Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Saturday 25 September 2021

Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
Normally I wouldn't share two cakes in a row on here. I hope you will forgive me. The Pumpkin cake was actually baked last week and I was only just getting around to sharing it.  This lovely Old Fashioned Gingerbread was something I baked today.

And it is so fabulous, I just couldn't wait to share it. The smell alone will send you into heavenly bliss!  Trust me on this!

Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
If this is not the BEST old fashioned gingerbread recipe, I will eat my hat.  (Hard to do since I don't own a hat!)  But trust me when I say, its pretty darned tasty! 

The recipe comes from a book which was a gift to me from a friend.  Back to the Basics, by Ina Garten.  She came by way of it via James Beard. Both cooks/bakers have excellent reputations and so you just know it really is the BEST of the best!

Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
Just  like my friend, Diana.  Diana and I have never met in person. We only know each other through blogging and via Instagram and on Facebook.  That is the power of the modern day Internet. 

It may have a dark side, but the bright side is pretty wonderful. I have made many beautiful and special friends via this medium, and Diana is one of them.  She has been very good to me.
Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
Let us talk about the kindness of others. It is hard to believe that in just about a month and a half now, it will have been a year since I made that precarious journey across the Atlantic ocean back to Canada, leaving everything I owned behind.

I shake my head in amazement at how far I have come. I am here now, comfortable in my own little home and I am well settled. This is largely due to my own strength and determination and the many kindnesses of others. 

Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
People who, like Diana, lifted me up in prayer daily and who supported me emotionally in any way that they could, lending me a portion of their strength.   

People who, like Diana, went even further, donating goods etc. to help me set myself back up again. The many kindnesses and generosity I have been privy to has been incredibly humbling and I am so grateful for it.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
It takes a village.  I have heard that expression many times, and this time I was priviledged and honored to have been on the receiving end of that communal village, which extended way beyond the boundaries of my own town, but world wide.

I will forever be grateful for all of the help I received. The prayers. The love. The support. As bad as many things in the world might seem, there is so much more that is good.  

The fact that, in the midst of a Global Pandemic, when so many were hurting themselves, others reached out to me in this phenomenal way is proof that we really live in a world filled with good and caring people.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
I had never thought I would need such help, but it ended up that I did, and I hope that one day I will be in the position to do a like kindness for another in need.  

Diana recently said that she had a number of cookery books that she didn't need and did I want them. She would send them to me one at a time. This book was one of them.  How could she have known that it was a copy of one of the many books I had to leave behind.  God is good. Thank you so much Diana.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

So I hope you will all forgive me for sharing a cake for the second day in a row.  I think when you smell this baking you will more than forgive me. It smells AMAZING!

It tastes pretty darn amazing also!  Its lovely. I actually only used 1/3 of the baking powder that I should have used. The recipe called for 3/4 tsp and I used 1/4 tsp.  DUH!
Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
That it turned out to be edible at all is nothing short of a miracle. Its very, very good, and you can know that if you make it, it will be even better.

Because you are going to add the right amount of baking powder, lol. 

Old Fashioned Gingerbread 

This has a beautiful flavor.  Cinnamon, ginger, cloves and orange zest . . .  perfect warm baking spices. Perfect Autumn flavors.

The crumb is moist and delicious from the use of sour cream. It uses plenty of molasses, which lends a lovely smoky sweetness.
Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
The cake itself is studded with rum infused raisins. I don't have any rum, so I used boiling water and rum flavoring.  

The raisins are plump and sweet and delicious.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread 
It also has a goodly amount of minced crystalized gingerroot stirred throughout, adding even more ginger flavor and sweetness.

I love candied gingerroot. Quite often if i have an upset stomach I will chew on a piece of it. Ginger is quite simply one of my favorite things.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread
And it shines through in this beautiful cake. Of course if you are not fond of raisins or gingerroot you could leave both of them out, but if you are fond of them like I am, I say, leave them in! 

The crowning glory of this cake is the lovely orange glaze.  It is simply wonderful cut into squares and served as a special dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I really hope that you will bake it and see for yourself just how special it is! 

And Diana, thank you! 💖 This was a lovely surprise.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Yield: 9
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 50 Min
A sweet, spicy, and sturdy cake, with lots of molasses, raisins and chopped candied ginger. This delicious cake is topped with a sweet orange glaze. The smell when it is baking is amazing!


For the Cake:
  • ¼ cup (60ml) boiling water
  • ½ tsp rum extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter
  • ½ cup (75g) raisins
  • 1 cup (240ml) molasses
  • 1 cup (120g) sour cream
  • 1 ½ tsp finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 2 1/3 cup (325g)of plain all purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (80g) minced crystalized ginger (not the one in syrup)
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup (130g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 TBS fresh orange juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F/ 180*C/ gas mark 4. Butter an 8-inch square baking tin and then line with baking paper, leaving an overhang to lift the cake out with.
  2. Place the raisins in a small bowl with the rum extract. Pour the boiling water over top and set aside.
  3. Place the butter and molasses in a large bowl. Pop into the microwave for 1 minute on high. The butter should be melted. Whisk in the sour cream an orange zest.
  4. Sift together the flour, soda, spices, and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon, stirring together only until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Drain the raisins. Fold them, along with the candied ginger into the batter, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top over.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then lift out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. For the glaze, which together the icing sugar and orange juice until smooth. Pour over the gingerbread, allowing it to drip down the sides. Leave to set (if you can!) before cutting into 9 squares to serve.
Did you make this recipe?
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Old Fashioned Gingerbread
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  1. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to try this soon. I'm sure we will enjoy it. One of your other Gingerbread recipes is a family favorite. I'll try to remember to come back and tell you if we liked this one better.

    1. I do hope you enjoy it Ginger! I am not sure if this one if my favourite one or not, but it’s very good for sure! Xoxo

  2. I love ginger cake of any kind and this sounds wonderful. The addition of raisins, crystallised ginger and an orange icing makes it quite different from any other ginger cake I've made and so I'm keen to try it out. I've used a lemon icing before (and very naughtily, doused it in lemon curd) but not thought of orange, but now I stop and consider it, why not - it makes perfect sense. So tempting....

    1. I hope you enjoy it Marie! The orange was the perfect addition! It went very well with everything else! It’s very tempting indeed! Xoxo

  3. Ginger is one of my two big favorites and this one I'm definitely saving up. What a perfect fall cake. Thanks for this one.

    I cannot believe it has been that long since you have been back on this side of the pond. And now settled with your sweet purrs! I'm so glad your world has evened out such a lot after some traumatic times. Big smiles. (And big thanks to Diana for that book because now we all get to share the recipe. And you absolutely cannot go wrong with Ina Garten!)

    1. Thanks so much Jeanie. Another month and a half and it will be exactly a year. It’s been a difficult year but lots of growth so it’s been good. My wee purrs are the perfect antidote to being alone. Not lonely anymore! Xoxo

  4. I made this today, the whole family loved it! I'll definitely be making it again for guests. Best wishes from Switzerland!

    1. I am so pleased that you made this and that the whole family enjoyed it Juliette! Happy New Year! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us. Stay safe! xoxo


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