Recipe by Susan Reid

While we're proud to offer cutting-edge cocktail cakes and other 21st-century trending desserts here on our recipe site, we happily hold onto centuries-old classics like gingerbread. This particular recipe is a winner: with its comforting warm spices, tender crumb, and deep-gold demeanor, it's a welcome sight at many a harvest and holiday celebration. And it's easy: Just stir the ingredients together, pour the batter into a pan, and bake. Dessert in under an hour? Yes, please.

Want to reduce the carbs and calories in this recipe? Substitute our King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative for the sugar called for. See how in "tips," below.

15 mins
30 to 35 mins
45 mins
one 9" square cake


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9" square pan.  

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

  3. Melt the butter in a heatproof measuring cup. Add the molasses to the cup, and pour into the dry ingredients in the bowl, mixing to moisten.

  4. Add the water or coffee, stirring to combine. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk; stir into the batter. Mix in the crystallized ginger and/or apricots, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  5. Bake the gingerbread for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

  6. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool right in the pan. To avoid potential gumminess, wait about 15 minutes before slicing. Serve naked, as is; or sprinkled with non-melting sugar, confectioners’ sugar, or topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Ramp up the flavor: For even more moistness and zing, use grated fresh ginger (3 tablespoons) in place of dried ginger. Mix the grated ginger in with the butter and molasses before adding it to the recipe. For a shot of heat, stir up to 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper into the dry ingredients.

  • To make whole-grain gingerbread: Substitute 2 cups (227g) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour for the all-purpose flour.

  • Here's an easy way to reduce the carbs and calories in this recipe: substitute King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative, cup for cup, for the sugar(s) called for. Be sure to substitute by volume (not weight); follow mixing directions as written. Use the designated oven temperature called for in the recipe. Since our Baking Sugar Alternative will bake and brown more quickly, start checking for doneness three-quarters of the way through the suggested bake time.