• Gretchen McKay / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Tribune News Service)Source: Tribune News Service

My mother usually doesn’t get too excited over food, but this recipe made her so happy. Apparently, gingerbread just isn’t gingerbread without a pool of tart lemon sauce to dunk it in. I opted not to strain the sauce and it tasted just fine. Better than fine, actually. “I love it!” my mother exclaimed.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (13 votes)


Custard sauce

  • 2 lemons
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 large egg yolks, 
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces (don’t use margarine)
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup light molasses
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large egg

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 20 minutes

To prepare the sauce (see Note), take your lemons and grate 1½ teaspoons peel and squeeze ⅓ cup juice. Set aside separately.

In a 2 litre saucepan, use a wire whisk to combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in water and lemon juice until smooth and then the egg yolks.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 minute or until thickened, still whisking constantly.

Strain mixture through sieve into a pot set over medium heat. Stir in butter and lemon peel until butter melts. Cool 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate 20 minutes or until cold. Stir in sour cream.

To prepare the gingerbread cake, preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease and flour 23 cm square metal baking pan. In large bowl, with wire whisk, combine flour, sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In small heatproof bowl, place molasses and butter. Add boiling water and grated ginger and stir until butter melts. Add molasses mixture and egg to flour mixture; whisk until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of gingerbread comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 20 minutes. Cut into squares, drizzle with lemon sauce and serve warm.



• The sauce makes 1 cup.  


Recipe from Good Housekeeping: The Baker's Book of Essential Recipes, Good Food Guaranteed (Hearst)

View Gretchen McKay’s article about gingerbread and more recipes here

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