Easy Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Saturday 6 March 2021


Easy Old Fashioned Gingerbread

 Easy Old Fashioned Gingerbread. I have shared a  lot of gingerbread recipes on here over the years.  Soft gingerbread cake is something that I love and I can honestly say that I have never met a gingerbread that I did not like or fall in love with.

This recipe I am sharing today is one of my favourites thus far. It is easy and quick to make and incredibly moist and delicious.

I adapted the recipe from one I found in this Betty Crocker cookerybook entitled, Lost Recipes. Beloved Vintage recipes for Today's Kitchen.  What can I say?  I love Vintage anything.

Since my return to Canada, while I am waiting to move into my own home, I have been busy creating things for my new home.  I've been embroidering tea towels, crocheting blankets, dishcloths, etc.  I think it is called nesting.

I really love things with an old fashioned vintage flair, so it is really bringing me a lot of joy to do these things. Now I will have nobody to really please most of the time but myself. I won't have to worry about a man damaging my work, by using an embroidered tea towell to mop up oil etc.

That's a plus.  And I can cook as much pasta, lemon, or chocolate as I like.  It will be a whole new adventure for me. But back to the cake.

I have to say that I really, really LOVE this cookery book. Every recipe which I have cooked/baked from it has turned out beautifully and been most delicious.  All classics in their own right and very tasty.

As they say, don't fix what isn't broken, and none of the recipes in here are broken.  These are truly classic, family style recipes. The type you would be proud to hand down to future generations.

Just like vintage tea towels and needleworks. I believe this recipe was first published in the Bey Crocker Picture Cook Book back in 1961.  Another classic cookbook I wouldn't be without. Like my good old Fanny Farmer cookbook, these recipes just never go out of fashion.

Early North American Settlers were somewhat limited in what they could use to sweeten their baked goods with.  Sugar was quite expensive back then and I know that here in Nova Scotia, many things were sweetened with either Maple Syrup or molasses, both of which were much cheaper in comparison.

Molasses is a by-product of the sugar cane industry and was used to help distill beer and rum. It was a cheap alternative to sugar and you will see a great many recipes from post 20th century using it in one way or another.

Where I come from, the maritime provinces, it is a very common thing and you will find a jug of it in most kitchens and perhaps even a pouring jug of it on the table at every meal.  Molasses, thick bread and butter has kept many a child (or man) satisfied and helped to stave away the hunger pains.

This is a particularly easy gingerbread recipe.  Everything just gets measured into a bowl and beaten together.  You do need a small amount of sugar. Its just granulated sugar.  

Granulated sugar is much finer here in Canada than it is in the UK. In the UK, I recommend using caster sugar. Molasses might also be more difficult to come by in the UK. You can replicate its mild flavour by mixing together equal parts of light and dark treacle.

This recipe goes together quickly and easily, using the one-bowl method. Most other recipes involve creaming things and then adding boiling water at the end.  This one has no faffing about whatsoever with any of that.

Simply measure everything out and beat it together.  The resulting batter was a bit thicker than my usual gingerbread recipe, but I have to tell you , it smelled just as amazing when it was baking.  AMAZING!

This is a basic no-frills recipe. No bells and whistles. Simple ingredients, simply put together in a most delicious way. I would not add anything else.

It is perfect just as it is.  PER   FECT!  Simple as that.

It has a lovey spicy flavour and a certain amount of smoky robustness from the molasses. If you are not overly fond of the flavour of molasses, you can use half molasses and half maple syrup. 

Do note however, that this will give you an extra mild flavour. You may want to add some ground cloves or allspice or both in that case. Not a lot, just a pinch of each.

Easy Old Fashioned Gingerbread

It was suggested that you serve this with some sweetened whipped cream.  In the UK we never sweetened our whipped cream.  At first I thought this was rather strange.  I had always only ever had whipped cream sweetened with sugar.  I got used to having it unsweetened however, and I have to say I much prefer it that way now.

There are instructions included on how to do sweetened whipped cream however.  Today we used spray whipped cream. (Not my choice) I don't think that spray whipped cream has the holding and staying power of real whipped cream.  But you use whatever you have that you like.

Something I have done in the past and that we have always enjoyed is to fold some lemon curd into softly whipped heavy cream. Oh my but this is really lush.  Lemon and ginger are perfect partners.

You can also make a spiced lemon sauce which is beautiful served warm with it. Just ask and I will share my recipe for this. Its lovely.

Easy Old Fashioned Gingerbread

There is no doubt about it, this is quite simply a lovely gingerbread.  As my sister said, it was not cloying or claggy. It didn't stick to the roof of your mouth and had a beautiful light texture.

I would and will make this again. JUST AS IT, with no adaptations.  Whats the point in messing with perfection!

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Old Fashioned Gingerbread
Yield: 9
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 55 Mintotal time: 1 H & 4 M
Gingerbread. The comfort food cake. Lovely served warm with some whipped cream or lemon sauce.


  • 2 1/3 cups (326g) plain all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 tsp ground dried ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) mild molasses
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) hot water
  • 1 large free range egg
For sweetened whipped cream:
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 TBS icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 325*F/165*C/ gas mark 3.  Butter an 9-inch square baking dish and line with baking parchment.
  2. Place all of the gingerbread ingredients into a bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer for 30 seconds on low speed, scraping the bowl constantly.  Increase speed to medium and beat for a further 3  minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. You will have a light fluffy batter.  Scrap the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it off.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until well risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  4. Set on a wire rack to cool as desired.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
  5. To make the sweetened whipped cream, beat all of the whipped cream ingredients together in a well chilled bowl using chilled beaters and an electric hand mixer on low speed just until the mixture begins to thicken.
  6. Increase the speed to high gradually and beat just until soft peaks form. (See note) Serve with the warm gingerbread.


Take care not to overbeat your cream or it will curdle. If this happens however, you can easily fix it by folding in a bit more cream until you get the consistency you desire.

For a lemon cream, omit the vanilla and fold in a couple TBS of lemon curd.

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Easy Old Fashioned Gingerbread

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  1. Hullo Marie, another wonderful recipe. Thank you to share.
    In this recipe do you think I can use golden syrup instead of molasses as I've got one and not the other one...

    1. I’m afraid you would still need to get some black/dark treacle in there for the authentic gingerbread flavour and colour! Golden syrup on its own would not be the same at all! Xo

  2. Lovely embroidery on your background cloth...I also love gingerbread with a splash of applesauce. Yum

    1. Thanks! I embroidered the cloth! One of the hobbies I enjoy! I bet applesauce is great with gingerbread! Thanks! Xo

  3. I love fancy molasses too Laurie. Molasses is just a part of our Canadian DNA I think! lol Thank you! xoxo

  4. I’m hoping you do share your spiced lemon sauce; I love gingerbread with lemon sauce or curd on it!

    1. Thanks so much. You can find the lemon sauce here: https://www.theenglishkitchen.co/2011/04/worlds-best-gingerbread-cake-with.html

  5. When my mother married my father, his grandmother gifted my mother a copy of Betty Crocker's original 1951 cookbook, with the red cover. Imagine her joy when, 20 years later, that same cookbook was back in print! She bought books for my twin sister and I, and it is one of my most favorite cookbooks of all time. Things from the book just WORK.

    1. What a wonderful gift!! You are right, they are reliable recipes that do work, every time! Anything that doesn't is the cook's fault not the book's! xoxo


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