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 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 boxes (1 lb.) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. whole milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan with pan spray. Beat together 4 tablespoons 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 to 40 minutes, until a pick inserted at the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • Cream together remaining 2 tablespoons butter and half the confectioners' sugar until smooth and lump-free. Slowly add lemon zest, juice, and milk. Blend until smooth. Add remaining sugar and beat until fluffy. Spread frosting evenly onto gingerbread. To serve, slice in squares.