Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

Saturday 5 September 2020

In my quest to create more small batch recipes, this week I created a small batch Gingerbread Cake, built for two with leftovers. Not enough leftovers that you have it hanging around for a week or two or three.

Just enough so that you can enjoy it once as a dessert with something lush spooned over top, and once as a teatime treat, served warm, split and buttered. I hope that I am not the only person who enjoys my gingercake buttered! 

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

This is a lovely ginger cake, lacking none of the delicious flavours of a full sized ginger cake. It may be diminutive in size, but it is not diminutive in flavour!

It packs every bit as much of a flavour wallop as a full sized ginger cake/bread. There is plenty of warm baking spices in there and plenty of everything else we enjoy about this lush treat!

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

I have always been fond of gingerbread, probably since I read the story of Hansel and Gretel and the witches Gingerbread House.  I don't blame those two children for being tempted, I really don't.

I find myself wondering what did the forest smell like around the witch's property?  Was it the smell of the gingerbread that lured Hansel and Gretel to venture close?

I confess that a huge part of the pleasure from a ginger bread or cake comes from that fabulous smell which permeates the air of your home while it is baking.

It really doesn't matter if you are baking a full sized one or a small sized one, the smell is the same. Comforting. Welcoming. Home Sweet Home.  Hugs and family.

When I lived in Canada and had a wood stove, I confess I used to keep a pot of water with the warm baking spices simmering on the back of the stove  all day in the winter months.  People always thought I was baking. 

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

There is something really special about the combination of warm baking spices and wood smoke. It is really quite, quite intoxicating!

For this cake I used the warm baking spices of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground cardamom. 

I was tempted to add a bit of vanilla and lemon extracts, but I didn't this time. They would be nice, however I would not add more than 1/4 teaspoon of each.

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

It also has a small amount of molasses, which is another ingredient which makes ginger cakes and bread so beautiful. Moist.  Warm. Inviting.

You know back home in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island most people keep a pouring jug of molasses on the table at all times, and for all meals. If you grew up on the East Coast of Canada (or American for that matter) you had a jug of it in your cupboard.

People back there eat it with bread and butter. It has a long, long culinary history. This is largely due in fact to the history of Maritime trading between these Eastern provinces and states and the West Indies.

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

Back in the 1870's Lorenzo Crosby started an import/export business in Yarmouth Nova Scotia. In the late 1890's he moved the business to Saint John, New Brunswick.

He transported Maritime fish and lumber to the West Indies and the ships returned loaded to the gunwales with barrels of fancy molasses.

At first it was used to make rum, but Maritime Canadians developed a taste for it and before too long it was finding its way into many culinary delights such as baked beans, brown bread, cookies, and yes, gingerbread.

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

We cannot help it. We Maritimers have molasses running through our veins. My grandmother and mother made the best molasses cookies and gingerbread you could ever want to eat.

If you want a full recipe for a great gingerbread/cake you can find it here.  Grandmother's Gingerbread.  It is rich and moist and incredibly tasty.

Ginger bread and cakes have a wonderful infinity for the flavour of lemon.  I sometimes make a lemon sauce to serve with our ginger creations. You will find a recipe for another delicious Gingerbread and a lucious Spiced Lemon Sauce here.

I do have quite a few recipes for gingerbreads and cakes on this blog actually. You can see it is a real favourite of ours.  Just because we are only two that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy it. 

This lemon cream goes beautifully with this cake. It is rich and lush and lemony.  I could eat it with a spoon on its own. 

Its also relatively simple to make as well.  As simple as whipping some cream and folding in some lemon curd.  Easy peasy, lemon squeasy! 

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

If you are only two like us, or even if you are only one, I do hope that you will be tempted to bake this lovely dessert/cake/indulgence.  I don't think you will regret it.

I guarantee it will be destined to become a family favourite.  A smaller family favourite to be exact. Oh but we both enjoyed this today so very much. It will be baked again, and again.

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream
Yield: Makes one 5 inch square cake
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 30 Mininactive time: 15 Mintotal time: 55 Min
This is a beautifully moist and perfectly spiced Gingerbread cake perfectly sized for two people.  Its wonderful served warm, split and buttered with a nice hot cuppa, or as a dessert with a nice dollop of lemon cream on top.


  • 2 TBS caster (granulated) sugar
  • 2 TBS butter, softened
  • 1 large free range egg yolk (Freeze white for another purpose)
  • 1/4 cup (88g) mild molasses
  • 2/3 cup (90g) plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 5 inch square baking dish really well and set aside.
  2. Sift together the flour together with all of the spices and soda. Stir in the salt.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together unil smooth.  Beat in the egg yolk and then the molasses.  Add the flour mixture and mix well to combine.  Add the boiling water, combining well and then pour into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
  6. This is lovely split and buttered, or served warm with some ice cream, or whipped cream. I really like it with a lemon cream. See note.


To make a delicious lemon cream, beat 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Fold in a heaped dessert spoon of lemon curd.
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Small Batch Gingerbread Cake with a Lemon Cream

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  1. This looks delicious. Do you think this can be successfully doubled? Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes.


    1. Thanks Sue, There is a link in the body of my post to a full sized recipe if you want to try that one out! xoxo

  2. I loved the molasses discussion. I saw the jar of grandma's molasses in your post about spice labels and reorganization. That's my favorite brand!

    1. Thanks! It’s pretty much the only brand I can get over here. I buy it from an American supply company! It’s a very good molasses! Xoxo

  3. I served this with a lemon sauce sprinkled with diced candied ginger. Soooo good!

    1. I am so pleased that you enjoyed this Myrna and I love your additions! xoxo

  4. I'm definitely making this the next time I'm able to have my tea party with friends. But I'll have to make it for myself and hubby long before that!

  5. How do I find your blog? I'd love to get the recipe for the full cake size, as you mentioned. Thx!

    1. You are on my blog Dee! lol Nevertheless here is the link to a full sized cake:

  6. This was today's baking challenge and we both loved it. Perfect warm spices for autumn and how could I resist lemon and ginger. The kitchen smelled so wonderful while it was baking. I both mixed the home made lemon curd into the cream, dolloped some curd onto the cake (and spooned some straight into my mouth ... cook's prerogative, I always think - ha, ha!)

    We don't get molasses here, but I used something that translates as "dark baking syrup" (mörksirap) and that works quite well. I tend to use that in place of molasses and then a mix of that and light baking syrup if a recipe calls for Golden Syrup. Needs must and all that.

    It made a beautiful bite for afternoon tea. Another keeper recipe.

    1. Don't we cooks have a lot of perks Marie! You know those tasty little medallions of meat on the bottom of a cooked bird. Little oysters of succulence. Those are always mine and I don't feel in the least bit guilty! (well maybe a little bit!) I am really pleased you enjoyed this. Its a great little cake. I think living in foreign countries has made you and I very adaptable! Needs must and all that, I agree! Thanks so much! xoxo

  7. Can you omit cardamom without ruining the taste?

    1. Absolutely. I add it because I like it, but it's not absolutely necessary! Hope you enjoy! xo

  8. Hi is it possible to use a 6 inch round cake pan?

    1. I am sure that you could. It might be a tad bit thinner, but should still taste very good. It might also not take quite as long to cook. I would start checking it about 20 to 25 minutes. I hope this helps and that you enjoy the cake.


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