This Pumpkin Gingerbread is loaded with molasses, ginger, and cinnamon and is topped with a Maple Pecan Icing. All the flavors of the holidays in one delicious dessert!
Gingerbread will always hold a special place in my heart. Just the smell of it baking in my oven evokes very special memories for me. My mom used to whip up her Old Fashioned Gingerbread in the fall and winter months for us after Sunday dinner. There’s nothing like a warm slice of gingerbread to help reduce the sting of the weekend coming to an end.
It’s been nearly ten years since I created this fall-inspired take on Mom’s basic gingerbread recipe. And, friends, it is fabulous. A wonderful choice for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just your average Sunday evening.
Table of contents
- Look for regular, unsulphured molasses like Grandma’s Original. It is a light molasses and the best variety to use for baked goods like this Pumpkin Gingerbread and my Chewy Iced Molasses Cookies. Don’t substitute blackstrap molasses which is thicker, darker and has a bitter flavor. It should only be used in recipes that specifically call out for it.
- Be sure to purchase pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling which has spices and other ingredients added. The cans are nearly identical and it’s an easy mistake to make.
- You want to use pure maple syrup in the icing, not pancake syrup, which is basically corn syrup with artificial maple flavor added.
How to Make Pumpkin Gingerbread
- Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl and set it aside.
- In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the sugar and butter.
- Add the eggs, molasses, and pumpkin purée and mix for a couple of minutes until well blended.
- Add the dry mixture all at once and mix again just until barely combined.
- Add boiling water to the batter and mix for about a minute, until well combined.
- Pour the batter into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish that you’ve coated with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake the Pumpkin Gingerbread at 325 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick pressed into the center comes out clean.
- Allow it to cool slightly while you make the icing.
For the Maple Pecan Icing
- Melt the butter with pure maple syrup and heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the powdered sugar. Whisk vigorously until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
- Add the chopped pecans.
- Mix until well combined.
- Pour the Maple Pecan Icing over the top of the still warm cake.
- Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it out over the top.
I mean, come on! The Pumpkin Gingerbread is wonderful all on its own but this easy and DELICIOUS icing makes it a truly heavenly dessert.
Can you feel the love?
It’s delicious served while still warm or completely cooled.
Store leftovers covered on your kitchen counter and it will be perfectly moist and delicious for several days.
More Pumpkin Desserts You’ll Love
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
- Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Walnut Filling
- Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Hazelnut Pie with Mascarpone
Pumpkin Gingerbread with Maple Pecan Icing
For the Pumpkin Gingerbread
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup molasses, I use Grandma's Original Unsulphured
- 1 cup pumpkin purée, not pie filling
- 1 cup boiling water
For the Maple Pecan Icing
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside
- Add the sugar and butter to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, molasses, and pumpkin purée and mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix for about 30 seconds, until just barely combined. Add the boiling water and mix again for about a minute or until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick pressed into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before preparing the icing.
Maple Pecan Icing
- Melt butter with maple syrup and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over LOW heat. Bring to a low boil and allow to cook for about one minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar, whisking vigorously, until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Mix in the pecans.
- Pour icing over cake while still warm.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This post was originally published on October 9, 2011. It has been updated with new text and images.