Colonial Gingerbread Cake Recipe

American 17th Century Gingerbread – Historically Hungry

  • Author: Jenni
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 9 Servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


1 tsp baking soda

1 cup whole milk

1 cup molasses (can also use honey or treacle)

2 eggs

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg



Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Grease a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with soft butter and set aside.

In a small sauce pan, warm the milk until almost boiling.

Pour the milk into a cup and add the baking soda. Stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the molasses and eggs together.

Add in the butter (you want super soft butter – not quite melted but almost). It will be lumpy, that’s ok.

Whisk in the sugar, the flour, and the spices and whisk until smooth and thick.

Carefully pour in the warm milk and stir until combined.

Pour into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean.

Allow to cool on a wire rackĀ in the pan for 20 minutes.

Cut into pieces and enjoy!


You can sub out half the molasses for a well flavorful honey, or treacle syrup.

You can also add in 1/2 cup of chopped candied orange and/or lemon peel to the gingerbread.