Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze – A Not-So-Secret Christmas Tradition

Unlike some families, we don’t have a set-in-stone Christmas dinner menu. It really varies year to year. We’ve tried just about every holiday roast imaginable, and I don’t think we’ve even had the exact same side dishes twice, but when it comes to dessert, that’s a whole other story.

The meal must end with this gingerbread cake and it’s glistening lemon glaze. My wife Michele makes this every year, and uses a recipe she adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook, which despite being very simple, always gets rave reviews.

Of course, she adds a few secret, extra-exotic ingredients (I can’t confirm or deny that one is cardamom), which I didn’t use here, but I’ve always believed married couples should have there own unique gingerbread cake recipes, and mine features a little dash of Chinese five-spice instead.

Was it as good as Michele’s annual Christmas offering? Of course not (see why I’ve stayed happily married for 22 holidays?), but it was very delicious, and I’m sure you’d thoroughly enjoy it. So, if you’re looking for a new addition to your holiday dessert table, I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

Gingerbread ingredients for one 8 or 9-in square cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (8-oz by weight)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 rounded teaspoons ground ginger (3 if you like it spicier)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiling water
*Bake at 350ºF or about 35 minutes.
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest