This classic Gingerbread Cake, topped with buttercream frosting, is super moist, perfectly spiced and so easy to make. Serve during the holiday season at parties, around the house or even at Christmas dinner.
Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Recipe
During the holiday season, gingerbread is often reserved for the cookie plate. While we love us some classic Gingerbread Cookies, let us introduce you to this positively delicious Gingerbread Cake. It’s ultra moist, perfectly spiced with baking spices, molasses, and brown sugar, and topped with a simple buttercream frosting. Lemon Curd is a New England tradition and freshly whipped cream would be amazing too.
For kids, add festive sprinkles and candies, or you can even bake as cupcakes. For something a little less sweet, serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. However you serve it, your friends and family are sure to love it.
If you're looking for more spiced cake recipes, be sure to try our pumpkin cake and carrot cake. You won't be disappointed!
Ingredients in Gingerbread Cake
- Brown Sugar - for gingerbread, we like to use dark brown sugar. In a pinch, light brown sugar will work.
- Butter - make sure your butter is at room temperature so that it is soft enough to cream in the mixer. If you forget to pull it out ahead of time, place on a microwave safe plate and heat for about 10 seconds at a time just until softened.
- Egg - any large egg will work. It’s best to let it come to room temperature, or run the egg under warm water for 1 minute just before using.
- Molasses - this is largely what gives gingerbread is signature flavor.
- Water - make sure and use hot water for this recipe.
- Flour - all-purpose flour works great.
- Baking Soda - this gives the cake a bit of rise in the oven and keeps it nice and soft.
- Salt - sea salt works great.
- Baking Spices - this recipe calls for nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves.
- Vanilla Extract - pure vanilla extract tastes best.
How to Make Gingerbread Cake
- Make the butter mixture. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, or about 3-5 minutes. Slowly add the egg and molasses, scraping down the sides as needed, then mix again on low.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Whisk together.
- Mix together the batter. Add the hot water to the butter mixture and mix on low speed, then add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Add to pan. Line a 9" x 9" baking dish with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray, then add the batter.
- Bake. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool and frost. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool to room temperature before frosting with buttercream.
- Slice and serve. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
No one wants a cake that’s raw in the center! The best way to know if it has finished baking is to take a toothpick and insert it into the very center. If it comes out clean, the cake has finished baking. If there is a little batter stuck to it, put the cake back into the oven for a few more minutes and then check again.
Sure! You could also bake this in 2 loaf pans, or even in cupcake tins. The only difference would be the bake time. Otherwise, you’ll follow the exact same directions.
Some of our other favorite frostings to try would be Chocolate Buttercream, Cinnamon Buttercream, Eggnog Buttercream or Cream Cheese Frosting. You could also skip the frosting altogether and serve with a dollop of whipped cream instead.
Storing and Freezing
- Refrigerator: wrap any unfinished cake in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Freezer: Wrap your unfrosted Gingerbread Cake well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Place in a larger freezer bag if it will fit and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Once you are ready to eat, pull from the freezer and store at room temperature, or in the fridge, overnight. Frost and slice just before serving.
Carrot Cake Recipe
- 2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 3 cups Carrots shredded
- 1 ½ cups Sugar
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- 4 large Eggs room temperature
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil
- ½ cup Golden Raisinsptional optional
- ½ cup Walnuts Chopped, optional
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature
- ½ cup Butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray (3) 9" round nonstick cake pans with nonstick spray, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Whisk together.
- In a separate large bowl, mix together the shredded carrots, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil. Whisk until the eggs are broken up and the ingredients are well-combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until evenly combined. Add raisins and walnuts, optional.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans, making sure there is an even amount in each pan.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool to room temperature before frosting and decorating as desired. Enjoy!
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Place room temperature butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip until light and fluffy. Add the room temperature cream cheese and whip again until light and fluffy.
- Turn the mixer off and add the vanilla extract and half of the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on low to combine, then add the remaining powdered sugar and increase to medium high speed. Whip until light and fluffy - about 2 minutes.
- Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Here are more Dessert recipes that we love!
- Pumpkin Roll
- Soft Molasses Cookies
- Chocolate Bundt Cake
- Old-Fashioned Pineapple Cake
- Pumpkin Cake
- Rolled Sugar Cookies
- DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Linzer Cookies
- Gingerbread Muffins
- Dipped Gingersnap Cookies
- More Christmas Recipes
- More Cake Recipes
More Frosting Recipes
- Chocolate Frosting
- Buttercream Frosting
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- CInnamon Frosting
- Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- Eggnog Buttercream Frosting
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This Gingerbread Cake is moist, perfectly spiced and topped with a simple buttercream frosting. It's great to serve all holiday season long as an alternative to gingerbread cookies.
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