Holiday Gingerbread

Baking,Christmas,Dessert,Recipes,Special Occasions
December 1, 2007

Please everyone with old and new recipes for a holiday cake.

Elsie's Gingerbread
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn

What sweet was mentioned by Chaucer, Shakespeare and poet e e cummings? It’s gingerbread. Though this confection seems a little homey for all that history, only bread itself has an older recorded history. But clearly, man, and woman, cannot live by bread alone. He, or she, needs a little spice.

Gingerbread has had two forms. It’s either a cookie (often cut into gingerbread men or used as slabs to construct edible holiday houses) or a cake (airy, spicy, tender and egg- and butter-rich). Cake-style gingerbreads first appeared in European recipe collections in the 18th century and quickly became popular. In 1796, Amelia Simmons included five different versions in her American Cookery. And we’re still tweaking this old favorite today.

By Crescent Dragonwagon, a food writer in Saxtons River, Vt.


Elsie's Gingerbread

Elsie's Gingerbread

This streusel-topped version, light on molasses and heavy on spice, has a moist, almost coffeecake-like texture and a delicate crumb.


White Gingerbread

A terrific gingerbread featuring three kinds of ginger.

Classic Hot-Water Gingerbread

This quick gingerbread cake features a sweet and tangy Lemon-Orange Sauce.


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