Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Today is National Pfeffernusse Day. Pfeffernusse is a variant of German Lebkuchen, or gingerbread. Pferffernusse cookies differ from regular German gingerbread in that they are rolled into balls and then glazed with powdered sugar after baking.

During the holidays I love to make a moist Gingerbread. If you like, dust the gingerbread with confectioners’ sugar and present it on a platter. I like to serve it a whipped topping.

Old-fashioned gingerbread is the perfect treat to keep on hand during the holidays. There are many variations: from the darkest, densest cakes made with robust molasses and stout beer to the lightest, most delicate cakes flavored only with brown sugar and a hint of ground ginger.


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 2/3 cup mild-flavored molasses, such as Grandma's Original (not Robust or Blackstrap)

  • 2/3 cup boiling water

  • 1 large egg

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream (not ultra pasteurized, if possible)

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup