Margaret Julia Howard’s Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

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2¼ cups sifted flour
1¼ teaspoons ginger
1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup brown sugar, dark or light, sieved
¾ cup molasses
¾ cup shortening, melted (Howard uses Crisco)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water

Line the bottom of a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan (or two small loaf pans) with waxed paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift flour with spices and baking powder. In a separate large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and molasses with melted shortening until creamy. In a small bowl, mix baking soda in hot water and stir to dissolve. Pour baking soda and water mixture alternately with flour and spice mixture into shortening mixture. Beat until smooth. Pour into lined pan and bake for 35 minutes, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a rack to cool.

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