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Catholic Recipe: Gingerbread for Whitsun Monday


  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves and salt mixed
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1-1/4 cups flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: England

Gingerbread was hawked at the English fairs held in the countryside during Whitsun week. It is a cake which seems thin before it is baked, but the recipe as it stands is correct. We use it all year round because of its low sugar content.


Cream shortening and sugar. Beat 1/2 teaspoon soda into molasses until it is fluffy and add them to shortening and sugar. Sift into mixture spices, flour and baking powder. Add 1/4 teaspoon of soda to boiling water. Add this alternately to sifted dry ingredients. Fold in beaten egg and mix well. Pour into a greased, floured pan. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes.

Recipe Source: Family Customs: Easter to Pentecost by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1956
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