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Contest-Winning Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

I asked my mother-in-law for this recipe once I learned it's my husband's favorite. Now I bake it whenever he needs an extra-special treat. Spice cake topped with lemony sauce makes us both smile. —Kristen Oak, Pocatello, Idaho
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    20 servings


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Dash salt
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Beat shortening, sugar, molasses and eggs until well blended. Combine next five ingredients; add to molasses mixture alternately with hot water.
  • Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, for lemon sauce, combine first five ingredients in a small saucepan until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  • Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Gently stir in butter, lemon juice and zest, increasing juice if needed to thin sauce. Serve with warm cake. Refrigerate leftover sauce.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece with about 1 tablespoon sauce: 283 calories, 12g fat (3g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 304mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • ACarson2012
    Aug 10, 2020

    Have not made this yet but want to. My mom used to make the gingerbread (myself as well) with the warm lemon sauce served on top. Wish I had her lemon sauce recipe but will try this one.

  • Cheryl
    Oct 16, 2019

    This is very much like my Grandma's gingerbread except she made a clear lemon sauce that she served warm with the cake - no eggs, spice or cream. I tried this sauce, but the family liked our old sauce better. It's probably just what you get used to and it becomes a memory!

  • sajmfk
    Oct 17, 2018

    Where's the rest of the lemmon sauce ingredients!

  • bernerlover
    Feb 18, 2018

    this was good, but not great. I did love the lemon sauce though and I definitely think it did need it. I'll make the lemon sauce again!

  • SecretarialSue
    Dec 8, 2017

    No comment left

  • Butcher2boy
    Dec 3, 2017

    You had me at lemon sauce! This is absolutely delicious. I drizzled the lemon sauce over the cake after the "feasting of the warm sauce" was devoured. This is a keeper.

  • csilk57
    Dec 23, 2011

    i made this a few years back for christmas and i'm making again this year. the lemon sauce is an amazing compliment to the spicy cake!

  • Mark
    Mar 26, 2006

    No comment left

  • josephine
    Jan 21, 2006

    No comment left

  • theosuperstar
    Dec 10, 2005

    No comment left