Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Gingerbread

gingerbread cake
bhofack2 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
213 Calories
5g Fat
36g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 213
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Sodium 452mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 6g
Calcium 122mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Gingerbread has long been a popular spice cake, probably dating back to the 1700s. Lafayette gingerbread, also known as Mary Ball Washington's ginger bread, is a similar recipe.

This gingerbread recipe includes molasses ginger flour, eggs, cinnamon, and buttermilk to make a delectable sweet treat for the holidays or at any time of year. Feel free to add some raisins or currants to the gingerbread.

Top this gingerbread with sweetened whipped cream or a dessert sauce.


  • 1 cup/4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar (packed, light or dark)
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (or shortening)

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.

  3. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, soda, and spices. Stir or whisk to combine thoroughly and set aside.

  4. In a mixing bowl, combine beaten egg, sugar, molasses, buttermilk, and melted butter. Beat until smooth.

  5. Add sifted dry ingredients gradually; stirring to blend. Beat until smooth.

  6. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.


  • Buttermilk adds acidity to a cake batter, which helps make the cake tender and moist. It interacts with the baking soda, adding carbon dioxide, which lightens the cake. If you don't have buttermilk, you can make sour milk with lemon juice or vinegar and milk. Just put 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar in your measuring cup and add milk to the 1/2-cup line. Let the mixture stand for at least 5 minutes.