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Chiffon Gingerbread

gingerbread cake

This recipe was filed under great- great- grandma Nellie's desserts, mixed in with things she served during the holidays around 1940. It is a light and fluffy version of a really moist gingerbread cookie. I compare this to a sponge cake. It's quite delicious without being too overwhelming with spice. It truly makes a lovely holiday dessert, especially topped with sliced bananas that have been sautéed in a little butter and brown sugar.

I've put an * by the items I can purchase at my Illinois farmers market.


  • 1/2 cup shortening

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 cup molasses

  • 2 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

  • 1 cup hot water


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Cream the shortening and sugar.

  • Add the egg and molasses and mix well.

  • Add dry ingredients which have been sifted together.

  • Add hot water and beat until smooth.

  • Pour into a greased and floured 9"x13" cake pan.

  • Bake for about 40 minutes. Check, and if needed, may bake for an additional 10 minutes.

  • Allow cake to cool before cutting into squares.

  • Serve with bananas sautéed in butter and brown sugar. Or, a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Serving size: Serves about 12-15 people.

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