The first time I tasted the combination of gingerbread and lemon was when I made very time-consuming (but worth it!) homemade gingerbread ice cream sandwiches with a lemon sorbet/ice cream. They were delectable, but painstaking. This is an easier alternative made from a gingerbread mix and baked in a 13 X 9 glass baking dish, and it lends itself well to the colder months when I'm not quite craving frozen treats. During the holidays, the lemon glaze is a nice change from the heavy, overly sweet white icing I usually find on gingerbread cookies. Lemon juice from a bottle saves all that messy squeezing time and the glaze is so simple to make that there's no reason to buy pre-made lemon-flavored icing instead.
Step 1: Prepare
In addition to the minimal ingredients below, you will need a 13 X 9 baking dish (preferably glass), whisk, fork, small bowl, teaspoon, rubber spatula, knife, and measuring cup.
1 14.5 oz gingerbread (cake and cookie) mix
1 1/4 cup + 2 tsp warm water
1 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
Non-stick cooking spray (optional)
Step 2: Get Stirrin'!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray your baking dish with cooking spray if you are using a metal one. It isn't necessary for a glass dish, unless you have encountered sticking previously in your oven.
In the baking dish (yes, the baking dish!), stir together the gingerbread mix, 1 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 egg with a fork, until blended. Scrape the sides when necessary.
Step 3: Bake!
The recipe on the back of the box for gingerbread calls for a longer baking time because they use a 9 X 9 pan. Because you are using a larger one, the cooking time is almost cut in half. I always thought gingerbread cake was too high, so much so that I end up having to use a fork. This way, they are more of a brownie size and easier to eat with your hands.
Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
Step 4: Cool and Make Glaze
Cooling time means down time. Let cool on top of the stove for about 20-30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup confectioner's sugar, 4 tsp lemon juice, and 2 tsp warm water. This is much more of a glaze than an icing, as it is thin.
Step 5: Glazing the Gingerbread
Pour the glaze onto the gingerbread, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Spread the glaze all over. Initially, it will look really liquidy, but once you spread it evenly, it will dry slightly. Let sit for 2 minutes before cutting.
Step 6: Cut Into Bars
Cut into even-sized bars! The cake is very moist and the glaze has just enough tang to it to make for a really good gingerbread and lemon combo. You can even heat it up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before serving, as gingerbread is so delicious served warm. Enjoy!