Rating: 4.5 stars 4.3
1372 Ratings
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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.

Recipe Summary

10 mins
30 mins
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
Credit: 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
Credit: Meredith

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.

low angle looking at a slice of gingerbread topped with whipped cream
Credit: dotdash meredith food studios

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
Credit: lutzflcat

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


Original recipe yields 9 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


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

  • Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, then mix in molasses until smooth.

  • Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt into a large bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to the molasses mixture, mixing after each addition until incorporated. Mix in water until smooth. Pour cake batter into the prepared pan.

  • 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.

  • Allow gingerbread to cool in the pan before serving.

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

375 calories; protein 4.4g; carbohydrates 65.3g; fat 11.2g; cholesterol 47.8mg; sodium 434.7mg. Full Nutrition