Gingerbread is a classic holiday treat known for its unique spicy sweetness that can’t be found in any other dessert. A classic gingerbread spice mix is essential to achieving the warm, mouthwatering taste that gingerbread is known for – but with the endless range of spices available, you might find it difficult to determine which are best to include in your gingerbread recipe.
You can create the best gingerbread to kick off your holiday baking session using delicious organic spices. But what spices are essential to making this delicious dessert? Read more to find out!
Where Does Gingerbread Come From?
Gingerbread is a staple of many holiday meals, especially around Christmas time. But what’s the history behind this classic dessert?
The first recipe for gingerbread dates back to Greece in 2400 BC. After this, Chinese recipes for gingerbread started to be developed during the 10th century. During the late Middle Ages, Europeans developed their recipe for gingerbread, and these cookies were a staple at Medieval fairs across England, Holland, Germany, and France.
The traditional decorations you’ll find in gingerbread cookies are thought to come from Queen Elizabeth I, who had gingerbread cookies created to resemble dignitaries visiting her court. Festivals known as Gingerbread Fairs started rising during this period, with the cookies served at these festivals referred to as “fairings.”
The association between gingerbread and Christmas didn’t come around until later – when these desserts were made in England, they were eaten during any season, and the shapes of the cookies would change with the season. You could find flower gingerbread cookies in the spring and beautiful, bird-shaped cookies during the summer. Over time, the warm flavors only found in gingerbread started to be associated with the holiday season, but plenty of people still enjoy gingerbread year-round!
What Spices Are Used in Gingerbread?
Gingerbread is a classic holiday treat that you’ve probably tried before, known for its delicious spicy sweetness that separates it from other holiday desserts. The following spices are most commonly used in gingerbread spice mixes:
But what are the specific flavor properties of these spices, and how do they contribute to a mouthwatering gingerbread?
Let’s start the list with an obvious must-have to make any gingerbread dessert: the ginger itself! Using organic ginger, you can create a holiday dessert that perfectly balances spice and sweetness. This spice has a bold, aromatic flavor that adds something special to every dish and is the starting point for any gingerbread spice mixture.
Using ginger, you can create complex flavors you and your holiday guests love – the perfect way to make your holiday desserts as memorable as the main course!
Cinnamon is a popular spice for a reason – and one that’s vital to any well-rounded gingerbread spice mix. This spice originates from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree and is sold as sticks or ground into a fine powder, the latter of which is best for creating your gingerbread spice mixture.
Cinnamon has a unique spiciness that makes it essential to bring out the complex flavors of a classic gingerbread recipe. Organic cinnamon is perfect because it adds a distinctive woodsy flavor to anything it’s used in and a delicate, smooth sweetness that can’t be beaten. Once you’ve included cinnamon in your gingerbread recipe, you’ll want to use it in plenty of other desserts – so consider adding tasty cakes and cookies to your holiday baking lineup!
If you’re looking for a spice that truly stands out from the rest, nutmeg is a must-have. This spice is the key to any delicious gingerbread recipe because of its unique flavor profile, combining sweet, fresh flavors with a woodsy, nutty taste that balances any gingerbread dish.
This spice comes from the Myristica evergreen tree, native to Indonesia. When the fruits of this tree ripen, they split open and reveal a shell-covered seed surrounded by an aril outer lattice. The seeds within this shell can be ground into nutmeg to bring spice and earthy flavors to practically any dish – especially a mouthwatering holiday gingerbread. Add some organic nutmeg to take your tasty gingerbread recipe to the next level.
Another spice crucial to creating fantastic gingerbread is allspice, a spice that’s lesser-known to some bakers but still an incredible addition to many dishes. This spice comes from the brown dried berry available from the tropical Pimenta dioica tree, native to Central America and the West Indies. This spice’s name originated in the seventeenth century when Europeans using the spice decided that it tasted like a combination of many similar spices, including nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove.
Allspice is essential for any gingerbread recipe because of its special combination of flavors that can’t be found with any other spice. It’s the perfect complement to the sweet and savory flavors you expect out of gingerbread – and it’s sure to make your holiday baking better than ever before.
Cloves are a must-have for your gingerbread recipe, a powerful spice that brings a distinctive flavor to any dish it’s added to. This spice includes a higher concentration of aroma compounds than any other spice, giving it a robust flavor that only requires a little to go a long way. Cloves are strong and bitter but also sweet, adding new elements to any traditional gingerbread recipe.
As you add cloves to your gingerbread during this holiday baking season, remember that you don’t need too much – because of its strong aroma compounds, cloves can easily overwhelm a dish if there’s too much added. Try some organic cloves and watch how they transform your gingerbread!
Cardamom might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of organic spices required to make a delicious gingerbread recipe – but it’s a crucial component to emphasize the complex and balanced flavors gingerbread is known for. Cardamom is made from the seed pods of numerous plants, notably the Elettaria cardamomum plant and the Amomum subulatum plant.
Cardamom has a special sweet, fruity, savory, and floral flavor that makes it distinctive from other spices. Commonly used in dishes like Arabic coffee, pastries, and curries, organic cardamom is a noteworthy member of the ginger family – and, of course, perfect for any gingerbread dish you make this holiday season!
Get All of Your Gingerbread Spices in OneComplet Set
Gingerbread Spice Mix Recipe
You’ve gathered all the spices you need to make a classic gingerbread recipe, from the essential ground ginger to the unique cardamom. But now that you have everything you need to make your gingerbread spice mix, how do you create it? Here’s one of our favorite gingerbread spice recipes:
- 2 tablespoons of ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
To make this recipe, combine all organic spices in a bowl. Transfer the mix to a jar or airtight container – and start using it in your delicious gingerbread recipe!
Tips for Making the Perfect Gingerbread Cookies
Even with all the organic spices you need to create a classic gingerbread recipe, you can’t guarantee that your recipe will turn out as planned without proper baking tips. Here are a few final suggestions for making the best gingerbread cookies ever during this holiday baking season:
- Use fresh ingredients in your recipe. From organic spices to flour and molasses, fresh ingredients will help you create the perfect gingerbread that tastes as delicious as it looks.
- Pay attention to measurements. The wrong amount of ingredients can hurt the texture and flavor of your gingerbread cookies – so make sure you measure everything accurately and use the right measuring cups and spoons for all ingredients.
- Roll your dough evenly. You want all the cookies to back uniformly, and to ensure this happens, your dough should have a consistent thickness that prevents overcooked or undercooked cookies.
- Use parchment paper when you cook the gingerbread cookies. Line all your baking sheets to prevent the cookies from sticking to the pan and getting ruined when it comes time to cool.
- Flour your surface before rolling out the dough. Without a properly floured surface, your cookies might get stuck, messing up your dough. Avoid over-flouring your cookies, as this will cause them to have a tough texture.
- Invest in high-quality cookie cutters. Part of the enjoyment of gingerbread cookies is their fun shapes and sizes – so make sure you have high-quality cookie cutters that help your cookies hold their shape.
- Avoid overbaking your cookies. There’s nothing worse than a hard, tough gingerbread cookie, so keep an eye on the cookies while they’re baking and take them out when the edges become golden brown for the perfect consistency.
- Store your gingerbread cookies properly. Use an airtight container to ensure all cookies stay fresh and delicious for as long as possible.
Tips for Eating the Perfect Gingerbread Cookie
Find Your Organic Spices From FreshJax
From delicious gingerbread cookies to mouthwatering savory dinners, you need spices for practically everything you make. Finding the highest-quality organic spices is possible when you choose FreshJax for all your spice needs.
FreshJax is the top provider of organic spices, offering everything you need to make your holiday baking season successful. Shop our spice collections today to start planning your holiday baking adventure!