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I love reading historical fiction. In the books I read, the ladies always make sure to have a treat on hand in case visitors drop by or for their children and “menfolk.” Gingerbread seems to have been a very popular treat, usually topped with applesauce or whipped cream.

Spicy Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

This rich, delicious recipe uses molasses in place of sugar (I used blackstrap, which is less sweet than old-fashioned). Molasses contains a variety of minerals and can even help increase iron. This old-fashioned gingerbread has just the right amount of sweetness and spice. It’s not only fabulous as cake—topped with applesauce, of course—but also makes great cupcakes. I’ve even topped the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a festive treat!


Spicy Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

  • 6 tablespoons butter, barely melted
  • 1 cup molasses (blackstrap or old-fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour or sprouted flour*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9″ square pan or prepare a muffin tin for cupcakes.

Combine the melted butter and molasses in a bowl. Add hot water, then stir to combine. Add the egg, salt, spices, and baking soda. Stir well. Fold in the flour until combined.

You will have a dark and rich batter. Put the batter into the prepared pan or muffin tins. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean and it starts to pull away from the edges.

To serve the cake: Cut into small squares, dust with powdered sugar, or top with applesauce. Great served warm!

For cupcakes: Allow to cool completely before frosting.

*Sprouted flour is lower in phytic acid and easier to digest. Read more about sprouting, souring, and soaking grains here. I make my own sprouted flour. Learn how in my free handout: Sprouting Seeds, Grains, and Legumes.

Sprouting Seeds, Grains, and Legumes

What’s your favorite cake flavor? Do you have a favorite gingerbread recipe?

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