Classic Gingerbread Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
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This is my family’s favorite Gingerbread recipe! Made with lots of warm spices and molasses, this gingerbread is moist, dense and sweet. Perfect for the holidays!

If you love this Classic Gingerbread recipe, make sure and check out my layered Gingerbread Cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting! Or my famous Gingerdoodle Cookies — a cross between a gingerbread cookie and a snickerdoodle in one!

Classic Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

D0 you remember the first time you had a bite of real Gingerbread? I do and it has been a love affair ever since.

A dense moist spiced cake with lots of rich molasses and a perfect sweetness cutting through, what’s not to love?

This is my favorite Christmas cake that I make year after year and my kids beg for me to make even during the middle of a hot Florida Summer.

Serve it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or some whip cream to dress it up, but it’s perfect just as it is warm out of the pan.

Gingerbread Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar.

History of Gingerbread

Gingerbread is said to have begun in Greece and was brought to Europe in 992 CE and then over to the Americas with settlers from Europe. It is now widespread around the world and comes in so many different forms: cakes, soft cookies, gingerbread houses, gingerbread men and even gingersnaps (crisp ginger cookies).

The word “ gingerbread” refers to a large category of baked goods, typically flavored with the below ingredients:

  • ginger
  • cloves
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • molasses

It is traditionally sweetened with honey, granulated sugar or brown sugar…or a combination of all three!

Gingerbread ingredients in white bowls.

Gingerbread Recipe Ingredients

This particular Gingerbread recipe is sweetened with a combination of granulated sugar, applesauce and molasses.

The molasses and applesauce are also both used, along with butter and oil, to keep the gingerbread cake extra moist.

To give it that perfectly spiced flavor, we use cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and a pinch of salt.

While the recipe ingredient list may look intimidating, don’t worry, half of the list is made of spices!

Gingerbread sliced into pieces on a plate.

How to Serve and Store Gingerbread Cake

My favorite way to serve this Gingerbread is warm, fresh out of the oven, with a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top.

However, some people like to serve it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. I have even seen some people serve it with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream for a fancy twist!

To store this gingerbread cake, allow it to cool completely and then store it at room temperature with foil or in an airtight container. You can store it for up to a 4 to 5 days.

To reheat it, heat up a single slice for 10 seconds in the microwave! It will taste fresh again!

Gingerbread on a plate with a bite taken out of it.

This Gingerbread is deliciously moist, full of spices and the perfect Christmas cake recipe that my family makes every year.

Please leave a comment or review below letting me know how this Gingerbread recipe turns out for you!

Gingerbread stacked in two big thick slices with whip cream on top.
4.5 from 32 votes
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Yield: 9 x 13 cake

Gingerbread Recipe

This is my family's favorite Gingerbread recipe with lots of warm spices and molasses. It's extra moist, dense and sweet, with the perfect amount of spice!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup molasses
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup whole milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine molasses, melted butter, and sugar. Add applesauce, egg and vanilla extract, beating until well combined.
  • Beat in flour mixture alternating with oil and milk. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.



Serving: 1, Calories: 313kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 262mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.