according to SHELLYBERRY. "To kick it up another notch I made some homemade applesauce and served it warm over the gingerbread and topped with fresh whipped cream."

"We have been using this recipe as a quick snack ever since the weather turned cold," says MOM3BOYS. "It is so quick and simple to make and really has the best flavor. Add a dollop of whipped cream to the cake while it is warm and it's the perfect winter night dessert."

"Made this for my Christmas dinner," says Trish. "It was just like I remembered gingerbread from years gone by. Very flavorful and wonderful texture. I served it with lemon curd and my family loved it."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup molasses (not blackstrap)

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup hot water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

  2. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy.

    Butter in a mixing bowl, getting creamed with a electric hand mixer

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, then mix in molasses until smooth.

    Molasses, egg and butter in mixing bowl getting mixed with hand mixer

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt into a large bowl.

    Flour and spices for gingerbread getting sifted into a clear mixing bowl

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Gradually add dry ingredients to the molasses mixture, mixing after each addition until incorporated. Mix in water until smooth.

    Dry and wet ingredients for gingerbread getting mixed together

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  6. Pour cake batter into the prepared pan.

    Gingerbread batter getting poured into square baking pan

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake; it should come out clean. If it does, remove cake from the oven; if not, bake 15 to 30 more minutes, checking often for doneness.

    Gingerbread in square baking pan

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  8. Allow gingerbread to cool in the pan before serving.

    low angle looking at a slice of gingerbread topped with whipped cream


Editor's Notes:

The original recipe called for 1 hour of bake time. Reviewers had different results, with some cakes being done after 30 or 45 minutes. The recipe has been updated to reflect a bake time of 30 to 60 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

375 Calories
11g Fat
65g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 9
Calories 375
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 435mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 24%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 32g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 90mg 7%
Iron 4mg 19%
Potassium 587mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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