Spiced Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze

Spiced gingerbread with lemon glaze is a tender, softly-spiced cake with a sweet-tangy lemon glaze that seeps into the crumb and adds a delicious twist. Perfect for a quick afternoon pick-me-up!

Spiced gingerbread with lemon glaze garnished with lemon zest strips, in a parchment-lined cake pan.

Adapted from Anneka Manning | Bake Class Step by Step | Murdoch Books, 2021

The glaze on this cake is quite thin and is more like a syrup that will soak through the gingerbread, adding extra moisture and flavor as it does.—Anneka Manning

Spiced Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze FAQs

How do I make lemon rind strips?

To make the lemon rind strips, use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind from a lemon. Use a small sharp knife to remove any white pith from the rind and then cut the rind into very fine strips.

Can I freeze spiced gingerbread with lemon glaze?

This gingerbread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, you can freeze it for up to three months.

Spiced Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze

Spiced gingerbread with lemon glaze garnished with lemon zest strips, in a parchment-lined cake pan.
The combination of warm ginger and tangy lemon may seem like an unlikely partnership but believe me, it is one to try. Serve this cake for morning or afternoon tea, or warm as a dessert with cream or ice cream.

Prep 15 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 50 mins
12 servings
256 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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For the gingerbread

  • Melted butter for the baking pan
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter cubed
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • Lemon rind strips to decorate, preferably organic (optional)

For the lemon glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Make the gingerbread

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  • Coat a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with melted butter and line the base and two long sides with one piece of parchment paper, allowing it to overhang the sides.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and spices. Stir in the sugar, breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Make a well in the center.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cubed butter, golden syrup, and water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the mixture is heated through.
  • Stir in the baking soda and allow the mixture to foam. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the egg, and stir with the wooden spoon until just combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes.

Make the lemon glaze

  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and mix until smooth. Cover until ready to use.
  • Remove the gingerbread from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Spoon the lemon glaze over the warm cake, spreading it evenly as you go. Scatter over the lemon rind strips, if using. Let cool completely in the pan.
  • Use the parchment handles to lift the cooled cake from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Slice into portions to serve.
Print RecipeBuy the Bake Class Step by Step cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 256kcal (13%)Carbohydrates: 44g (15%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 5g (31%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mg (12%)Sodium: 111mg (5%)Potassium: 48mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 30g (33%)Vitamin A: 260IU (5%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 19mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This spiced gingerbread with lemon glaze is a perfect snacking cake if I ever saw one. Goes with tea? Goes with coffee? Easy to just slice off a nibble every time you pass the kitchen? Check, check, check.

This recipe is a cinch to whip together and ready to eat in no time. Plus the texture of the gingerbread is light and fluffy and full of flavor. The combination of the spices in the gingerbread and the lemon icing is a perfect marriage. This is definitely going on my unexpected-company-is-coming-and-I-need-something-special-to-serve-now list.

Whether it’s a sweet breakfast, afternoon coffee break, or dessert you’re looking for, this spiced gingerbread with lemon glaze fits the bill. We also had zero regrets about cutting it while it was still warm.

Within 15 minutes, the batter was ready to put into the oven. It fits nicely into a standard bread loaf pan. I wouldn’t recommend making it too far in advance, it was most tasty on day 1 and day 2. Due to family preferences, I didn’t add the lemon rind on top. I don’t think we missed out on the taste but it sure looks pretty! I’m looking forward to making this again very soon.

Gingerbread speaks of autumn! This one is a winner! It was (note the past tense) delicious with a moist crumb, a nice tang from the glaze. The glaze wasn’t as thin as the recipe suggested. It didn’t soak into the cake to much of an extent. but the lemon zest bits on top were a lovely addition. 

Next time I make this, I’ll add some lemon extract to the batter, as I would have liked a bit more lemony flavor in the cake. Also, note that I used buttermilk, instead of the water, because I had some. I’d definitely make that a permanent change.

Originally published November 28, 2021


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