Published November 1, 1995.
For the best version of this traditional cake, use light molasses, equal parts of whole milk and buttermilk, and melt the butter before adding it to the batter.
Despite its name, gingerbread is a cake rather than a bread, being tender, moist, and several inches thick. And like all cakes, it easily suffers from the problem of being too dry. It can also be too spicy or, of course, not spicy enough.
We wanted a recipe for traditional American gingerbread: a sweet, moist, well-balanced spice cake with a slightly crispy top and crust. We wanted a cake that would be a boon to busy cooks who could pop a batch into the oven an hour or so before mealtime and be rewarded with warm gingerbread squares for dessert.
Use milk rather than hot water (which many recipes call for) for a richer, moister cake, and for better flavor use half buttermilk and half milk. Sweeten with a combination of light unsulfured molasses and white sugar, and use butter rather than oil, shortening, or lard. Don't forget to spice with ginger, along with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and a little cocoa.list of recipes