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Imagine a cozy evening, the aroma of warm spices wafting through your kitchen as you pull out a mini loaf of perfectly spiced gingerbread. This small Gingerbread loaf recipe is a heartwarming treat that captures the essence of the holiday season, yet is simple enough to enjoy any time of the year. It’s a small batch recipe, yielding about four squares of tender, delicious gingerbread from a small baking dish. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this recipe offers the joy of homemade gingerbread without the fuss of a large batch.

Explore more small batch holiday treats with our recipes for sweet Sugar Plums, creamy Fudge, zesty Peppermint Bark, and buttery Shortbread Bites – ideal for small celebrations or personal indulgence.

Why You’ll Love This Gingerbread Recipe

  • Perfect Portion: Ideal for those cooking for one or seeking a small treat without leftovers.
  • Easy to Make: Simple, straightforward steps make this recipe a breeze, even for beginners.
  • Wonderful Aromas: Fills your kitchen with the delightful scents of cinnamon, ginger, and molasses.
  • Versatile: Enjoy it as a dessert, snack, or festive holiday treat.
  • Customizable: Easily adaptable with various spices or toppings to suit your taste.

Watch How To Make Gingerbread

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A square slice of gingerbread on a small plate with the baking dish in the background.

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Ingredients

flour, spices, molasses, an egg, and other ingredients needed to make gingerbread on a wooden cutting board.

This section provides a quick rundown of the ingredients used in this small batch Gingerbread recipe. For complete measurements and step-by-step instructions, please scroll to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

  • Sugar: Our mini gingerbread loaf recipe calls for just 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, adding the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Butter: Use softened salted butter. It should be cool but yield to pressure, leaving an indentation when pressed.
  • Egg Yolk: One egg yolk is used for binding. Hang on to the egg white and use it in any of our egg white recipes like, a mini Pavlova or two Vanilla Cupcakes.
  • Molasses: A key component in gingerbread, we recommend Grandma’s Unsulphured Molasses or Brer Rabbit Molasses for the best flavor. Avoid blackstrap molasses due to its bitterness. In the UK, black treacle is a suitable alternative. Consider using leftover molasses in a small batch of Molasses Cookies, Gingerbread Granola, or even Baked Beans!
  • Flour: Standard all-purpose flour is perfect for this recipe.
  • Baking Soda: This ingredient is essential for helping the cake rise and achieve the right texture.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are used, typical for holiday baking. Also, add 1/8 teaspoon of salt for flavor balance. This is same trio of fall spices used in our Pumpkin Pie Bars, Ginger Cookies, and Sweet Potato Casserole.
  • Hot Water: This is used to dilute the molasses and provide the necessary moisture for the gingerbread batter.

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Recipe Variations

Customize this gingerbread to make it uniquely yours:

  • Add Nuts: Mix in a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans for a crunchy texture.
  • Chocolate Chips: For a sweet twist, add a few tablespoons of chocolate chips.
  • Fruit-Filled: Fold in dried fruits like cranberries or raisins.
  • Spice Change: Experiment with a pinch of nutmeg or allspice for different flavor profiles.
  • Citrus Zest: A bit of orange or lemon zest can add a fresh note.
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How To Make Gingerbread

  1. Start with Creaming: Blend the sugar and butter together until smooth.
  2. Incorporate Egg and Molasses: Add the egg yolk to the creamed mixture, beating well. Then, mix in the molasses until uniformly combined.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. Gradually add this to the sugar and butter mixture, ensuring it’s well mixed.
  4. Add Hot Water: Gently stir in the hot water to the batter, achieving a consistent texture.
  5. Prepare for Baking: Transfer the batter into a greased 5×5 inch baking dish.
  6. Bake: Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the gingerbread is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serving Suggestions

Indulge in this mini gingerbread cake as a delightful treat. Here are some serving ideas:

  • With a Dollop of Whipped Cream: Adds a light, creamy touch.
  • Drizzled with Caramel Sauce: For extra sweetness and flavor.
  • Alongside Vanilla Ice Cream: A classic pairing for a decadent dessert.
  • With a Cup of Coffee or Tea: Perfect for a relaxing break.
  • As a Breakfast Treat: Why not? Pair with yogurt for a balanced start.

Key Tips For Baking Gingerbread Cake

  • Selecting the Right Baking Dish: The baking dish size is crucial for this gingerbread recipe. Ideally, use a 5×5 inch dish, about 1 3/4 inches deep. This size ensures even baking and perfect texture. Alternatively, a 6.5×4.9 inch dish or two 8-ounce ramekins are also suitable.
  • Using Softened Butter: For this recipe, softened butter is essential. It’s crucial for creaming together with sugar to create airiness in the cake. Ensure your butter is cool but malleable; it should indent when pressed. This texture is key for a light, fluffy gingerbread.
  • Oven Temperature: Ensure your oven is preheated for even baking.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix just until ingredients are combined to keep the cake tender.
  • Spice It Up: Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your taste.
an overhead picture of a square piece of gingerbread on a white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store gingerbread?

To keep your gingerbread fresh, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. It stays good for up to four days at room temperature. For longer storage, refrigerate it for up to a week.

Can I freeze gingerbread?

Absolutely! Once baked and cooled, wrap the gingerbread tightly in plastic wrap. It can be frozen for as long as six months. To enjoy, thaw it either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Is it possible to double this recipe?

Yes, simply double the ingredients and use a 6.5×6.5 inch baking dish or a 6×8 inch baking dish.

Discover More Single Serving And Small Batch Holiday Recipes

Looking for festive treats to brighten your holidays? These recipes are perfect not just for Christmas, but for any special occasion throughout the year:

These recipes provide the perfect balance of holiday cheer and convenience for smaller servings.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this mini gingerbread cake or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Gingerbread For One

4.73 from 44 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cool: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
So easy to make and is a treat for the holidays or anyday. A small batch of sweet, perfectly spiced old fashioned gingerbread. This gingerbread cake is baked in a small baking dish and is the right amount for one or two people.

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup hot water
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Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 5-inch baking dish or dish of similar size.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg yolk, and mix in the molasses.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Pour into the sugar/butter mixture and mix well.
  • Stir in the hot water.
  • Pour into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in pan before slicing.

Notes

  • Selecting the Right Baking Dish: The baking dish size is crucial for this gingerbread recipe. Ideally, use a 5×5 inch dish, about 1 3/4 inches deep. This size ensures even baking and perfect texture. Alternatively, a 6.5×4.9 inch dish or two 8-ounce ramekins are also suitable.
  • Using Softened Butter: For this recipe, softened butter is essential. It’s crucial for creaming together with sugar to create airiness in the cake. Ensure your butter is cool but malleable; it should indent when pressed. This texture is key for a light, fluffy gingerbread.
  • Oven Temperature: Ensure your oven is preheated for even baking.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix just until ingredients are combined to keep the cake tender.
  • Spice It Up: Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 225kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 201mg, Potassium: 330mg, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 235IU, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 2.1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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Recipe Rating




60 Comments

  1. Debbie says:

    Hi is it possible to use brown sugar( light or dark) instead of white? also would treacle instead of molasses be ok?

    Thanks

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I haven’t tried this gingerbread recipe with brown sugar. Keep in mind that brown sugar, because of its moisture content, will alter the texture of the gingerbread. However, using treacle in place of molasses works well. Treacle shares a similar thick consistency and rich, sweet flavor with molasses, making it a suitable replacement.

  2. Jackie says:

    This gingerbread has just excellent flavor . I’m going to triple it for our club meeting I baked it today in a 5 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/2” loaf pan for 30 minutes Came out beautifully. I cut it in about 1/2” slices Perfect with whipped cream. Makes 8 slices at about 112 calories Just enough for a petite dessert. Joanie your recipes are so awesome

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you! I’m so happy you are enjoying our recipes.

  3. CS says:

    How much pumpkin pie spice to use if I don’t have all the individual spices?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      For gingerbread, if you don’t have all the individual spices, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice as a substitute. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences.

  4. PatS says:

    Just made this for the first time. It’s delicious although I think I might need to shorten my baking time by 5 minutes. I’ll try that next time. I’m so grateful for some simple, yet tasty, holiday recipes with fewer servings. I exchange baked goods with one or two friends and this is perfect.

  5. Ethel Moore says:

    Delicious, I also made changes to this recipe. Replace 2 tbsp apple sauce for the butter. 1.5 tbsp monk fruit for the sugar. I forgot the water but it still turned out with out the hot water.

  6. Lark says:

    Would you need to four times this recipe to make a 9×13 size pan? This Gingerbread cake looks wonderful!

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you! We have not tested this recipe beyond doubling the ingredients. If you’d like to make a gingerbread cake in a 9×13-inch baking dish, I recommend using a recipe that has been created especially for a dish that size.

  7. Leona says:

    Gingerbread has always been a favorite of mine and this didn’t disappoint. Will be making it often.

  8. Trish Allin says:

    I have made this cake several times, sometimes for my husband and myself and other times as gifts. It is always well received and is very tasty, not too sweet. I use applesauce instead of butter and a flax egg instead of an egg yolk. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Linda Cyran says:

    We’ve made this recipe several times and love it. At my son’s suggestion we added raisins and served with a white source. As he thought it tasted like plum pudding without having to steam the pudding.
    Thanks Joanie!