As is the case every year after Thanksgiving, I am so sick of turkey I could spit. Luckily, it’s almost gone. Just another gallon of soup to finish, then we’re on to bigger and better things.

That means it is time to start thinking Christmas around here. I like to start the season off with gingerbread. Not the house, or the men, but this luscious cake. My plan is to fill the house with this heavenly scent, then send everyone out shopping. Like Pavlov’s dogs, the scent will not only trigger salivation, but will remind them of how much they want to buy me stuff.

This recipe is easy and the lemon icing is the perfect accompaniment, setting off the rich spicy cake with a pleasant tartness.


4 oz. (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses
1 cup hot water
2-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. clove

For the Frosting:
2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 TB. vanilla
Grated zest of one lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 (1 lb.) box powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat a cake pan with melted butter. (10″ round, 9×13” rectangular, or bundt are all fine.) Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices, and set aside. Combine the water and molasses and set aside. In a large bowl, using a sturdy spoon or an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Add the sifted ingredients alternately with the molasses mixture and blend until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350˚F for 30-40 minutes, until a pick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
  2.  For the frosting, cream together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, lemon zest and juice with a sturdy spoon or electric mixer until lump-free. Slowly add powdered sugar, and mix until smooth. Adjust consistency with more sugar or lemon juice as needed, then spread evenly onto gingerbread. Enjoy!
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