Fluffy Gingerbread and Spicy Sauce

This recipe for gingerbread comes from a favorite old cookbook, Southern Sideboards, 1978. I have a note that I made it for the first time in September of 1985 and rated it “excellent”.  Then, I have another note from February 6, 2007 – “Revision made during a snow storm and during Rusty’s (my dog) recuperation from pancreatitis.  Had made potato soup for myself  for supper and thought I’d like some gingerbread that wasn’t too high fat-wise.  It was exactly what I was hoping for – had it warm with some whipped topping – excellent.”

The revised version substituted canola oil for butter and cut the recipe in half.  It also omitted a streusel-type topping.


  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. molasses (Grandma’s)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Oil and flour an 8-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar,  egg and molasses.  Whisk in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.

Stir in the flour and then stir in the boiling water.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

This time around, I decided to serve the gingerbread with a Spicy Sauce:


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold apple juice*
  • 2 Tblsp. butter

*I make stronger flavored apple juice by combining 6 tablespoons of apple juice concentrate with enough water to make one cup.

In a small pan, combine sugar and cornstarch.  Add cold apple juice and whisk until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.

Serve warm over warm gingerbread.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups of sauce.  Sauce can be reheated.

Gingerbread with Caramelized Apples

About 10 years ago, I copied this recipe from an old 1976 Bicentennial Heritage cookbook before the book was donated to Goodwill.  Recently, as I was updating my computer files, the recipe turned up and looked interesting.  It was way too high in calories and fat, though, so I adjusted the recipe considerably.  My youngest daughter and I enjoyed it for dessert – and it’s just right for these nice autumn days.


For the Caramelized Apples

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 cups thinly sliced tart apples (Golden Delicious or Granny Smith)

For the Gingerbread

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup oil (Canola)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tblsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

To make the caramelized apples: In a large skillet, melt the butter and add 1 cup brown sugar.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add apple slices and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is as thick as syrup and apples are tender.

To make the gingerbread: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses and oil.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, soda, salt, baking powder, 2 Tblsp. brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon.

Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture alternately with the boiling water, stirring just until blended.

Spread the apple mixture in the bottom of a 9-inch ungreased baking dish.  Pour the batter over the apples.

Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Increase heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes longer or until cake tests done when a tester is inserted in the center.

Remove pan to wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes…

…then invert the pan onto a large platter, apple-side-up, to continue cooling.

This cake is delicious slightly warm and keeps its soft texture for several days.

Tasty Gingerbread Muffins

Just in time for cool autumn mornings, I came across this recipe from over 25 years ago.  I had copied it from a book devoted to muffins that I had sent to my daughter-in-law in St. Louis.  This is my version.


  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (Canola)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Grease or line 12 muffin cups

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In another bowl, stir together buttermilk, oil, eggs and molasses until blended.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add buttermilk mixture and stir just to combine.  Stir in raisins.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups; bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Cool muffins in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Remove muffins from cups and from silicone liners if using; finish cooling on wire rack.

Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.  These muffins freeze well.

Makes 12 muffins 

The Grandkids Bake Christmas Cookies


When my children were growing up, I don’t recall their ever being interested in helping with the cookie baking and I didn’t have the time or ingredients to waste, so I just made the cookies myself without any help from them.  When my grandchildren started arriving in the 1980s, though, I thought it would be nice to have them come to the house, starting when they were about 3 years old, to make Christmas cookies.  Granddaughter #1 loved mixing the dough, using all the different cutters, and decorating with sugar.

She is now married with two children and her husband is in Iraq this Christmas.


Grandson #1 joined his sister when he turned 3, and his specialty was piling lots of sugar on the cookies and cracking the eggs to mix in the batter.


Granddaughter #2 made it a threesome and her favorite cookies are still the cutout Butter Crisps. She has two children who are too young to help her with baking, but the 2-1/2 year old likes the cookies, too.


There was a hiatus of a few years between when the older grandchildren grew up and before the youngest came along.  This year, Dolphin and Jellyfish came to do their best  and Jellyfish takes it all very seriously.


Dolphin is also serious about her baking but takes a more fun approach.


All of the kids have enjoyed the baking but most of all, enjoyed taking home plates of their own creations.

Here is a gingerbread cookie that the older grandchildren liked to make.


  • Servings: Depends on size of cutters and thickness of dough
  • Print

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream sugar, shortening and molasses until smooth.  Blend in egg.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Add to creamed mixture and blend well.  Form into a flat circle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate dough at least one hour.

Roll out dough on floured board 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick.  Cut out with floured cutters.  Place cookies 1/2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.