Recently, I have been feeling nostalgic for dark gingerbread. When she was alive, my “Big Ma” (close elderly family friend/like a southern grandmother) made the best gingerbread ever. I asked my Facebook friends if any of them had a great recipe. Of course, my friend Mike Petti had one. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has cooked at a variety of fine NYC restaurants and hotels. Mike sent me a recipe, but it was a little too fancy for me. We went back and forth a couple of times in order to simplify it. “Can I use this instead of that?” is one of my favorite questions so that we moms can pick up everything in one grocery store visit. Then, of course, I had to add caramel…because (almost) everything tastes better with caramel on top.
In any event, the recipe came out great. My five-year-old son Sean wanted to eat it for dessert every day for a week! I will admit that it does not live up to my Big Ma’s gingerbread standard, but then again neither does any other gingerbread that I have tasted in the last 25+ years. Oh well, this is the next best thing… 🙂
Easy Gingerbread with Caramel Sauce Recipe
- 1 stick butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup dark molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 2 & ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup heavy cream
- caramel sauce (for drizzling as a topping)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a 9-inch square baking pan with a light coating of butter and flour. Set the pan aside.
2. In a large bowl, use a mixer on a medium setting to beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar to the bowl until the mixture is creamy. Add the molasses and eggs to the mixture and mix everything together until it is combined.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the cream into the large bowl containing the butter mixture.
4. Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan and bake at 350 for approximately 40 minutes. (A toothpick injected into the middle should come out dry.)
(Optional) 5. Once the gingerbread has cooled off, you can use a spoon to drizzle the caramel sauce over each slice before serving it.
-Add one teaspoon of grated orange peel
-Exchange 1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger for one and a half of the three teaspoons of ground ginger.
-Exchange one cup of buttermilk for the cup of heavy cream.
-For a milder ginger flavor, only use two teaspoons of ginger instead of three.