Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling


9 pieces

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
My dad always told me that his mother made gingerbread with hot water and that hers was dense and rich with molasses. Over the years, I looked for such a recipe—to no avail. Then one day I was given a book compiled by an elderly woman who recalled recipes from her childhood in Virginia, and there it was! I made only one change, using shortening instead of lard. —cjwkat, tasteofhome.com
Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup shortening, cubed
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-in. square baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, mix butter, shortening and boiling water until smooth; cool slightly. Beat in eggs and molasses until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into molasses mixture. Transfer to prepared pan.
  2. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 414 calories, 17g fat (8g saturated fat), 68mg cholesterol, 390mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.