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Memory Maker ~ Spicy Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

December 4, 2009



Gingerbread is the smell of childhood Christmas to me.  I remember my ornery grandmother, Frances, making gingerbread several times a week in the months of November and December.  She baked it in a plain, aluminum 9×13 that had long since seen its heyday and always had warm lemon sauce to go with it.  I don’t remember ever having fresh lemons around, but I do remember the big bottle of lemon flavoring and watching her indiscriminately pour and taste until it was just right.  No recipes for Frances.

I am not as experienced or brave as my grandmother was, but I do love gingerbread with lemon sauce … and I’m sure I always will.

Here is my version of her timeless classic ~


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Butter and flour a bundt pan
  • Sift together 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and allspice, 2 tablespoons ground ginger


  • Add to sifted dry ingredients 1/4 cup freshly grated ginger


  • In a mixer, cream 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of dark brown sugar until fluffy (about 2 minutes)
  • Beat in 1 egg
  • Beat in 1 cup of  molasses

  • Alternately add dry ingredients (3 times) and 1 cup of buttermilk (2 times) to the ingredients in the mixer bowl.  BEGIN and END with the flour mixture

  • At the very end, blend in 1/2  teaspoon of black pepper


  • Bake at 350 degrees about 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  • Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes

  • Invert onto rack

  • Tap to loosen the cake from the bundt pan

  • Gently pull the pan away from the sides of the cake


  • Let the cake cool for at least half an hour before you cut into it (easier said than done because it smells just like heaven!)


Lemon Sauce:  

Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gradually stir in 1 cup cold water. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, till thick and clear.

Stir small amount of hot mixture into 2 lightly beaten egg yolks, then return to hot mixture. Cook and stir one minute. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Return to heat for one minute and stir until butter is melted and ingredients are well combined.

I always pour the sauce on the plate so it soaks into the whole surface of the cake.  Top with whipped cream and drizzle a little more of the sauce over the top. 

Serve the cake and the sauce warm … Sugarplums will surely dance in your head.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2009 4:05 pm

    Now I know we must be related. The Geek’s g-mother made that sauce to go with her carrot pudding/hard sauce for Christmas every year. Then his mom made it, and then I was appointed maker of the heart stopping (literally) pudding. We don’t make it anymore, but that lemon sauce is really good stuff! This looks fantastic.

  2. December 4, 2009 4:24 pm

    I love anything lemon and this looks and sounds just yummy!

  3. December 7, 2009 10:58 am

    oh i think ill make the lemon sauce. i love that stuff..mmm

  4. cathincolor permalink
    December 9, 2009 1:37 pm

    This looks so delicious. My kids love gingerbread & lemon, so they’ll be in heaven!

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