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Mrs. Coughran's Southern Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce #SundayFunday

Today the Sunday Funday group is writing about and sharing ginger recipes. Thanks to Stacy of Food Lust People Love, Sue of Palatable Pastime, Rebekah of Making Miracles, and Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for coordinating this low-stress group. This week, Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds is hosting. Here's the line-up...

I love ginger. Fresh ginger, dried ginger, candied ginger. It all adds a beautiful flavor and spice to whatever it is in. I considered re-making a new version of my Spiced Ginger Molasses Cookies; and I thought about going savory with Thai-Inspired Chicken Satay or Ginger Miso Petrale. But, in the end, I opted to share the first gingerbread cake that showed me how magical gingerbread and ginger really are.

Mrs. Coughran's Southern Gingerbread
with Lemon Sauce

It's a wonderful thing when you can pinpoint the exact moment when you fall in love, right? I started with her recipe and made a few small changes, including adding in candied ginger chips, lemon zest, and few more ground spices. But it was still, as her recipe declares, "Good Stuff!"

Ingredients makes three small cakes

  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup organic dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup candied ginger, roughly chopped
  • Also needed: three cake pans, buttered and lined with parchment paper; powdered sugar, optional
Lemon Sauce
  • 2 cups organic granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • zest and juice from 2 organic lemons


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and all the ground spices. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until lightened and fluffy. Beat in the molasses, eggs, and grated ginger. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Then, while stirring constantly, incorporate the boiling water to create a batter. Stir the candied ginger into the batter, then divide evenly between the cake pans.

Place the cakes into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for five minutes before inverting. Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely on wire racks.

Lemon Sauce
In a mixing bowl that fits snugly over a saucepan, beat together the eggs and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Fill the saucepan with water but make sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the mixing bowl.

Add in the cubed butter, boiling water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk until the butter is melted. Nestle the bowl over the saucepan and bring the water to a bowl. Cook in the double boiler until desired thickness. I wanted mine really thick to use as a frosting of sorts. Let sauce cool. Once the cakes and sauce are cooled, it's time to it all together.

I opted to cut one of the cakes into heart-shaped pieces for decoration, but you can make a three-layer cake if you like.

Place one of the cakes on a serving platter. Spoon the cooled sauce on top of the cake and spread to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Place the second cake layer on top. Spoon more sauce over that and spread all the way to the edge. 

For the heart-shaped pieces, I sprinkled powdered sugar over the top to give it contrast. Serve immediately.

That's a wrap for the #SundayFunday ginger event. We'll be sharing pesto recipes next week with Sue of Palatable Pastime leading the discussion. Stay tuned.


  1. This sounds wonderful, and ginger and lemon is such a wonderful combo.

  2. What a wonderful memory for you to share with us. The hearts are perfect with your story.

  3. That is truly a treasured recipe that has stood the test of time! I love the ginger and lemon together!

  4. Ginger and lemon is a classic combination. This gingerbread looks so inviting. A must try recipe.


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