How To Make Gingerbread Ina Garten Style (Plus Other Ginger Desserts)

Ginger, with its warm, spicy flavor, is a cornerstone of many beloved desserts, particularly during the cooler months.

Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, has mastered the art of incorporating this vibrant root into her baking, offering a twist on classic treats that beckon everyone to the table.

From old-fashioned gingerbread to the ultimate ginger cookies and ginger shortbread, Garten’s recipes are a testament to her philosophy of using simple ingredients to yield extraordinary results.

Gingerbread Ina Garten

In this article, we will sample these ginger-infused desserts, promising to add warmth and spice to your baking repertoire.

Let’s begin.

1. Old-Fashioned Gingerbread By Ina Garten

Ina Garten’s old-fashioned gingerbread is a nostalgic dessert that marries the robust flavors of molasses and ginger with the sweetness of golden raisins and the zest of orange.

This recipe starts uniquely by simmering rum with raisins, then mixing molasses and butter, which are cooled before blending with sour cream and orange zest.

The dry ingredients, including a medley of spices like ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, are sifted together and then incorporated into the molasses mixture to create a batter rich in flavor and dark in color.

The addition of minced crystallized ginger adds a delightful chew and an extra ginger punch.

The batter is baked until just set and cooled before being adorned with a simple but flavorful orange juice and confectioners’ sugar glaze.

This gingerbread, with its moist crumb and layered flavors, is an embodiment of comfort. It’s a dessert that’s equally at home served at a festive gathering or enjoyed quietly with a cup of tea.

Garten’s approach ensures that this gingerbread is not just a dessert but an experience, recalling the simplicity and warmth of home.

How To Make Perfect Gingerbread Every Time: Our Top Tips

Achieving the perfect gingerbread requires a balance of flavors and textures.

First, ensure your spices and baking soda are fresh for maximum flavor impact. The quality of the molasses is crucial; opt for unsulphured molasses for its pure, sweet, and slightly bitter profile that defines gingerbread’s taste.

Incorporating ingredients like sour cream or buttermilk can add moisture and tenderness to the cake. When mixing the batter, do so until just combined to prevent overworking, which can lead to a tough texture.

Temperature plays a vital role; make sure ingredients like eggs and sour cream are at room temperature to ensure a smooth batter.

Be meticulous when measuring ingredients, as baking is a science where precision matters.

Lastly, don’t rush the cooling process; gingerbread continues to set as it cools, developing its flavors further.

By adhering to these tips, you’ll craft a gingerbread that’s richly spiced, moist, and inviting every time.

Serving Suggestions For Gingerbread By Ina Garten

Gingerbread, with its deep flavors and moist texture, is versatile in its serving possibilities.

To complement its warmth, serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, allowing the creaminess to balance the spices.

A warm caramel or a tangy lemon glaze can enhance its richness. For a festive touch, accompany with mulled wine or a spiced cider that echoes the gingerbread’s spices.

If you are enjoying gingerbread as a breakfast treat, pair it with a strong coffee or a chai latte to start your day with a comforting spice.

The cake’s robust flavor profile also pairs well with fresh, tart fruits like apples or pears, providing a refreshing contrast to its sweetness and spice.

Bonus Ginger Recipes

We promised bonus recipes, and we are here to deliver! If you prefer your ginger flavors in cookie form, you’ll love the recipes we’ve included below.

2. Ina Garten’s Ultimate Ginger Cookie Recipe

Ina Garten’s ultimate ginger cookies are a crunchy, spicy delight that perfectly captures the essence of ginger in every bite.

These cookies combine the classic gingerbread spices with a generous amount of crystallized ginger, ensuring a potent ginger flavor complemented by a chewy texture.

The process begins with mixing dark brown sugar, oil, and molasses, creating a rich, dark base to which eggs are added.

The dry ingredients, whisked together separately, include a balance of spices and are slowly incorporated into the molasses mixture. The crystallized ginger pieces are folded in last, adding bursts of spicy sweetness.

Rolled into balls and coated with granulated sugar, the cookies are baked until they crackle on top, revealing a soft interior encased in a crispy shell.

Serve with tea or a glass of milk.

3. Barefoot Contessa Ginger Shortbread

The Barefoot Contessa’s ginger shortbread combines the buttery richness of traditional shortbread with the zing of crystallized ginger, creating a cookie that is both simple and sophisticated.

The key to its delicate texture is the creaming of butter with sugar until just combined, ensuring the dough remains tender and not overly aerated. Vanilla extract adds a layer of flavor that complements the ginger’s warmth.

The dough, once mixed with minced ginger, is chilled to firm up before being rolled out and cut into circles.

Baked until they’re just starting to brown, these shortbread cookies emerge with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, their sweetness punctuated by the spicy notes of ginger.

Perfect for serving at tea time or as a refined dessert, these ginger shortbread cookies are a delightful twist on a classic.

Final Thoughts

Ina Garten’s ginger-infused desserts, from the homely old-fashioned gingerbread to the spicy ginger cookies and elegant ginger shortbread, showcase the versatility and appeal of ginger in baking.

These recipes invite bakers to explore the depth of flavors that ginger can bring to sweets, providing warmth and spice that’s particularly welcome in cooler months.

Whether you’re a novice baker or a seasoned pro, Garten’s recipes offer the perfect way to incorporate the invigorating taste of ginger into your baking, ensuring each bite is a celebration of this beloved spice.

Hungry for more? We’ve got you. Try this cranberry and apple cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a gingerbread?

Gingerbread refers to a variety of baked goods, from moist cakes to crisp cookies, flavored with ginger and often sweetened with molasses or honey.

What are the different types of gingerbread?

Types of gingerbread include soft, cake-like versions, often served with warm spices and glaze, and hard, cookie-style gingerbread used for making gingerbread houses and figures.

How To Make Gingerbread Ina Garten Style (Plus Other Ginger Desserts)

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Ina Garten


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  • Choose a recipe
  • Gather your ingredients
  • Prepare your dessert
  • Enjoy.
Barbara Hunt


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