Old fashioned gingerbread recipe – the cake I love best of all

Print Friendly

Gingerbread cake is moist and fluffy with just the right amount of spice. Dress it up with coffee toffee sauce.

This is the recipe that began my love affair with gingerbread. My mom discovered it the year I was born and I have been eating it ever since.

To this day I have never found a gingerbread recipe that I love more.

The recipe came out of the Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook, compiled in 1967 as a Centennial project of the Canadian Home Economics Association. The collection amounts to a nation-wide family favourites cookbook with recipes that span centuries and the many cultural influences that are Canada.

My copy of the book came from a second hand bookstore but thankfully the book was reissued last year. If you’re on the lookout for a new “go to” cookbook this is an excellent choice. Of all my mom’s cookbooks, this is the one she has used most often.

This is about the easiest cake recipe you’ll ever find.

You simply toss the egg, butter and molasses in on top of the sifted dry ingredients, mix well then add the boiling water. To make things even easier I line the bottom of the pan wth parchment paper. The cake comes out without a hitch and the pan in a synch to wash.  Eat this cake while it’s warm, with toffee coffee sauce poured over, or vanilla ice cream (or both).

Moist gingerbread is an easy one-bowl cake

Signal Hill Gingerbread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup soft butter
  • ¾ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Grease and flour an 8”x8” square pan (or line the pan with parchment paper.)
  2. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the butter, molasses and egg and beat for two minutes or 300 strokes by hand. (This is a very old recipe…it actually says that.)
  4. Add the boiling water.
  5. Beat for another two minutes and turn into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched.



One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly email too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Here’s to eating well, everyday,

Bridget signature

11 thoughts on “Old fashioned gingerbread recipe – the cake I love best of all

  1. Ron Savage says:

    A scoop of vanilla ice cream and warm butterscotch sauce makes this gingerbread a scrumptious treat! This is a family favorite at Christmas!

  2. Dianne says:

    I lost my recipe for gingerbread many years ago and had to google the recipe and low and behold I found it here. Thanks to Grandma Molasses molasses.

    1. Hi Dianne, I’m so pleased you found the recipe. It’s my very favourite…

  3. Bridget Oland says:

    Hi Harold, If it was this recipe that you used I have a couple of thoughts…Was the oven fully preheated before you put the pan in? Also, how long did you let the cake cool in the plan? 10 minutes should be sufficient before you remove it to finish cooling on a rack. I hope that helps…

  4. I made my first ginger bread the other day It is great and my friends like it. It was sticky on top and bottom were did I go wrong?

  5. Helene says:

    My Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook is the 1977 edition. It has shortening instead of butter. I can’t wait to try this cake. I love any cakes with spices and molasses.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Helene!
      You know, I always replace shortening with butter and never think to mention it…

  6. Debbie Marsh says:

    I absoutley love this recipie!!I have made 3 so far lol.I have also doubled recipie made in a9x13 pan yummy now have to make one as a birthday cake.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Debbie,
      We must have similar taste in gingerbread! Great idea to double it…I haven’t ever tried that. Thanks for the suggestion.

  7. Marge says:

    I believe the strokes are counted because I have a gingerbread recipe very much like this one, and the instructions say not to over stir as it will make the cake fall in the middle. Right or wrong? I don’t know!!

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Marge,
      Makes sense. And it’s a sure sign that the recipe is an oldie when the strokes are counted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *