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Buttermilk Gingerbread

Holiday baking madness continues!

Actually, this hardly constitutes holiday baking as I made it for myself, as a reward for the rest of the baking I’ve been doing.

The holiday season has put me in a mood for spicy food – not chili pepper spicy, but ginger/cloves spicy. Hence, gingerbread.

I have never made gingerbread before as I am a little intimidated by molasses. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the flavour that it lends to baked goods, but its bitter-sweet smell and tar like appearance always make me a little nervous. I worry that my breads will be overly spiced (if that is even possible). I learned my lesson here, though, and would put in maybe a touch more spice next time. And yes, there will be a next time.

I was hoping to make this in a nice 8×8 cake pan, but mine was MIA so I had to use a loaf pan. I know the picture isn’t that great, but you can still see some of the lovely caramely swirls of molasses that formed while the bread was baking. Because I had some buttermilk left over from my chocolate cake, I substituted the water called for in the original gingerbread recipe with buttermilk. It was super light and just right in terms of moisture, with a fine crumb that wasn’t cakey at all.

I also was extremely lazy and mixed everything by hand in one bowl. I know you’re thinking “By hand? How is that lazy?” but think of all the cleanup that eliminates. I didn’t sift anything, just dumped the dry ingredients into the wet and stirred.

Buttermilk Gingerbread

1 1/2 cups ap flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup molasses

1/2 cup buttermilk

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl.

Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg. Add molasses and buttermilk and mix until well combined.

Add dry ingredients to the molasses mixture and stir until just smooth.

Bake in a greased loaf pan for 45 minutes at 350F.


Bake in a greased 8×8 pan for 25 minutes at 325F.

Bread is done when tester comes out clean or with a little bit of crumb.


Feel free to substitute water for the buttermilk, or sour cream if you want a richer bread. If using water, reduce baking soda by 1/2 teaspoon. Don’t worry if the top of the bread gets a bit dark – that’s the molasses caramelising.

I feel this would be a good canditate for replacing the butter with applesauce if you want a reduced fat version – I may try this next time myself.

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