Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake

This gingerbread cake is the perfect Christmas dessert! Soft layers of spiced gingerbread cake are stacked and spread with coconut cream cheese frosting for a snowy affect. The warm and rich gingerbread paired with the light and fresh coconut is an unexpected pairing that works so well together. Top with your favorite gingerbread decorations and enjoy!

My gingerbread cake takes one of our favorite holiday staples, gingerbread, and turns it into a moist, velvety cake that’s the perfect finishing touch to a festive meal. Brimming with lots of aromatic ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice, and sweetened with molasses and brown sugar, my gingerbread cake recipe is then glazed with a rich, vanilla sour cream icing!

  • Pour mixture into a 2-qt. saucepan. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat, 20 to 25 minutes, until it reaches 190°F, but don’t allow it to boil. The mixture will become smooth, glossy, and thick as it cooks.
  • Pour mixture into a bowl and mix in the lemon zest and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against top of the curd so it doesn’t form a skin. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. (Curd can be kept in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or you can freeze it in 1/2-cup portions for up to 2 months. Makes 1 2/3 cups.)
  • For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans. Sift the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, 1 tsp. salt, and the cloves into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. In a medium bowl whisk the three eggs, two yolks, the molasses, and vanilla. In a small bowl stir together the buttermilk and hot water.
  • Mix the dry ingredients on low speed until well blended. Add the 4 Tbsp. butter and the canola oil; continue mixing on low until mixture resembles fine crumbs. With machine running, add the egg mixture and beat just until incorporated, then add buttermilk mixture in a steady stream while beating. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl; mix again just until evenly combined. Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans.
  • For lemon cream, in a medium bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Whisk lemon curd to loosen it, then add 3/4 cup curd to whipped cream. Beat to medium peaks.
  • Place one cake layer, bottom side up, on a cake plate. Spread one-third of the lemon cream evenly on top. Gently press another cake layer, bottom side up, on top. Spread half of the remaining lemon cream on top, then top with the final cake layer, top side up. Spread the remaining cream on top. Chill until set, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Jump to Recipe

A classic Homemade Gingerbread Cake Christmas cake topped with our super delicious Best Cream Cheese Frosting and boy is it easy to make. Yum, yum, yum!

When you are looking for a classic Christmas dessert look no further than this Homemade Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  With all the taste of the season, this one is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

How to Make the Cake

Step 1: Cream together softened butter and brown sugar in a mixer. Measure 1/2 cup of Molasses. Add egg, milk, and molasses and beat.  The mixture will not be fully incorporated.  In a separate bowl add and mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  Mix until incorporated. Do not over-mix. Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

How to Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

Step 2: While the cake is cooling, make a batch of our Best Cream Cheese Frosting to top your Gingerbread Cake.  It is easy to make and so delicious.  You will find the recipe and detailed instructions on how to make it here.

Decorating the Cake

Step 3: Once the cake is completely cooled, frost it with the Best Cream Cheese Frosting.  We added some Christmas Sprinkles for a little extra Christmas pizzazz. So pretty.

Step 4: Remember, because of the Cream Cheese Frosting you will need to store the cake in the refrigerator! So yummy!

Other Gingerbread Recipes You Will Love

  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened to room temperature (Sweet Cream Salted)
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspooon Nutmeg
  • 1 batch of our The Best Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Christmas Sprinkles (optional)


  • Cream together butter and brown sugar in a mixer
  • Add egg, milk, and molasses and mix. The mixture will not be fully incorporated.
  • In a medium bowl add dry ingredients and mix.
  • Add flour mixture to wet ingredients.
  • Mix until incorporated. Do not over mix
  • Pour batter into a 8×8″ square pan.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 mins.
  • Frost with our The Best Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Add Christmas Sprinkles (optional.)


With Christmas only a couple of weeks away, I’m excited to team up with Amoretti to bring you this easy yet impressive No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake! The holidays can be so busy and stressful when you’ve got to plan a meal and host guests, and no-bake recipes are one way to easily check the Christmas dessert off of your to-do list. You can even make this one a day or two in advance!

My family loves no-bake cheesecakes, so they’re always a good option for us. They’re light, creamy, and delicious. And this one, especially, is so flavorful thanks to Amoretti’s Gingerbread Compound! It’s full of cozy spices and tons of gingerbread flavor. Amoretti’s flavorings are great because they really elevate desserts to a whole new level! Obviously I’m a home baker, but if you’re looking to make bakery or restaurant quality desserts, their flavorings are a must. I’ve tried them in cakes, cookies, ice cream, brownies, and now this!

This No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake has a classic and buttery graham cracker crust, but with some spices and a little molasses mixed in to make it extra special. With more of those classic gingerbread spices, a little molasses, and a boost of flavor from the Gingerbread Compound, the filling is lusciously creamy and so perfectly festive for the holidays. Top it with some whipped cream and mini gingerbread cookies, and you’ve got an impressive dessert worthy of any and all holiday parties!


Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
Peppermint Red Velvet Cake
Chocolate Cake with Pink Peppermint Frosting

  • plain Greek yogurt
  • Amoretti Gingerbread Compound
Whipped Cream
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat cream cheese and Greek yogurt on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; mix until incorporated. Add Amoretti Gingerbread Compound, molasses, powdered sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
  • In another bowl, either with a hand-held mixer with the whisk attachment, or the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until no streaks remain.
  • Pour filling into the prepared springform pan over the crust and spread to the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. Thaw for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving. Top with whipped cream just before serving. Garnish with cinnamon sugar and mini gingerbread men, if desired.
  • After serving, store covered in the refrigerator.
To make the whipped cream

Follow along with me

This gluten-free gingerbread cake is rich with molasses, cinnamon and ginger. It tastes just like old-fashioned gingerbread cake and makes an elegant holiday breakfast or dessert!

Gingerbread cake is one of my favorite things to make during the holiday season. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert and is a great easy cake to bring to parties and holiday meals.

This gingerbread cake recipe turns out like old-fashioned traditional gingerbread. It’s rich in ginger and molasses flavor and has a moist crumb and lovely texture. You’d never guess it’s gluten-free!

This gluten-free gingerbread is delicious topped with a cream cheese glaze or simply dusted with powdered sugar. Either way you make it it’s sure to disappear at your holiday gathering!

For another bundt cake, try this gluten-free pumpkin cake! You also might like this gluten-free apple cake.

How to Make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake

Gluten-Free gingerbread cake has a few very specific, classic ingredients. I also have some ingredients I include in this gluten-free version to help it turn out perfect every time.

  • A high-quality gluten-free 1:1 baking flour: I like to use gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend like King Arthur Flour in my baked goods. It works best to use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum in this recipe.
  • Almond flour: Adding a little almond flour gives this cake richness and flavor. If you’re looking to make this nut-free see the recipe card for instructions. It will still turn out great!
  • Ginger + Spices: Ground ginger, of course, is the main spice in gingerbread! And this recipe has plenty of it. A few other seasonal spices like cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg also round out the flavor.

  • Lemon juice: A little lemon juice gives gluten-free baked goods some extra lift and helps the crumb to be tender rather than dense.
  • Molasses: A quintessential ingredient in gingerbread! I use easy-to-find unsulphured molasses. I don’t recommend blackstrap molasses. I also use unsulphured in these gluten-free gingerbread cookies.
  • Hot water: If you look at any classic gingerbread recipe they all use boiling water to thin the cake. This gluten-free version uses the same trick!

These how-to numbered pictures match up with the instructions below.

  • Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Add the butter (or shortening) and white sugar or to the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer). Mix to combine.
  • Mix in the molasses, eggs (room temperature) and vanilla.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Slowly drizzle in 1 cup of hot water.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake. It will smell amazing!

Once the cake is cooled you can top it with a dusting of powdered sugar for a simple cake or drizzle it with some cream cheese frosting for a more decadent dessert. Either way is delicious!

If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can also make this classic gingerbread cake in a 9×9 square pan.

More gluten-free holiday recipes

I hope you love this gluten-free gingerbread cake recipe as much as we do. If you try it, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

Dry Ingredients

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with, at most, a few moist crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
  • MAKE THE GLAZE: Using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Make sure they are both softened so the glaze isn’t lumpy. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Thin the mixture with 1-2 tablespoons of hot water. Microwave the glaze for 15 seconds to make to pourable (but not too hot), then drizzle over the cake.

MAKE IT NUT-FREE: Substitute the almond flour for an additional 1/3 cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour.

MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Use shortening instead of butter. You can also use dairy-free cream cheese in the glaze with excellent results. I like the brand Kite Hill almond cream cheese.

It works best to use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum in this recipe. I like to use gluten-free measure-for-measure flour (also called 1:1 baking flour) blend like King Arthur Flour in my baked goods.

I use unsulphured molasses (the regular Grandma’s kind you find at the grocery store) for this recipe.

RECIPE ORIGINALLY PUBLISH 11/2015. Post updated 11/2022.

Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

You may also like

This gingerbread cake recipe is the BEST. It is quick, easy, and full of warm gingerbread spices. This moist and delicious cake gets a ton of flavor from molasses and a cup of strong brewed tea.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my gingerbread biscotti and my old fashioned gingerbread loaf recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my gingerbread recipes in one place.

If you make a purchase through one of the affiliate links, I make a few pennies at no extra cost to you. Questions? Please see disclosure for info.

This Newfoundland gingerbread is much loved by our family. Gingerbread can be quite heavy and dense, but not this one. It is so light and fluffy that it practically melts in your mouth.

I bake my Nan’s gingerbread every Christmas. It just doesn’t feel like the holidays without it. The other cake that I make every year is my clementine cake.

If you have a fairly well-stocked pantry, you probably have everything you need to make this gingerbread cake recipe right now.

  • All purpose flour – The regular flour you have in the pantry.
  • Baking powder and baking soda – These help our cake rise.
  • Spices – Give our gingerbread cake tons of flavor.
  • Salt – All baked goods need salt, I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
  • Vanilla – A baking staple.
  • Eggs – Eggs provide stability and structure.
  • Butter – Unsalted, or “sweet cream” butter. Make sure it is unsalted so you can control the salt. Provides great flavor to baked goods.
  • Oil – Helps to keep baked goods moist.
  • Brown sugar – Has a deeper flavor than regular sugar, thanks to molasses.
  • Molasses – Gives gingerbread an unmistakable flavor.

How to make it

First, gather all of your ingredients. Measure everything out ahead of time. This is your “mise-en-place“. You want to make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you begin.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Then, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I let this go for a full 5 minutes.

Then add the flour and wet ingredients to the bowl. I like to fold in the remaining flour by hand with a rubber spatula. As I’m doing this, I make sure to scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is fully incorporated before I pour the batter into the pan.

Finally, fill the prepared pan and use a small offset spatula to smooth the top before sliding it into the oven to bake.

How to bake a flat cake

The dreaded domed cake. It can be really frustrating when you are trying to bake a flat sheet cake and it inevitably comes out with a rounded top.

Second tip: use cake strips or DIY them. I cut up an old dish towel and clipped it to the pan with binder clips. I also use binder clips to secure parchment paper inside the cake pan.

Run the cake strips or cut up strips of towel under water, then wring them out. You want them damp, but not dripping wet. Wrap them around your pan and secure them before baking your cake.

Frequently asked questions

Can I freeze this gingerbread cake?

Yes. Wrap the plain cake tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes. This cake stays moist for days. You can make it a day or two ahead and it will be fine.

What do cake strips do when baking?

Cake strips, whether store-bought or DIY, insulate the outside of the cake and prevent it from baking faster than the inside of the cake. By wrapping the pan, you ensure more even baking.

Variations and substitutions

Try mixing either fresh or dried fruits into the batter. My grandmother occasionally added fresh blueberries to this gingerbread.

Use the cream cheese frosting from my cream cheese cupcakes to top the cake if you prefer a frosted gingerbread sheet cake.

Serving suggestions

This gingerbread cake recipe is so good, all it needs is a dusting of powdered sugar. A dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream wouldn’t be bad, either. To make it extra special, serve this cake with a crème anglaise.

Helpful tools and equipment

If you love this, please give it 5 stars!

I hope you love this gingerbread cake recipe as much as we do! Please consider rating and/or commenting.

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with buttered (or use baking spray) parchment paper, leaving an inch of overhang on the ends. *Wrap pan with cake strips – optional, but recommended.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Whisk to combine, then set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs and beat until incorporated. Add molasses and vanilla. Mix until just combined, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Then add tea, mix until just combined, then add remaining flour and mix just until you no longer see pockets of flour.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the cake batter a few times, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully lift cake to make sure it easily releases. Place a lined baking sheet or cooling rack on top of the pan and carefully flip over. Remove parchment from bottom of cake. Place cooling rack on the cake (bottom) and flip back over. Place on cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Dust with powdered sugar if desired.


Recipe will also make 6 mini Bundt cakes, instead of one 9×13 cake.


1Amount Per Serving: 14g 6g 0g 8g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂

Questions? Send me an email, I’m happy to help. I’d love to send you weekly tips and recipes, so you can get updates about what’s happening in the kitchen!

November 7, 2022
Jump To Recipe

This gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting is healthier than most gingerbread cakes, but don’t hold that against it! It is ultra moist, soft and spicy, and the creamy (lower-calorie) frosting is amazing with it! It’s a great recipe to serve a crowd at Christmas time, because it serves 18 people!

Table of contents

During the holiday season, there are few things better than a gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting. And trust me, you won’t be disappointed with this tried and tested cake recipe!

If you have had my Healthy Maple Carrot Sheet Cake then you know how much I adore Cream Cheese Frosting. In today’s holiday cake, the lightened-up cream cheese frosting is smooth, tangy and creamy, and the perfect foil to the rich spicy cake.

While starting off the day with gingerbread pancakes is never a bad idea, sweet spicy gingerbread is also the perfect ending to a great day around the winter holidays. Especially after feasting other Christmas goodies!

Key Ingredients For This Recipe

  • Unsweetened applesauce- I replaced some of the fat with applesauce. This keeps the cake very moist.
  • Avocado oil or organic canola oil- I used avocado oil instead of butter in the cake. It gives it a very tender cakey crumb.
  • Maple syrup- Pure maple syrup, preferably dark to sweeten the recipe. It really makes the cake very tender and moist and gives it richness.
  • Cool coffee- I used dark cold coffee in the batter. It adds a subtle richness that you would miss if it wasn’t there, but doesn’t give the cake a super strong coffee flavor.
  • Molasses- molasses gives the cake classic old fashioned gingerbread flavor. I used Grandma’s Original Unsulphered Molasses.
  • Flour- The cake is made with white whole wheat flour and some all purpose flour for structure.
  • Spices- I used ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves.
  • Reduced fat cream cheese- Reduced fat cream cheese, also known as Neufchatel cheese, or 1/3-less fat cream cheese, is a little softer in texture than full-fat cream cheese.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make This Healthy Gingerbread Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Whisk batter

Whisk eggs, applesauce and oil together in a large bowl. Whisk maple syrup, coffee, molasses and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves in a medium bowl bowl.

Add maple syrup mixture

In order to keep the batter from becoming lumpy, I found that whisking alternating wet and dry ingredients into the egg and oil mixture worked really well.

Whisk about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture until smooth. Add about 1/3 of the maple syrup mixture to the applesauce mixture and whisk until smooth. Continue alternating and whisking in two more additions of each mixture until the batter is smooth.

Bake gingerbread sheet cake

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 33 to 35 minutes. Let cool, at least 1 1/2 hours.

Make frosting

Beat butter in a medium bowl with paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. Scrape sides of the bowl and beat again. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Scrape sides and beat again. Add powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated. Scrape sides and beat on high until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Can be made 1 day ahead. Store covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for one day. Refrigerate left-overs after 1 day.

FAQs and Expert Tips

Inspiration for this cream cheese frosting

I used Erin’s cream cheese frosting that she serves on her pumpkin cupcakes as a guide for the ratios. But she used full-fat cream cheese. So I went on the heavier side for the butter. 4 tablespoons. Still much lighter than many frosting recipes! But the flavor is amazing!

The key to getting a good frosting texture

The key is to soften the butter completely before you begin. Beat the butter with the paddle attachment in your mixer until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides! Then add in the cream cheese (also softened.) Scrape again. Then beat again. This ensures the butter will be completely mixed into the cream cheese.

Cover the sheet cake lightly with foil or plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

Garnish Ideas

  • If you like to make this cake look fancy try topping it off with Sugared Cranberries like in my Cranberry Cake recipe.
  • Arrange small gingerbread men cookies along the edge of the pan.
  • Shave white chocolate curls over the top and dust with cocoa and cinnamon just before serving
  • Sprinkle with green and red candies
  • Crush clove or cinnamon-flavored candy canes and sprinkle over the top
  • Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or the Maple Pear Sorbet from my cookbook on the side!

More Holiday Desserts to Try

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie


This classic tasting, rich and moist gingerbread sheet cake gets a healthier make-over with applesauce (in place of some of the fat), whole grain flour and it is sweetened naturally with pure maple syrup and molasses. The cream cheese frosting is made with reduced-fat cream cheese! It serves a crowd (18 servings) so it is perfect for a Christmas party!

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Whisk eggs, applesauce and oil together in a large bowl. Whisk maple syrup, coffee, molasses and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves in a medium bowl bowl.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 33 to 35 minutes. Let cool, at least 1 1/2 hours.

Storing Tip: Cover the sheet cake lightly with foil or plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories:
  • Fat:
  • Carbohydrates:
  • Fiber:
  • Protein:

Gingerbread Cake,Healthy Gingerbread Cake,Gingerbread Sheet Cake

About the Author

Katie Webster

You may substitute purchased lemon curd.

How to make the cake ahead of time

Bake the cake layers, let them cool, then wrap each layer in plastic wrap. The layers will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Then pull them now when you’re ready to frost and decorate!

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How to make gingerbread cake

Gingerbread cake is just like any other cake batter plus molasses and spices. It creates a thick batter that’s loaded with flavor!

It starts by whipping together butter and dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar is just sugar plus molasses so using dark brown provides the strongest flavor.

Of course it’s not gingerbread with molasses so it’s added alongside light corn syrup. TOO much molasses can cause the cake to be a bit too bitter, so the light corn syrup helps cut through that flavor while still allowing the molasses to shine.

After the eggs and vanilla, the dry mix is added. This includes loads of ginger plus cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Alternating with the dry mix, buttermilk is also added to the batter. This adds extra moisture and acidity, allowing the baking soda to react and lift the cake once baked.

In the end, the batter should be rather thick almost like brownie batter. This is split between three 8″ cake pans to make a large three layer cake.

They’re baked JUST until done, so make sure to start at the lowest bake time and test with a toothpick to see if any other time needs to be added.

After the cakes are cooled, they’re ready to frost!

For the Cover

Prepare cake recipe twice, except bake each batch in two 9×2-inch pans (to make four layers total). Bake layers 25 minutes. Prepare frosting as directed, using 2 cups cream and 1 cup curd. If you like, decorate with candied lemon slices.

by Ingrid Beer

This moist, velvety gingerbread cake is a decadent take on a classic holiday treat, drizzled with a thick, rich, vanilla sour cream icing!

Nutrition Info: 477 calories per serving

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Gingerbread Cake Ingredients:

Vanilla Sour Cream Icing Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • To begin, gather and prep your cake ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have them ready and organized for use.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°, and lightly spray a 12-cup bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves, and set these dry ingredients aside for a moment.
  • In a larger bowl, add the molasses, dark brown sugar, oil and melted butter, and whisk together for a couple of moments as best as possible (the oil will separate, which is normal).
  • Then, add in your two whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk, along with the vanilla extract, and whisk those in until the mixture emulsifies a bit more and comes together. Next, add in the buttermilk and whisk that in to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and switching to a rubber spatula now, fold those in until the cake batter is well combined and fairly smooth (a few small lumps is OK), taking care not to over work or over mix the batter so that it stays light.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In the mean time, gather and prep your vanilla sour cream icing ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
  • To prepare the icing, add the sour cream to a medium-large bowl, and lightly whisk in the vanilla just to combine. Begin adding ½ cup increments of the powdered sugar at a time, whisking in each addition until smooth, and all the sugar is used. (The finished icing should be quite thick, as this is what will help it to slowly cascade and stick to the cake.)
  • To glaze the gingerbread cake, slowly pour the icing all over the top of the cake (I like to put mine into a glass, 2-cup measuring cup for easier pouring), allowing it to slowly cascade down the sides and center, until all of the icing is used up.
  • Allow the icing to set completely, then slice and serve the cake.

Tips & Tidbits for my Gingerbread Cake recipe

  • 12 cup bundt cake pan: I love my USA Pan 12-cup bundt pan (fantastic quality and non-stick surface), but any bundt cake pan of this capacity will work (if using a darker bundt pan, check the doneness of the cake a few minutes sooner). This allows ample room for the cake batter, as it will rise while baking, then settle a little bit once out of the oven.
  • Best type of molasses to use for gingerbread cake: When purchasing molasses for this recipe, opt for unsulfured, single-boil (traditional) molasses which you can easily find in the markets (“Grandma’s” brand is a good one). Make sure you do not use black strap molasses, which is triple-boiled, and quite bitter and strong. This will make your gingerbread cake bitter.
  • Combination of oil and butter for moist texture: To make this cake very moist yet flavorful, I’m using a combination of vegetable oil and a small amount of melted butter, which offers nice aroma. The oil has more fat than butter, and yields a very moist-crumbed cake, perfect for this spicy gingerbread cake.
  • Fresh spices: For the most amount of spicy flavor, make sure you are using fresh spices. If your spices have been sitting on the shelf for over 6 months, they start to lose their potency and their aroma.
  • Prepare the gingerbread cake ahead: If I’m looking to save some time, I often prepare my cake the evening before I plan on serving it, and allow it to completely cool, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. A few hours before I plan to serve it, I prepare my icing and drizzle it over the cake to allow it to set up before slicing and serving.

Craving more sweet and cozy desserts fit for the holidays? Check this Winter Snow Flurry Cake, this Cherry Almond Winter Cake, this Creme Brulee, this Chocolate Bark, this Cranberry Tart, this Olive Oil Cake, these Chocolate Truffles, or this creamy Rice Pudding!

Gingerbread cake decorations

But I wanted to challenge myself and try to make a mini gingerbread house which, to my surprise, is MUCH easier to make than a regular gingerbread house.

I used the gingerbread cookie recipe that I used to garnish my gingerbread cupcakes. Then I created my own mini house template and made cut outs from a soda box that we were about to recycle. There are also tons of mini gingerbread house cookie cutter sets out there, or you can pick up a pre-made mini gingerbread house kit at most big box stores.

Once all the pieces were baked and cooled, I piped on the decorations using royal icing and then stuck everything together. It was surprisingly easy and turned out so sturdy!

Rosemary sprigs were used to create snow-frosted trees and cranberries rolled in sugar added an extra pop of color.

Candied Lemon Slices

Preheat oven to 275°F. Thinly slice a small lemon, discarding ends. In a large straight-sided skillet heat 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup water just to boiling, stirring to dissolve honey. Add lemon slices to skillet. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove lemon slices from syrup; arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once halfway through baking. Check slices every ten minutes, because some will brown more quickly than others. Remove as they brown.

A Festive Cake Filled with the Flavors of Gingerbread

The holiday season just wouldn’t be complete without a sweet dessert that fills the kitchen with the fragrance of warm spices and buttery aroma.

Of course, gingerbread loaf and gingerbread cookies are a favorite goody to prepare this time of year, brimming with abundant spices and molasses, which many of us find irresistible to indulge in.

And seeing as I myself was really craving some warming spices when it came to this year’s holiday dessert, I got to thinking that creating a moist, velvety and decadent gingerbread cake would be a fantastic and whimsical way to go.

It’s a delicious little “twist” on the traditional way we’re used to enjoying gingerbread!

Filled with dark, earthy molasses, brown sugar, loads of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, plus melted butter and rich buttermilk, my gingerbread cake recipe gets a sweet finishing drizzle of thick sour cream icing kissed with fragrant vanilla.

Sure, it’s a bit more decadent than the traditional dusting of powdered sugar atop of gingerbread but hey, tis’ the holidays and the season to go a little over the top!

My Recipe for Gingerbread Cake

While I enjoy classic gingerbread, for this gingerbread cake I was looking to create more of a velvety texture and a moist, delicious crumb.

For this, I’m using a combo of oil and melted butter as fats, some buttermilk for tenderness, a couple of eggs plus a yolk, and all-purpose flour.

I’m also using equal parts molasses and brown sugar to create that deep, dark sweetness we love in classic gingerbread, plus generous spoonfuls of warming cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and ground cloves for that spicy flavor.

And because I like to keep the preparation and decorating simple, I like to use a bundt pan to bake this gingerbread cake in rather than multiple cake tins for layer cake (though you can certainly do that).

This way, I don’t have to worry about spending time trimming the cake layers so they’re perfectly even, or meticulously frosting the cake!

For the sweet topping, I like to keep it simple with a thick, rich vanilla sour cream icing to drizzle over the cooled gingerbread cake, which compliments its spicy flavors.

This ends up looking a little like a snowy roof top, and I even like to add some sparkly sprinkles or sanding sugar for added flourish and wintery sparkle!

  • To get started, I whisk together my dry ingredients.
  • Then, I add my dry ingredients to these wet ingredients, and fold together just until the batter is combined.
  • I bake the gingerbread cake in my prepared bundt pan, then allow it to cool for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to completely cool.
  • In the meantime, I prepare my vanilla sour cream icing, then drizzle this thickly over the cooled cake and decorate with wintery, sparkly sprinkles, if desired.

Coconut cream cheese frosting

As far has Holiday pairings, coconut and gingerbread needs to be as common as chocolate and peppermint. The deep and warm spices of gingerbread with the light and fresh flavor of coconut is just SO good together!

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the coconut is infused into a cream cheese frosting. The smooth and slightly tangy flavor of cream cheese goes so well with the sweetened coconut. All three flavors work together to create one amazing gingerbread cake.

The frosting is made up of both cream cheese and butter so before starting, make sure both are at room temperature for the smoothest frosting consistency.

It’s then mixed with powdered sugar, vanilla, and coconut extract. The coconut extract is optional but highly recommended! Otherwise, you will still get tons of coconut flavor from the shredded coconut all around the cake.

Speaking of, the cake is smothered in every last drop of the coconut frosting so that the shredded coconut can adhere to the cake.

Sweetened coconut is used because it’s much more flavorful than unsweetened. And don’t worry, it doesn’t overpower the cake. The gingerbread cake itself is very light and not too sweet, so the coconut frosting pairs perfectly with our fluffy cake.

How to store gingerbread cake

Keep this cake in a cake container in the refrigerator. Unsliced, it will keep fresh for about 2-3 days.

Tips for baking gingerbread cake

To make sure your cake turns out perfectly soft, tender, and fluffy, here are my top baking tips:

Flour – I say this in every post, and for good reason. It’s the number one reason why most recipes fail. If there’s too much flour, this cake will turn dry. If possible, measure the flour with a food scale. Otherwise, to ensure the exact amount, gently spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a flat edge. If scooped directly into the flour container, the flour becomes packed down into the cup which could leave you with 1/4 cup or more of added flour.

Molasses – There are a few different types of molasses available, so make sure you use unsulphured gold standard molasses. This is the most widely available so it’s likely the one you are most familiar with! I used Grandma’s brand for this recipe.

Dark Brown Sugar – For the best flavor and consistency, stick with dark brown sugar. Not only does it have a stronger flavor, but it also contains more moisture. Swapping in light brown sugar can change the texture of the cake.

Mixing – Mix as much as is needed for the wet ingredients, but take things slow and steady once the dry ingredients are added. Over worked batter can lead to a tough cake, so alternating between the dry mix and buttermilk allows the batter to slowly thin out through this mixing process.

Cake Strips – If you have them, I highly recommend baking your cakes with moist cake strips. These wrap around the cake pans before baking, allowing the heat to slowly bake through the cake layers rather than baking the outside too fast. This lead to level cakes. Of course this cake will turn out great without them! The layers will just have to be leveled before frosting.

Testing – This cake can go from moist to dry very fast, so make sure your toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Cooling – Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for about 15 minutes, then turn them out to cool completely before frosting.

For more gingerbread recipes, check out my

This fun and festive gingerbread cake is soft, moist, and covered in coconut cream cheese frosting! The warm spices of gingerbread combined with the light freshness of coconut is an unexpected pairing that works so well together.

  • 3 1/4 cups () all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • ground ginger
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground cloves
  • kosher salt
  • () unsalted butter, room temp
  • () dark brown sugar, packed
  • () unsulfured molasses
  • () light corn syrup
  • large eggs, room temp
  • vanilla extract
  • () buttermilk, room temp
  • () full fat cream cheese, room temp
  • () unsalted butter, room temp
  • () powdered sugar
  • coconut extract
  • vanilla extract
  • milk
  • sweetened shredded coconut
  • Gingerbread cookies (use recipe for my gingerbread cupcake garnishes)
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Sugar coated cranberries
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the inside and line the bottom of 3 8″ round cake pans. Also wrap the pans with damp cake strips if you have them.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Evenly split the batter between the three pans and spread even.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely before making the frosting.
  • In a large bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Then mix in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix in the extracts and milk when the frosting starts to become thick and dry.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting between each cake layer and then cover the entire outside.
  • Press the shredded coconut into the sides and top of the cake and top with your decorations. Enjoy!

gingerbread cake, gingerbread layer cake, christmas cake

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