Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 21: Mom’s Gingerbread

This is a perfect bake for Winter Solstice Night. This gingerbread is dark as the longest night and full of warming spices to make you think of the heat of the returning sun. It has a surprisingly light, delicate texture, even after it has completely cooled. It is very hard to only eat one piece. You can serve it with vanilla ice cream, like my mom does, but it truly needs no accompaniment, and is as good the next day for breakfast with your beverage of choice. It’s also amazingly easy and quick to make. You definitely don’t want to save it just for holidays.

Mom’s Gingerbread


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup light molasses (unsulfured)
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Grease a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan. Put a kettle on to boil the water. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the egg until well mixed. Add the sugar and beat until mixed and lightened in color. Add the vegetable oil and molasses, and beat until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl very well.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two parts, beating and scraping well between additions. Be sure everything is combined completely before the next step. Also, be sure the oven has preheated to 350 deg. F.
  4. Add the boiling water. Starting at low speed, mix the water into the batter, and when it’s combined, raise the speed to medium for about 1 minute to finish combining everything.
  5. Pour the batter all at once into the prepared pan, give it a little shake to move the batter into the corners and level it off, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a couple of places in the center comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack to cool. It is easier to cut and serve at room temperature, but it is wonderful served slightly warm, as long as you handle it gently.

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