8 Glorious Recipes Filled With Gingerbread’s Sweet and Spicy Flavors

Gingerbread men are a quintessential holiday treat, but if you are only enjoying gingerbread in cookie form, you’re missing out on a wide variety of wondrous dishes. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves will add sweet and spicy flavors to many of your breakfasts and desserts, creating warm and toasty gingerbread pancakes, doughnut holes, and fudge dishes that are perfect to enjoy during the cold-weather months. If you’re looking to add a little spice to your life this winter, these eight recipes are just what you need.

1. Gingerbread Loaf

loaf

Loaf | iStock.com

Taste of Home’s Gingerbread Loaf is marvelously moist and filled with stunning spices. If you’re looking for something to spread on your bread, we suggest making Wonderland Kitchen’s rich and tangy Cream Cheese. The recipe yields 2 loaves.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, syrup, and oil. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into two greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

2. Gingerbread Pancakes

stack of spiced pancakes with brown sugar, syrup, and pecans

Spiced pancakes | iStock.com

Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves transform plain pancakes into fabulous flapjacks that are bursting with lovely flavors. Williams-Sonoma’s recipe, which was adapted from Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay, and Charles Pierce’s cookbook, Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons light molasses
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup water

Orange blossom maple syrup

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons orange flower water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the orange blossom maple syrup, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the maple syrup. Pour into a small bowl or pitcher and stir in the orange flower water and vanilla until well blended. Serve warm, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Warm over low heat before serving.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, molasses, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, and the water. Add the brown sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. There will be some small lumps. Place a large griddle or fry pan with low sloping sides over medium heat until hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle, and then immediately evaporate. Brush with some of the remaining melted butter. For each pancake, ladle about ¼ cup batter onto the hot surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until small bubbles appear and the edges start to look dry, about 4 minutes.

After 3 minutes, lift a pancake to check if the underside is done; do not let the pancakes darken too much. Carefully turn the pancakes over and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 1 minute more. Transfer to an ovenproof platter and place in the oven to keep warm; do not cover the pancakes or they will get soggy. Repeat with the remaining batter and butter to make about 8 pancakes, each about 4 inches in diameter. Serve the pancakes immediately, accompanied by the syrup.

3. Gingerbread Doughnut Holes

doughnut holes

Homemade doughnut holes | iStock.com

Thanks to Pillsbury’s Gingerbread Doughnut Holes, breakfast has never tasted better. The recipe only takes 30 minutes to prepare, making it a magnificent morning treat to serve your overnight guests. It yields 24 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking mix
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions: In large bowl, stir baking mix, ¼ cup of the sugar, the ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. In small bowl, mix milk, molasses, and eggs. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. In deep fryer or 3-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In small bowl, mix remaining ½ cup sugar and the cinnamon; set aside. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into hot oil; cook 2 minutes, turning once, until brown. Drain on paper towels; roll warm doughnut holes in cinnamon-sugar.

4. Gingerbread Cheesecake

Homemade Coffee marble cheesecake

Cheesecake | iStock.com/Nungning20

Whether you’re looking for a dessert to take to a holiday party or want an enticing treat to serve after supper, Martha Stewart’s Gingerbread Cheesecake won’t disappoint. Molasses and aromatic spices create a decadent dish that will tantalize your tastebuds. The recipe yields 10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • ½ recipe Molasses-Gingerbread Cookie Dough
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2 pounds (four 8-ounce bars) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsulfured molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 gingerbread men, for decorating

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a 13-by-10-inch rectangle, about ¼ inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Break into large pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Combine butter, ¼ cup sugar, and 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and one-third of the way up side of springform pan.

Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan with a double layer of foil. Set a kettle of water to a boil. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in remaining 1½ cups sugar and the vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, and zest. Pour filling into cooled crust.

Set springform pan in a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up side of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer springform pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours. Before serving, run a knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen; remove sides of pan. Arrange gingerbread cookies in center of cake in a circle.

5. Gingerbread Cake

baked whole marble cake

Pound cake | iStock.com/xtrekx

Bon Appétit’s dessert dish consists of a heavenly cake and a rich and creamy lemon frosting. The recipe yields 8 servings. If you’re looking for the perfect complement to this cake, we suggest making Chocolate Covered Katie’s Gingerbread Ice Cream.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  •  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger

Topping

  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup store-bought lemon curd
  • Finely grated lemon zest

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with parchment paper; spray paper. Whisk flour and next five ingredients in a medium bowl. Place butter in a large bowl. Pour ½ cup boiling water over; whisk until melted. Whisk in sugar and next three ingredients. Add dry ingredients; whisk to blend.

Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack; let cool. Remove parchment. To make the topping, beat cream and sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold in curd, leaving swirls. Spread over cake. Garnish with zest.

6. Gingerbread Trifle With Mascarpone-Amaretto Whipped Cream

pumpkin butter Greek yogurt parfait

Trifle | iStock.com/nata_vkusidey

Tasty Trials’ recipe creates a light and zesty dessert dish that is perfect to serve after a heavy and filling supper. The recipe yields 4 to 6 servings and must be refrigerated for at least 1 hour.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crumbled gingerbread cake
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Sliced almonds

Directions: In an electric mixer, combine mascarpone, Amaretto, and honey on medium speed until smooth. Add heavy cream and whip mixture on high until peaks form. Spoon whipped cream into a pastry bag. In small glasses, layer about half the gingerbread cake crumbs, pressing down slightly.

Pipe whipped cream over the top of the cake; sprinkle with sliced almonds. Add another layer of gingerbread cake using remaining crumbles. Press down slightly. Pipe final layer of whipped cream over the cake. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. It can be made ahead several hours or even overnight.

7. Gingerbread Fudge

Dark Chocolate Fudge

Fudge | iStock.com

Using molasses, brown sugar, evaporated milk, spices, and white chocolate chips, you can create Crazy For Crust’s fudge, which tastes just like gingerbread cookie dough. Make your fudge look fun and festive by adding a few sprinkles to your finished product. It yields 36 to 48 pieces.

Ingredients:

  • 3¼ cups white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles, if desired

Directions: Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place white chocolate chips, brown sugar, molasses, evaporated milk, and all spices in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine, then place over medium-low heat. Stir almost continuously until melted and smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Chill fudge to set. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

8. Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread men

Gingerbread men | iStock.com

For those of you who you are looking to bake the perfect Gingerbread Men, we’ve included a recipe just for you. You can create spectacular Gingerbread Cookies following Food Network’s recipe, which yields 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Royal Icing

Royal Icing

  • 1 pound (4½ cups) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried egg white powder
  • 6 tablespoons water

Directions: Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt, and pepper through a wire sieve into a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter and vegetable shortening until well-combined, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into two thick disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.

To roll out the cookies, work with one disk at a time, keeping the other disk refrigerated. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just warm enough to roll out without cracking, about 10 minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Roll out the dough to ⅛-inch thick, being sure that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface. For softer cookies, roll out slightly thicker. Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and transfer to nonstick cookie sheets, placing the cookies 1 inch apart. Gently knead the scraps together and form into another disk. Wrap and chill for 5 minutes before rolling out again to cut out more cookies.

Bake, switching the positions of the cookies from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are set and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cake racks to cool completely. Decorate with Royal Icing. To make the icing, in a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed, beat the confectioners’ sugar, egg white powder, and water until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until very stiff, shiny, and thick enough to pipe; 3 to 5 minutes.

To pipe line decorations, use a pastry bag fitted with a tube with a small writing tip about ⅛-inch wide. If necessary, thin the icing with a little warm water. To fill the pastry bag, fit it with the tube. Fold the top of the bag back to form a cuff and hold it in one hand.  Using a rubber spatula, scoop the icing into the bag. Unfold the cuff and twist the top of the bag closed. Squeeze the icing down to fill the tube. Always practice first on a sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil to check the flow and consistency of the icing.

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