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Recipe For Gingerbread - with Easy Lemon Glaze

Updated on November 19, 2012
Old Fashioned Gingerbread
Old Fashioned Gingerbread | Source


I love gingerbread in the autumn months. It’s funny, but I rarely make it or eat it any other time of year, but as September delivers the first cool breezes of fall, I find myself craving gingerbread cake. That’s usually when I drag out my recipe for gingerbread and dust it off. I’m referring here to my gingerbread cake recipe. I have nothing against the cookies and the houses and the men, but the cake is what I enjoy the most – warm, moist squares of sweet-spicy cake. I think it’s the perfect snack for a crisp afternoon, especially when accompanied by a mug of hot chocolate or warm spiced apple cider. I assure that my grandchildren would wholeheartedly agree. Four of the kids usually come here after school, and they get super excited when gingerbread serves as their after-school snack. If I don’t watch them carefully, the little rascals will consume the entire pan and ruin their appetites for dinner. Give my gingerbread recipe a try soon, and make sure to top it with lemon glaze. Yum!

Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread Cake | Source

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

I always think of gingerbread as old fashioned. I suppose that’s because my father used to tell me about the wonderful gingerbread cake his mother made when Dad was a boy. According to Dad, she made the cake in round pans and made the layers very thin. Then she spread apple butter between the layers. And by the way, Grandma made her own apple butter from the apples that grew in the orchard behind her house. I never did get to taste her concoction, though, as she died when I was very young.

My Mom’s mother, Granny, also made old fashioned gingerbread. I walked to her house after school sometimes, and if she’d made a pan of gingerbread that day, I knew it as soon as I walked through the door. The aroma was intoxicating! The scents of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves filled my nostrils, and I couldn’t wait to sit down at Granny’s old farmhouse table for a generous square of warm cake and a glass of cold milk. Alas, I don’t have Granny’s gingerbread recipe, but the one below is pretty darn close!

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. | Source
Whisk ingredients until batter is smooth and shiny.
Whisk ingredients until batter is smooth and shiny. | Source
Pour batter into dish.
Pour batter into dish. | Source

Gingerbread Recipe

This recipe for gingerbread is probably the best one I’ve ever used. It makes a large batch, and it always turns out perfect. It’s even better with lemon glaze!

Can you almost smell the gingerbread? Rate it!

4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: makes 18 squares


  • butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 3 3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups molasses
  • 1 cup tepid water


  1. Spray a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish with butter-flavored cooking spray and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Whisk in egg and molasses.
  4. Gradually add water and dry ingredients while mixing or stirring. I whisk together the ingredients until the batter is shiny.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking dish.
  6. Cook for 45-50 minutes.
  7. While gingerbread is still warm, add the glaze. My lemon glaze icing recipe is included in this article.
This cake is delicious - with or without icing.
This cake is delicious - with or without icing. | Source

Gingerbread Icing

In my personal opinion, gingerbread is fine just like it is, without any gingerbread icing at all. Some cooks like to sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar, and others like to use regular cake frosting. My aunt used to ice her spicy cakes with caramel frosting, which was pretty darn good. You might also like to use caramel or butterscotch ice cream sauce. Cream cheese frosting also makes a great gingerbread icing, even if you use the ready-to-use frosting that comes in a can. Plain old vanilla frosting works well, too. The best, however, is lemon glaze.

I’m generally not a huge fan of lemon cake, lemon frosting, or other lemony sweets, but a lemon glaze is perfect for gingerbread cake. I suppose it’s because the tartness of the lemon juice pairs well with the rich sweetness of the cake. Of course, I might just like it so much because that’s how Granny used to top her old fashioned gingerbread. Either way, it’s a great combination!

Lemon Glaze
Lemon Glaze | Source

Lemon Glaze Icing Recipe

This is super quick and easy to make, and you probably already have the necessary ingredients. Once, when I was out of lemon juice, I used lime juice in the glaze. In all honesty, I think I actually liked the glaze a little more with the lime juice. I am, however, partial to lime juice, so you might want to stick with using lemon juice. You’ll notice that I use a little butter in my recipe, while most recipes for lemon glaze don’t use any butter at all. I think the butter makes the glaze richer and tastier.


1 tablespoon melted butter

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Melt butter in the microwave.
Melt butter in the microwave. | Source
Combine butter with powdered sugar and lemon juice.
Combine butter with powdered sugar and lemon juice. | Source

How To Make Lemon Glaze

In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat butter until melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave oven and add powdered sugar and lemon juice. Stir ingredients with a spoon. There will probably be tiny clumps of the powdered sugar. Smooth them out by pressing them against the side of the bowl with the spoon. When mixture is completely smooth, with no more clumps, pour the glaze over the warm gingerbread and spread it around. When glaze “ices,” cut gingerbread into squares. Use a spatula to remove cake squares from baking dish. By the way, sometimes I “double glaze” the cake. When I do, I wait for the first layer to harden before adding the second coating of glaze. Serve as is or with a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.

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