Gingerbread Cake

A moist and tender gingerbread cake with thick, creamy cream cheese frosting. This stunning layer cake is perfect for the holidays!

I think it would be adorable to top this cake with a gingerbread house, or gingerbread men! But if layer cake isn’t your style, you can always try these Gingerbread Cupcakes which have a similar spiced flavor and yummy cream cheese frosting. 

Gingerbread cake decorated with rosemary

Christmas Cake for a Crowd

Fall flew by! I’m starting to get into creating more “wintery” recipes – especially with Christmas flavors like peppermint and gingerbread, and this gingerbread cake was first up. It’s moist, loaded with cozy spices and covered in a luscious cream cheese frosting.

This cake is the perfect dessert to take to all of those holiday parties! Not only is it delicious, but it’s gorgeous too!

Do you love gingerbread? You’re crazy if you don’t! It tastes just like you’re biting into a classic gingerbread cookie, only in cake form. I’m obsessed. While this three layer stunner is more work than the traditional sheet cake, it’s great for holiday gatherings because it can easily feed a crowd.

A slice of Gingerbread Spice Cake on a wood plate

How to Make Gingerbread Cake

PREP. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of three 9-inch round baking pans with parchment, then butter/flour the sides or spray with baking spray, set aside.

WET INGREDIENTS. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand held mixer), beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugars and beat for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy, then add molasses and mix until combined. With mixing speed on low, add egg yolks one at a time until incorporated, then add the vanilla.

DRY INGREDIENTS. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. With mixing speed on low, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Mix until just a few streaks of flour and buttermilk remain.

EGG WHITES. In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Once incorporated, pour batter into the three prepared baking pans, dividing evenly. Smooth out the batter with a spatula.

BAKE. Place in the oven to bake for 22-26 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

FROSTING. Make the frosting while the cake is baking/cooling, and wait until the cake is completely cool before frosting it. 

Make a bundt cake? To make this a bundt cake you need to simply pour the mixture into a bundt cake pan and aim for around the same baking time, but keep an eye on it! Make sure you butter and flour your pan very well so that you don’t leave any chunks behind.

Decorating

The best part of making this cake was decorating it. I had originally planned on topping it with a mini gingerbread house but unfortunately the royal icing frosting did not hold up #reallife.

Instead, I grabbed some of the rosemary I had bought for Thanksgiving dinner and used it as little trees. I sprinkled clear sanding sugar and edible glitter around the edges. It looked just like snow.

You could leave it plain or use gingerbread men. The options are endless!

Close up of a slice of gingerbread layer cake

Tips for Storing

How to store? If the gingerbread spice cake is already frosted, the frosting acts as a barrier to having the cake dry out. You can simply place a large bowl or cover over your cake. If it is unfrosted, you risk the cake drying out so you should store it as air-tightly as possible. Either way store them at room temperature, or if you want it to last longer you can store it in the fridge, tightly covered.

Freezing? To freeze the unfrosted cake you need to wrap the layers in plastic wrap and then in foil. This will last for about 3 months. If you want to freeze a frosted cake you want to let it set up in the fridge, just on a cookie sheet, and then wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap. Since the frosting acts as the 1st layer you only need 1 additional layer.

Gingerbread Spice Cake on a wood round

This delicious winter cake will be the hit of your holiday party!

For more holiday desserts, try:

Gingerbread Spice Cake | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Gingerbread Cake Recipe

A moist and tender spiced gingerbread cake with thick and creamy cream cheese frosting. This stunning layer cake is perfect for the holidays!
5 from 4 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Cakes & Cheesecakes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 24 slices
Calories: 410kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the Cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1 cup molasses - NOT blackstrap
  • 4 eggs - divided
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 4 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 oz original cream cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of three 9-inch round baking pans with parchment, then butter/flour the sides or spray with baking spray, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand held mixer), beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugars and beat for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy, then add molasses and mix until combined.
  • With mixing speed on low, add egg yolks one at a time until incorporated, then add the vanilla.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. With mixing speed on low, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Mix until just a few streaks of flour and buttermilk remain.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Once incorporated, pour batter into the three prepared baking pans, dividing evenly. Smooth out the batter with a spatula.
  • Place in the oven to bake for 22-26 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when touched.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting
  • Meanwhile, to prepare the cream cheese frosting, using the paddle attachment cream the butter, vanilla and salt for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a thick paste. Add the cream cheese and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP! Place in refrigerator to chill until the cakes have completely cooled. Allow to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before piping between the cake layers. The outside of the cake will require very little frosting as this is a "naked" style cake.
  • Decorate with white and/or clear sprinkles and rosemary, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 24g | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 481IU | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg