Irresistible Colonial Gingerbread Recipe With A Twist

Are you looking for a recipe that will transport you to Colonial America with its rich and flavorful taste? If so, this Colonial Gingerbread Recipe is perfect for you. The gingerbread has been a staple of American cuisine since the 17th century, and this recipe stays true to the historical roots while adding a modern twist.

This recipe has been adapted from the original 18th-century gingerbread recipe used by Colonial Williamsburg back in the day. The ingredients and methods used in this recipe will take your taste buds on a trip down memory lane, reliving the flavors of that era.

Imagine sinking your teeth into a warm and spiced slice of gingerbread, as you take in the subtle hints of cinnamon and molasses. This recipe gives you just that – an authentic, delicious taste of history.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just seeking comfort food, this classic American dish is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Not to mention, gingerbread is versatile and can serve as everything from breakfast to dessert.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and preheat your oven. Let’s make some colonial-inspired gingerbread!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Colonial Gingerbread
Colonial Gingerbread

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of colonial America, look no further than this colonial gingerbread recipe. With its blend of warm, aromatic spices and rich molasses flavor, this recipe is sure to transport you back in time.

But what makes this recipe truly special is its versatility. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy dessert or a hearty breakfast treat, this gingerbread recipe can do it all. Bake it up as a classic cake, whip up a batch of gingerbread cookies, or even build your own gingerbread house – the possibilities are endless!

And best of all, this recipe is easy to make with pantry staple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. So why settle for boring store-bought desserts when you can impress your family and friends with a taste of authentic colonial cuisine? Give this colonial gingerbread recipe a try and prepare to be amazed!

Ingredient List

 The aroma of freshly baked gingerbread is pure bliss!
The aroma of freshly baked gingerbread is pure bliss!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to create a delicious and authentic colonial gingerbread, straight from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg.


  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (340g) molasses
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk

Be sure that your butter is completely softened at room temperature for smooth blending with the other ingredients. Use a good quality all-purpose flour for optimal texture. Don’t fret about adding too much spice as that ginger aroma will make the smell of your home divine – this recipe goes for a bold and authentic warmth of spice.

The Recipe How-To

 Gingerbread like grandma used to make
Gingerbread like grandma used to make

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s start making the Colonial Gingerbread Recipe!

Step 1: Preheat

Firstly, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Step 2: Combine dry ingredients

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices such as ground cinnamon and ground ginger until evenly mixed.

Step 3: Cream butter and sugar

Next, cream together butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Step 4: Add in wet ingredients

Add the egg, molasses, and optionally, a tablespoon of lemon juice to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix well.

Step 5: Gradually mix in dry ingredients

Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture into the wet mixture, mixing continuously until just combined. Do not overmix.

Step 6: Add buttermilk

Pour in 1/2 cup of buttermilk and mix gently again.

Step 7: Bake

With all ingredients now combined, pour the batter into your preferred baking pan (either a single loaf pan or an eight-inch square pan), then bake in preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Congratulations! You’ve made your very own delicious Colonial Gingerbread. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Sweet and spicy gingerbread made with love
Sweet and spicy gingerbread made with love

If you’re looking to put your own spin on this Colonial Gingerbread Recipe, there are several substitutions and variations you can make while still maintaining the delicious flavor profile.

One possible substitution for the buttermilk is to use regular milk or a non-dairy alternative like almond milk. You can also try swapping out the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour for a healthier take on this classic dessert.

For those with dietary restrictions or preferences, you can easily make this recipe vegan by using a vegan butter substitute and replacing the egg with a flax egg or applesauce. Gluten-free flour can also be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour in this recipe.

To add some extra flair, you can try incorporating other spices such as nutmeg or allspice, or even adding dried fruits like raisins or chopped apricots for added texture and sweetness. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not experiment with adding pumpkin puree or chocolate chips to create an entirely new flavor profile?

Another twist is to shape the gingerbread into fun shapes such as gingerbread men, houses, or even trees to give your dish some visual interest.

With so many options available, it’s easy to customize this Colonial Gingerbread Recipe to your personal preferences and tastes. Give it a try and enjoy creating a modern spin on an age-old dessert from colonial America!

Serving and Pairing

 A slice of colonial history in every bite
A slice of colonial history in every bite

Once you’ve baked your Colonial Gingerbread to perfection, it’s time to enjoy it! This gingery treat is perfect for serving with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The coolness of the cream or ice cream complements and balances the warmth and spice of the gingerbread.

For a truly colonial experience, serve your gingerbread alongside a cup of tea. The British tradition of afternoon tea was brought to America during colonial times, and gingerbread was often served as part of this meal. The tea adds a refreshing note that balances the warm spice of the ginger and makes for an authentic experience.

If you want to add some color and texture to your dessert platter, serve sliced fresh fruit with your Colonial Gingerbread. The crispness and tanginess of apples or pears pair well with the warmth and richness of the gingerbread. You could also try adding a few roasted nuts, like pecans or walnuts, for added crunch and depth.

For those who are feeling extra indulgent, top your gingerbread with a drizzle of caramel sauce or sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. These extra touches take this classic dessert recipe to new heights.

No matter how you choose to serve it, Colonial Gingerbread is a crowd-pleaser that is sure to impress your guests. With its rich flavors and inviting aroma, this dessert is perfect for any occasion – from casual family dinners to festive holiday celebrations!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Warm your soul with a slice of gingerbread
Warm your soul with a slice of gingerbread

As with most gingerbread recipes, this colonial gingerbread can be made ahead of time and stored for later. In fact, the flavor is known to improve after a few days! To make ahead, simply bake the gingerbread according to the recipe instructions, then let it cool completely. Once cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store at room temperature for up to 4 days.

If you need to store the gingerbread for longer than 4 days, it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. Wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container before storing.

To reheat the gingerbread, simply preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Unwrap the gingerbread and place it on a baking sheet, then warm it in the oven for about 5-10 minutes until heated through. You can also warm individual slices of gingerbread in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds.

This colonial gingerbread can also be frozen either before or after baking. If freezing before baking, simply prepare the batter as instructed and pour it into a freezer-safe container or bag. Label and date the container or bag then store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, thaw the batter in the refrigerator overnight then bake according to the recipe instructions.

If freezing after baking, allow the gingerbread to cool completely then wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap followed by a layer of freezer paper. Label and date the package then store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, allow the gingerbread to thaw at room temperature before reheating either in the oven or microwave as directed above.

These storing and reheating methods will ensure you always have fresh and delicious colonial gingerbread on hand whenever you crave it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for sharing with loved ones over a cup of tea
Perfect for sharing with loved ones over a cup of tea

Achieving the perfect colonial gingerbread can be challenging for those who are not accustomed to baking. Don’t be discouraged as I have some tips that will ensure your gingerbread turns out perfectly every time.

Firstly, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, especially your butter. Room-temperature butter creams better with the sugar, resulting in a lighter texture for the gingerbread. It also helps to soften and mix the molasses evenly.

Another essential tip is to sift the flour, baking soda, and spices together before adding them to the mixture. Sifting removes any lumps and evenly distributes the baking soda throughout the flour, maximizing its leavening power.

When mixing the wet ingredients, ensure not to overmix them; otherwise, it could result in a dense cake. Mix thoroughly until well combined but do not go beyond that point.

The amount of ginger you add determines how intense or mild your gingerbread will flavour. If you prefer a more robust taste of ginger, adjust your recipe accordingly. Just be sure not to add too much as it can overpower all other flavours.

Once baked, allow the cake to cool completely before cutting it into slices. This cooling process helps prevent the cake’s interior from becoming dense because of steam inside it leading to trapped moisture.

Finally, when storing your gingerbread, ensure it is correctly wrapped with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to seal in moisture and prevent exposure to air that can cause staleness. You can also store it in an airtight container if you prefer.

These tips may seem simple but they are crucial steps that give fantastic results for your Colonial Gingerbread Recipe every time you make it!


Now that you know everything about this colonial gingerbread recipe, I’m going to answer some common questions you might have about it. From ingredient substitutions to the best way to store leftovers, these FAQs will help you troubleshoot any potential issues and make sure your gingerbread turns out perfectly every time. So, let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about this delicious dessert!

What are the three types of gingerbread?

Let’s talk about different types of gingerbread. One is brown gingerbread, which is made with honey or syrup and baked without a wafer base. Another type is wafer gingerbread, which involves the use of a wafer base. Lastly, we have honey gingerbread, which is pretty self-explanatory as it’s made with honey! In this article, we’ll focus on a classic honey gingerbread recipe.

What was gingerbread traditionally sweetened by?

The term “gingerbread” encompasses a wide range of baked treats that are typically seasoned with ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and made sweet with honey, sugar or molasses.

How do I make my gingerbread more moist?

One common mistake in cookie making is the tendency to add too much flour, which can result in dry and crumbly cookies. If you encounter this issue with your dough, there’s no need to panic. All you need to do is incorporate a tablespoon of milk into the mixture until the dough becomes soft and pliable again. Remember to refrigerate the dough for at least three hours before baking. This crucial step will not only enhance the flavor of the dough, but also ensure that the cookies maintain their desirable consistency and don’t spread excessively during baking.

How do you make Nigella gingerbread?

I have here a list of ingredients that we will be needing for our recipe. Let’s get started! We need 150ml (or 5 fluid ounces) of vegetable oil, 200g (or 7 ounces) of golden syrup, 200g (or 7 ounces) of black treacle, 125g (or 4 and a half ounces) of dark muscovado sugar, 75g (or 2 and three-fourths ounces) of pitted soft prunes (which is roughly equivalent to 8 prunes), finely chopped, 30g (or 1 ounce) of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this colonial gingerbread recipe is an amazing dessert that you simply must try out. It has a perfect balance of ginger, cinnamon, and molasses which will fill your home with a mouthwatering aroma you just won’t be able to resist. This recipe will satisfy your sweet cravings and bring a taste of colonial America into your home.

Not only is this gingerbread recipe delicious, but it is also easy to make and can be modified according to your preferences. You can add nuts or raisins, use honey instead of molasses, or even cut out the dough to make fun gingerbread men for the kids. Moreover, it is suitable for different occasions and can be served for afternoon tea, family gatherings, or even as part of your Thanksgiving spread.

Finally, if you’re looking for a dessert that is versatile in its serving options, this colonial gingerbread recipe is perfect. You can serve it warm with lemon sauce or cold with whipped cream. You can also store it for later enjoyment or even freeze the dough and make gingerbread biscuits for future snacking.

In short, I highly recommend this colonial gingerbread recipe for anyone looking for a delicious and versatile dessert option. Its rich flavor profile combined with the ease of preparation will leave you wanting more with each bite. So take a trip down memory lane to colonial America and prepare yourself a batch of this timeless classic that has stood the test of time.

Colonial Gingerbread

Colonial Gingerbread Recipe

This is a great recipe that was clipped from a magazine many years ago.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 270.6 kcal


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg


  • Preheat the over to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Butter and flour a 9x9x2 inch pan.
  • Measure all ingredients into a large bowl. With mixer at low speed, beat until blended, constantly scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Increase the speed to medium and continue beating for 3 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl.
  • Pour into pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • Note: 1 T. vinegar plus milk may be substituted for the buttermilk.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 87gCalories: 270.6kcalCarbohydrates: 46.2gProtein: 3.3gFat: 8.5gSaturated Fat: 5.1gCholesterol: 38.6mgSodium: 289.1mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 24.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, Easy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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