The holidays aren’t complete without the smell of this bread wafting through the air. Lemon icing is the perfect accompaniment, setting off this rich, spicy bread with a pleasant tartness.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hourDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 12


  • 6 oz. butter, softened, divided
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 boxes (1 lb.) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. whole milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9" × 13" rectangular pan with pan spray. Beat together 4 ounces (1 stick) butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg and mix well. Combine the molasses and water; set aside. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; add to butter mixture alternately with mixed molasses and water. Blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to prepared pan and bake at 350°F 30–40 minutes, until a pick inserted at the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • Cream together remaining butter and half the powdered sugar until smooth and lump-free. Slowly add lemon zest, juice, and milk. Blend until smooth. Add remaining sugar and beat until fluffy. Adjust consistency with more sugar or milk as needed. Spread frosting evenly onto gingerbread. To serve, slice in squares.