Soaked Flour Gingerbread

Quickly becoming a staple on our wintertime table, this gingerbread is a nice treat especially served warm with a generous amount of butter.   It’s heavy on the spices, but that makes it all the better. The flour is soaked overnight to reduce antinutrients.

soaked flour gingerbread

By Jenny Published: November 17, 2008

    Quickly becoming a staple on our wintertime table, this gingerbread is a nice treat especially served warm with a generous amount of …


    • 1 Cup Buttermilk or Kefir
    • ¼ lb Butter or Coconut Oil
    • ¾ C Sucanat
    • 2 Eggs from Pastured Hens
    • ¾ C Molasses
    • 2 ½ C Freshly Ground Spelt or White Wheat Flour
    • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
    • ½ teaspoon Salt
    • 2 Tablespoons Powdered Ginger
    • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
    • Pinch Cloves


    1. With the paddle attachment, mix the buttermilk or kefir with your freshly ground flour until thoroughly mixed. Place a towel over the bowl and leave it in a warm place on your counter overnight or into the next afternoon. Soaking the flour reduces the antinutrients found in the bran of whole grains like spelt, thus rendering the flour more nutritious.
    2. After the flour has soaked a sufficient amount of time, mix the coconut oil, molasses and sucanat together until thoroughly whipped. Add the eggs. After the eggs have been sufficiently mixed, pour in your soaked flour as well as the spices, salt and baking soda. Mix well.
    3. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9 x 9 baking dish. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 ° F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean.

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    What people are saying

    1. Kelly says

      Hi! I made this recipe but something went very, very wrong somewhere. I used the exact measurements, but the 1 cup of kefir was not enough to soak the 2.5 cups of flour. It looked dry and crumbly, not moist like yours. I also used blackstrap molasses, so not sure if that was a mistake. The cake came out fine in looks (almost black looking), but tasted terrible. Very bitter. I am not one to dislike food either, but I could not even take a second bite. Any help is appreciated!

    2. Jenny says

      Kelly – I’m so sorry! Kefir can be a bit thicker than buttermilk which is what I customarily use except in a pinch–which may have made the soaked flour really crumbly instead of gooey and moist. It definitely shouldn’t have been bitter. Now, don’t get me wrong: it’s not a particularly sweet cake, but it shouldn’t have been bitter at all. I’m going to remake it this weekend and see if I missed any ingredients or messed up the measurements in the post. Yikes!

    3. Kelly says

      Thanks for the response! Well, that’s why I thought it might be the fact that I used “blackstrap” molasses. Seriously it smelled SOOO good baking. I think next time I am going to add yogurt or additional kefir until the flour looks like your picture (when I make my waffles, I use 2 cups of spelt to 1 2/3 cups yogurt and soak overnight). Thanks (I love your website!)

    4. Sonja says

      I tried making this gingerbread for the first time last night. I soaked the flour for 24 hours and followed the instructions as specified, except that I got interrupted in the middle and set the egg mixture in the fridge for about 6 hours.

      It turned out delicious, but I’m going to try a 9×13 pan next time, because it poofed up over the top of the pan and flowed gracefully to the floor of the oven. Which already needed cleaning, luckily!

      I’d love to share a picture with you but can’t figure out how to get it onto the post.

      Love your website, keep up the good work!

    5. mama.x says

      i made the recipe with 1 small tub of yogart then i added enough [unsweetened] almond milk to get the dough to the consistancy in the picture. i also substituted a 1/4 cup apple sauce + 1/2 c. sugar for the sucanat. [this is what i had] it turned out great! i used almost all coconut oil just a little butter as well. thanx!

    6. Jessie says

      I made this for Bible study last night & we enjoyed it. One lady was really into it & said – oh, this would be great with dried fruit in it – like apricots. I thought that sounds good & may do that again sometime.

      thanks for the great blog!

    7. lisa camille says

      hi I cannot see any pictures just empyt boxes
      i read the comments (I purchase spelt flour)
      I will be soaking it in buttermilk all night
      and making the gingerbread tommarow.
      I will let you know how it turns out.
      wish I could have seen the pictures you
      posted with recipe. Wish me luck
      lisa camille

    8. Sara Ramer-Dean says

      I like the sound of the recipe, but would really like to be able to see the pictures. Nothing I do on my end will display the photos…so I think they are missing. Thanks! I make all whole-grain, all natural foods, so I love your website too.

    9. Ginny Miller says

      I also have questions about the recipe. I love the idea of this recipe. We make a soaked flour pancake that my kids just love, and I have just recently started exploring the benefits of fermented foods. With our pancake recipe, the flour is soaked in a 1 to 1 ratio with buttermilk. That ratio makes a thick paste which still needs more buttermilk added in the morning. At 2 1/2 cups flour to only 1 c buttermilk, this recipe made a dough that sat overnight rather than a batter to be “poured” in with the egg mixture. It didn’t seem right to me, but since I couldn’t see the pictures, I went with it. With a lot of beating, the final outcome was a sort of lumpy batter, but not the velvety smooth batter that gingerbread normally is. When it baked up, it had lumps of flour in it that weren’t combined. I wonder if something was omitted from the recipe accidentally. The flavor was great. I will definitely make it again, but add water to make the flour/buttermilk mixture more of a thick batter since most gingerbread recipes have water added to them anyway. Thank you for a great, healthy treat!

    10. Sarah says

      I made this gingerbread this weekend and we loved it! I put 3 tablespoons lemon juice into 1 cup of raw goat milk as a substitute for buttermilk. Like others have commented, I had to add another cup of yogurt to the flour to get it to the right consistency. I used 2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger instead of powdered. The recipe made a full 9×13 pan of cake. It was just delicious! Very dense and moist, almost like a custard or bread pudding, but it set up fine and cut well. Will be making many more times this season!

    11. At Home says

      Awesome recipe. I saw no pictures. I halved the recipe but used the full mount of kefir. Used butter and coconut oil. It came out a little too sweet for my taste, but otherwise perfect. Really delicious and tender. It doesn’t need a topping. My 8 year old loves it! Thanks for posting.

    12. Josefina says

      we tried this recipe for our xmas dinner and i couldn’t be more pleased. since we live in sweden where molasses is a little difficult to come by, we ended up using whole cane syrup instead. we wanted a sweet treat so this extra sweetness yielded a perfect result. i have tried a soaked flour recipe from NT before and it didn’t bake right. i was so happy about this as it turned out wonderfully.
      i also had to add in a lot of extra liquid as I used filmjölk which is a little thick. but did so before mixing into the other ingredients and not when soaking.
      what else could i use in place of the molasses, when i don’t want that extra sweetness from cane syrup (what’s the purpose of the molasses)? or could i simply cut down the sugar?
      thanks for a great recipe!

    13. Katherine says

      Just made this and it is delicious! It’s a great way to get iron-rich blackstrap molasses as our family has a genetic tendency for anemia and we have a hard time taking the molasses straight. I have a recommendation for people at lower altitudes to lower the oven temperature to 325 and bake it a bit longer. I made two batches, the first of which I baked at 350. This overflowed onto the floor of the oven, and the second, baked at 325 did not.

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