• Prep Time:
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  • Serves: 2 Servings

Gingerbread By Whistler's Mother

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Cakes, Desserts

 Ingredients List

  • 8 c Flour
  • 4 ts Ground ginger
  • 4 ts Baking powder
  • 2 1/2 c Molasses
  • 2 c Butter
  • 2 c Sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 c Milk or buttermilk


This is a dark brown gingerbread loaf with a close texture, light and with
a good flavor. It can be served plain or spread with butter. Mrs.
Whistler's original recipe reads: "6 eggs a pound of sugar a pint of
Molasses made luke warm, with a pound of butter melted, ginger to your
taste add flour untill the mixture is a stiff batter and three teaspoons of
dissolved pearlash, and 1/2 pint of milk or Buttermilk." Note: "Buttermilk"
here was not the fermented kind similar to yogurt that is sold today but
the refreshing, slightly salty liquid left in the churn after butter was
made. It would have made a slightly lighter cake than one made with milk.
From "Whistler's Mother's Cook Book" by Margaret F. MacDonald (Pomegranate
Artbooks, $10.95). This recipe can be halved or baked in 1-pound pans. If
1-pound pans are used, reduce baking time at 340 degrees to 25 minutes and
reduce baking time at 300 degrees to about
50 minutes.

Sift the flour into a bowl with the ginger and baking powder and make a
well in the center. Put the molasses, butter and sugar into a saucepan and
melt them together on low heat. Whisk the eggs and milk or buttermilk
together. Beat them into the flour alternately with the warm molasses
mixture. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees.

Divide the mixture between two buttered 2-pound loaf tins and bake the
cakes for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 300 degrees and continue baking
for 1 hour. Cool the cakes for 30 minutes in the tins and turn them onto
wire racks to cook completely.

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