This recipe for Glorified Gingerbread was handed down from my great grandmother to my grandmother to my mother to me. It's one of those simple instant gratification recipes that requires a mere handful of pantry ingredients but delivers big on sweet, nostalgic, slices of pure comfort.
Old Fashioned Gingerbread
This gingerbread recipe is a multi-generational family favorite for good reason.
- It's unbelievably easy
- It's moist and flavorful and delicious
- It keeps at room temperature for at least 4 days and in the freezer for 2 months
- It makes a deeply satisfying breakfast, snack or dessert
- It is the essence of comfort food
No frills. Little mess. Crave-worthy comfort food that will fill you up and warm your soul.
Having been given this recipe from her mother, who received it from her mother, my mom made this gingerbread frequently when I was growing up.
It was one of the first recipes I asked her for when I moved out on my own and decided I should learn how to cook something other than grilled cheese sandwiches. I have faithfully made it several times a year ever since, successfully ensuring that my kids will someday want to make it for their kids. And so it goes.
It's one of those no-fuss, no frills recipes that you can count on. It's simple, delicious, stays fresh for days, and freezes well. Around my house, we especially love to eat this gingerbread for breakfast, but it also makes a great afternoon snack or dessert.
This Gingerbread is what I make when .....
- I want to feel like a domestic goddess but don't want to spend much time or energy actually doing domestic goddess-like activities
- It's snowing
- The leaves first start to turn in the fall
- I haven't gone to the grocery store in a while but still want to bake something
- Our girls are coming for a visit
- I'm feeling nostalgic
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This Classic Gingerbread is one of those simple recipes that requires a handful of pantry ingredients and delivers nostalgic, slices of pure comfort.
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 tablespoon dark, unsulphured molasses
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 8 or 9-inch square baking dish.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the shortening and sugar on high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and mix on low just until incorporated. Reserve ½ cup of this mixture in a small bowl.
- Add egg, molasses, buttermilk, and baking soda to the mixing bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until smooth - about 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the reserved flour and spice mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, slice into squares and serve.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1 square
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 461mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 5g
Justine Simms says
Hi Rebecca, I love your recipes and follow both your websites as does my son who originally told me about your work a couple of years ago. We live in Australia and don't have easy access to soft vegetable shortening that can be creamed (beaten). Our supermarkets only carry a hard one called copha that can be melted but doesn't get soft for creaming. Do you think that butter would work for this recipe or would you perhaps switch to oil? Thanks for your thoughts on this.
Rebecca Blackwell says
Hi Justine! Hello from the other side of the world! I'm so happy to hear that you are enjoying the recipes I publish. Your comment just made my whole day. 🙂 You can absolutely substitute butter for the shortening in this recipe. Because the crumb mixture on the top of the cake is made from the dry ingredients mixed with shortening, I'd stick with using butter instead of oil. I've never tried it, and I'm afraid that the oil will make the crumb topping a bit greasy. Please let me know if you have any other questions! And, I'd love to hear what you think of this gingerbread after you make it! xo