(recipe, Richard J. Perry)
Gingerbread may have been invented by the ancient Greeks, but it has evolved over time and place. The earliest settlers to the New World enjoyed gingerbread often; the first recipe appeared in Amelia Simmons' American Cookery in 1796. This dark, spiced cake is lovely served plain or accompanied by whipped cream, lemon curd, or applesauce.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, salt, and cloves into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon zest and molasses and beat to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the bowl in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cake on a wire rack. Serve warm or cooled.