It’s all about my mom today. She had this Warm Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Sauce growing up and now our family is enjoying it this holiday season!
It’s the time of year when everyone suddenly cares more about traditions and family than anything else in the world. Which is very much why I love this time of year so much. I know that it can be crazy with errands and stresses taking over, but if we all just slow down for a moment and go back to those old traditions and memories we can enjoy things like Warm Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Sauce and laugh with our favorite people while we do it.
A few years ago my mom told me that she grew up eating a warm gingerbread cake serve with a lemon sauce every Christmas season and I was totally intrigued. What was this molasses cake recipe and why wasn’t she making it for us kids growing up?
I picked her brain a bit and she explained that she doesn’t enjoy the gingerbread cake alone very much, but you add that warm lemon sauce over the top and all of the flavors meld together into a perfectly delicious, spicy dessert with just a hint of fresh, bright lemon.
Mom’s family ate the cake alone with the sauce most of the time, but she did say that you could have it with ice cream or whipped cream as well, which is exactly how I like it, with a dollop of whipped cream.
There’s something so wonderful about a spicy, bold cake with something so delicate and sweet as a lemon sauce and creamy whipped cream on top. I love combination flavors, sweet and spicy, sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy and on and on.
The cake is a small cake and it really doesn’t puff up very high either, but it is cram packed full of flavor.
How to Make Gingerbread Cake From Scratch
Oh boy, there is nothing better than smelling gingerbread anything while it’s baking in the oven. The entire house fills up with the most amazing fragrance and I kid you not, your whole heart will feel warm and comfortable. And listen, I’m not being gooey or ridiculous, it’s the truth, just think about it.
Homemade bread baking does the same thing to you, doesn’t it. You have to admit it.
Alright, let’s really get into how to make gingerbread cake from scratch.
- Sift the dry ingredients- This is something that some cake recipes have you do, but not all. I’m a big fan of ALWAYS sifting dry ingredients for cake as cake can easily turn out uneven or dry.
- Add spices to taste- I’m going to tell you the exact measurements to use, but gingerbread cake is one of those rare recipes where too much of something might bother you while it’s exactly what another person loves.
- Use oil and molasses- These two ingredients give flavor AND moisture. Butter is great, but in a cake oil really does so well.
What to Put on Gingerbread Cake
You can put anything you’d like on a gingerbread cake. There are so many options, but our family does the warm lemon sauce or lemon curd if you prefer that name. My mom grew up with only that but her mom said they used to add ice cream or whipped cream as well. Here are a few ideas:
- Lemon Sauce
- Whipped Cream
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Vanilla Glaze
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Buttercream Frosting
How to Freeze Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread cake is sooooo good warm or cold, but that doesn’t mean it freezes quite so well. If you’re going to freeze gingerbread cake it’s best to place it straight in the freezer or keep it wrapped well until you can put it in the freezer as it does tend to dry out a little more over time.
How to Make Gingerbread Cake Moist
Not over filling your flour or over mixing the batter is key to helping this gingerbread cake turn out moist. The boiling water being mixed with the oil and molasses will also help to keep the cake nice and moist.
You can substitute butter or shortening but canola or vegetable oil turn out the best results.
Can I Double This to Make a 9×13″?
You absolutely can double this gingerbread cake to make a 9×13″ cake.
Looking for more cake recipes? Chocolate Sheet Cake, Lemon Poppyseed Cake, Pumpkin Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake, Cinnamon Ripple Sweet Potato Bundt.
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Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Sauce
- 1 1/2 Cups flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon soda
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 Cup oil
- 1/2 Cup water, boiling
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 Cup molasses
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 Cup sugar
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Cup water
- 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons lemon rind, grated
- 1/3 - 1/2 Cup lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Grease the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch square pan.
- Sift flour with salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, ginger and allspice in mixing bowl.
- Combine oil and molasses in boiling water.
- Blend in brown sugar and egg.
- Add dry ingredients gradually.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for 30-40 min. until gingerbread springs back when lightly touched in center.
- Serve as a dessert with whipped cream or lemon topping
For the sauce
- Combine sugar and cornstarch in saucepan
- Gradually add water, blending until smooth.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and clear. Remove from heat.
- Blend about 1/2 cup of hot mixture into egg yolks.
- Add to hot mixture in saucepan and cook 2 minutes.
- Add lemon rind, lemon juice and butter.
- Serve warm over warm gingerbread.
I am making this cake for our annual family dessert “bake-off” contest on Christmas Eve. Wish me luck!!
I smell a victory in your future! Let us know how it turns out!
Will the sauce go weird/bad if not served warm? Or put over the cake and left overnight?
I usually bake to bring into work the next day
Hi Adrianne! You’re coworkers must love you! You can make that cake and sauce a day ahead. Don’t add the sauce until right before serving though. It can be reheated in the microwave until right before serving.
Hey you two,
I have a problem… living it italy it is impossible to find molasses… I know that there isn’t a real substitute but could you suggest something that may work?
Hi Emma! You won’t get quite the same gingerbread flavor, but honey, dark corn syrup, or maple syrup can all be used as substitutes for molasses. It will still be super delicious!!
Elizabeth A Panessa
You mention “soda”- do you mean baking soda?