Gingerbread from Baking Illustrated cookbook {recipe} and the Holiday Baking Basket Winner


Congratulations to Heather Jones P. who won the Big Basket of Holiday Baking Fun Times from Microsoft and TasteSpotting! Heather, PLEASE email us with your mailing address as soon as possible so we can mail this out to you!

Of all the 9 billion recipes in the giant Baking Illustrated cookbook, this is the one we chose: gingerbread. Aside from the fact that I looooove gingerbread, the recipe is simple and quick (why it’s called “quickbread?”), making it perfect for fitting into the madness that is the Holidays…
Gingerbread in pan, top down
This gingerbread is tender, moist, dark and spicy with the five familiar Holiday baking spices: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. I don’t know how such a tiny amount of spice can create such a dark cake, but it may also have to do with the addition of a tablespoon of cocoa.

Gingerbread spices

A piece of it straight from the pan was a good snack, but on a plate with caramel sauce and some spiced whipped cream, it was a “dessert.” We’ve also done a Gingerbread Sundae, a dessert similar to a brownie sundae: a square of spicy gingerbread with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with rum-molasses syrup, and topped with caramelized pineapples and candied ginger.
Gingerbread, caramel, whipped cream


recipe from Baking Illustrated.

Note: for stronger ginger flavor, replace ground ginger with 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger and 3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger. Clearly, this has nothing to do with previous fresh vs. candied vs. powdered ginger post.

serves 8


2¼ cups sifted (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
¾ cup mild or light molasses
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup milk
1 large egg


Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of an 11×7-inch baking dish; dust with flour tapping out the excess.

Whisk together the flour, baking, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and coca in a medium bowl.

Beat butter, molasses, sugar, buttermilk, milk , and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until the batter is smooth and thick, about 1 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched and the edges have pulled away from the pan sides, about 40 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Gingerbread can be wrapped in plastic, then foil, and refrigerated up to 5 days.

by Sarah J. Gim on December 23, 2011 · 9 comments

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick December 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

We had this gingerbread last year for Christmas as we opened presents. On the Cook’s Illustrated website there’s a recommended orange sauce, so we made a “poke cake.” Yummy, but not all that pretty. This year we’re just going to have the sauce on the side.


Snippets of Thyme December 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm

oooooh, gingerbread cake looks so delicious. I didn’t get to my gingerbread cookies yet so this is calling…


Francesca December 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm

The molasses makes it dark, of course! Looks delish!


Russell December 24, 2011 at 9:08 am

I’m guessing the 3/4 cups of Molasses is where the dark colour comes from.


Melody December 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I believe the dark color is from the 3/4 cup of molasses in the cake :) Thanks for the recipe! I love gingerbread.


Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

This looks amazing — I’m on such a gingerbread kick lately.


Millicent Fox November 1, 2012 at 1:40 am

this is a very delicious cake, I just made it. its still warm on my plate.
my only not is to use a dark, fresh, quality organic cocoa. i used supermarket grade and the colour is not as rich and dark. i want your cake i love the contrast.
still it is more than satisfying my october-christmas-ginger-clove-hit… yum


Kim January 2, 2015 at 6:49 am

Best gingerbread I’ve ever made! Very moist and the perfect blend of flavors. Love it with a dab of whipped cream!
I didn’t have buttermilk, so I substituted an equal amount of sour cream.


Jacklyn April 11, 2018 at 4:01 pm

The batter for this recipe tastes delicious….just put it in the oven….but there is no way this is meant for an 11 x 17 inch pan…’s barely coating the bottom…..probably more like 9×9 brownie style pan. Too late to change now….I’m crossing my fingers!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: