Homemade gingerbread with fresh ginger recipe! An old-fashioned gingerbread loaf cake spiced to perfection and topped with icing.
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Hello, Rhubarbarians! Are you ready to be put in the holiday spirit? We've got a Christmas classic for you today: homemade gingerbread! Imagine the aroma of this spiced, Christmas loaf cake baking in your oven. Sipping on a cup of homemade bourbon eggnog while Christmas music plays in the background. Can you imagine it?
We use fresh ginger in this one because it gives the gingerbread an intense, but fresh ginger flavor. This one is definitely for all you ginger lovers out there!
An old fashioned classic gingerbread loaf cake
No flavor symbolizes the holidays quite like the flavor of fresh gingerbread. In our eyes, this gingerbread is PERFECT! Heavily spiced, gingery, dark and dense. Just what gingerbread should be.
Most gingerbread recipes are made with dried, ground ginger. But, we like to use fresh ginger to give it that WOW factor.
Why is it called gingerbread? The original meaning of 'gingerbread' was a term used to describe preserved ginger. Over time, 'gingerbread' was used to describe a spiced confection. Nowadays, 'gingerbread' refers to the spiced, ginger loaves, cakes, cookies, and houses we all know and love during the holidays. source
Using fresh ginger
Using fresh ginger in gingerbread gives it an intense ginger flavor, while keeping a freshness that you won't get from dried ginger. You will need a lot more fresh ginger than dried ginger to extract the flavor. We essentially make a fresh ginger paste to add to the batter.
To prepare the ginger paste:
- First, peel your ginger. We find that using the side of a small spoon works well for this.
- Grate the ginger as fine as possible. Our favorite tool for this is a microplane (we love this OXO one), but you can also use the finest section of a box grater.
- After grating, pull out any stringy parts and discard them. See the picture below!
If you can't find fresh ginger, use 1 Tablespoon of ground ginger in this recipe. The gingerbread will be drier than normal.
Have you tried our quick and easy cranberry orange hand pies recipe?
You will need:
- A 9x5 inch loaf pan. You could also use an 8x8 inch pan or a 9x2 inch round cake pan. Cooking times will change depending on your pan choice. (Here's our favorite one!)
- A microplane or fine grater for the ginger.
- A stand-up mixer with mixing bowl and flat beater attachment (optional, but oh so helpful).
- 3 mixing bowls (1 large, and 2 small)
- A spatula to get all of the dough out of the mixing bowl
This baked apples and pears recipe is one of our coziest fall recipes! Give it a try!
How to make it
This gingerbread recipe isn't difficult, but it does require a lot of instruction and separate mixing. (Full instructions are listed in the recipe card below)
- First, make sure that your butter and your eggs are room temperature.
- Preheat your oven and prepare your pan by greasing and flouring the inside.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix together the wet ingredients in a small bowl.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand up mixer. Continue making the batter per the instructions in the recipe card.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake.
- Let the gingerbread cool and prepare your icing.
- Remove the gingerbread from the pan and ice the cake.
- Let it set and serve.
Have you tried our whole grain pumpkin cranberry bread recipe?
Make the icing
The icing is optional, but very simple and we think that it adds the perfect sweetness to the heavy spice and ginger flavor. (Full instructions are listed in the recipe card below)
- Mix together the powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Whisk in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a pourable consistency.
Yes. Use 1 tablespoon of ground ginger in this recipe. The gingerbread will be drier than normal.
Yes! The cooking time will need to be adjusted down. I would check on the muffins at 20 minutes and see if a wooden pick comes out clean.
This gingerbread loaf is very dense and moist. As you can see from the photos, ours does this too. If it bothers you, reduce the baking soda amount to ¼ teaspoon or lower the oven temperature and cook a bit longer.
Have a question? Ask us in the comments and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Make ahead, storing, and freezing tips
Make ahead tips: This gingerbread is great for making the day before you serve or giving as a holiday gift! If you need to reheat it before serving, don't ice the gingerbread until after reheating.
Storing tips: Store the gingerbread loaf in plastic wrap or a small container with a tight fitting lid. If it's iced, it will need to be kept in the refrigerator. The gingerbread will keep for up to 4 days, but will dry out as it ages.
Freezing tips: This gingerbread freezes beautifully! Wrap the loaf well in plastic wrap and then store in a large plastic bag with the air removed. It will keep in the freezer for several months.
Homemade gingerbread with fresh ginger
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour + more for pan
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature + more for pan
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup dark molasses
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4-5 tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease (with butter) and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Tap out excess flour.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt. Stir well and set bowl aside. In a separate small bowl, stir together buttermilk and vanilla and set aside.
- Combine butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and light in color, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in molasses and ginger until combined and then one at a time, add in the eggs, beating in until well incorporated. Once everything is mixed in, scrape down bowl and paddle. add one third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated. add half of the buttermilk mixture and beat until the batter looks smooth, add in another third of the flour mixture. add remaining buttermilk and then the remaining flour mixture. the batter should be nice and smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and place on the center rack of your oven. bake for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing.
- While the gingerbread is cooling, prepare your icing. Make the icing by stirring the vanilla and the powdered sugar together in a small bowl. Stir the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a pourable consistency. We used about 4 ½ tablespoon of milk for this.
- When the gingerbread is cooled and removed from the pan, evenly pour on the icing. You may not need all of it. Let the icing set before slicing and serving.
If you make this recipe, please let us know on social media or in the comments below! Leave a star rating in your comment or tag us on Instagram with #Rhubarbarians
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