Nothing says winter holidays like gingerbread, but there’s more to this flavor than cookies. Embrace the spirit of the season with our curated collection of five gingerbread-inspired recipes that promise to infuse your kitchen with the warm aromas and festive flavors. From wholesome energy bites to indulgent cakes, each recipe is a culinary journey crafted by food bloggers who have mastered the art of adding new twists to old favorites.
First eaten in ancient Greece, gingerbread has long satiated the taste buds of dessert-eaters. After gaining widespread popularity in Medieval Europe, the spice-rich dessert evolved into diverse forms, from the soft, cake-like varieties in England to the intricately decorated cookies of Germany.
Today, the internet abounds with holiday recipes featuring that unique blend of spice common to gingerbread: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. (Note: pumpkin spice usually has more cinnamon and less ginger, though the spices are usually the same.) We think this fragrant and delicious treat is synonymous with the season, so we’ve rounded up our favorite gingerbread-inspired recipes for you to make and share.
Gingerbread Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
There’s a certain decadence to gingerbread when iced, and at Eartheasy we’re partial to cream cheese frosting (classic or vegan). This creation from Cookie and Kate harmonizes the rich, spiced notes of gingerbread with that creamy indulgence, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and tang. The final result is a festive confection that embodies the warmth of the holidays, making it an irresistible centerpiece for any celebratory gathering.
Gingerbread Eggnog Sufganiyot
Savor this seasonal fusion of flavors from What Jew Wanna Eat. This delectable creation intertwines a festive gingerbread favorite with eggnog and the traditional Jewish treat of sufganiyot. Each doughnut is a pillowy delight, generously filled with eggnog-flavored cream that adds a swooning touch to every bite during Hanukkah–or any time of year.
What do you make for holiday breakfasts? How about something created ahead so that children can pour and serve when they get up far too early for the rest of us? That’s why we love Minimalist Baker’s Gingerbread Granola. This wholesome creation combines the comforting flavors of gingerbread with granola’s satisfying crunch. As it bakes to golden perfection, the granola develops a wonderful aroma that fills your kitchen with the essence of the holiday season. The finished product is perfect for sprinkling over yogurt, enjoying with milk, or simply for snacking on its own.
Vegan Gingerbread Christmas Trifle
If you’re looking for real indulgence, here’s one for you. This delightful dessert from the Loopy Whisk is a symphony of flavors and textures. Layers of moist, vegan gingerbread cake alternate with velvety vegan custard and a luscious cranberry compote, creating a contrast of sweet and tart that’s just right. Crowned with cloud of coconut whipped cream, there’s lots to admire.
Gingerbread Energy Bites
This wholesome treat is perfect for holidays on the go. Created by Jessica in the Kitchen, these bite-sized delights combine the warm, comforting flavors of gingerbread with the nutritious goodness of energy-packed ingredients. Featuring medjool dates and rolled oats, the mixture is shaped into bite-sized rounds and coated in a dusting of coconut, resulting in a satisfyingly sweet and spiced exterior. To add even more holiday spirit, the author offers chocolate-coated options. Try a guilt-free indulgence with a burst of energy and a festive flavor.
Whether you sip, crunch or chew your gingerbread-inspired dessert, rest assured you’re serving the best of the season.
Tips for cooking gingerbread-flavored desserts
We hope we’ve inspired you to expand your gingerbread repertoire by showing how versatile this seasonal favorite can be.
Here are ten tips to help you enjoy your treats even more:
- Use fresh ingredients: Always use fresh spices wherever possible, especially ground ginger. Fresh spices will impart a stronger and more vibrant flavor to your gingerbread desserts.
- Choose quality molasses: Pick light or regular molasses over blackstrap, which has a tendency to overpower the flavors of your spices. Overall, molasses adds moisture and sweetness to the gingerbread while giving it a chewy texture. If you run out of molasses, you can substitute a combination of honey and dark corn syrup.
- Experiment with your preferred blend of spices: Yes, each recipe has its own blend and proportion of spices, but once you know your favorite notes, consider adjusting the ground ginger, cinnamon, or nutmeg slightly to achieve your perfect combination. Allspice and cloves are best used in small amounts due to their strong flavor, while too much nutmeg can be toxic, so keep this in mind.
- Use room temperature ingredients: If your recipe calls for butter, eggs, and other dairy ingredients, be sure these are at room temperature before you bake. This helps achieve a smooth and well-incorporated batter.
- Chill the dough: When making classic gingerbread cookies, let your dough chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour after mixing. Chilled dough is easier to handle and results in cookies and other treats with a better texture.
Have you got a favorite seasonal recipe? Let us know in the comments below!