1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
2 eggs
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup hot water

Cream shortening and sugar; blend in molasses. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, soda and spices. Add to creamed mixture alternately with hot water. Spoon batter into a greased 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until gingerbread tests done. Cool.

Yield: 9 to 12 servings.

Substitute 1 cup buttermilk for 1 cup hot water, if desired. Omit baking powder and increase soda to 1-1/2 teaspoon.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana