Gingerbread Cake

With rich and tender cake layers, this Gingerbread Cake transforms your favorite holiday cookie into a decadent dessert. Paired perfectly with our favorite almond buttercream frosting, this cake is sure to put you in the holiday spirit! 

Gingerbread cake with buttercream frosting, Christmas trees, and a station wagon on white cake plate

Originally posted in 2018. Edited & updated December 2020.

Let the Christmas baking commence! I made this gingerbread cake two years ago and it is beyond. The rich cake layers are full of molasses, ginger, and cinnamon spices. All enhanced by a strong dose of brewed coffee in the batter. If you love ginger snaps or gingerbread men this cake is for you! 

Let’s make one!

Gingerbread cake with buttercream frosting, Christmas trees, and a station wagon on white cake plate

First, let’s talk…

Tips to Making a Perfect Gingerbread Cake

  1. Room temperature is key: Allow your butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature to ensure the smoothest batter and frosting.
  2. Spoon and level the flour: Measuring your flour correctly is a huge piece to baking a perfect cake! Too much flour and you’ll end up with a batter that is too stiff, which we definitely do not want. The most accurate way to measure your flour when baking is by spooning and leveling. If you aren’t familiar with this, all you do is take a spoon and scoop the flour into your measuring cup. You want the flour to be fluffy and not packed down so simply scoop it into your measuring up and do not pack it down! When your measuring cup is full, simply run the back of a knife over top of the measuring cup to knock off any excess flour. 
  3. Don’t over mix the batter: Only mix until your ingredients are just incorporated to ensure you avoid over mixing. 
  4. Freeze the cake layers before frosting: In order to get the most beautiful frosted cake, I freeze my cake layers before frosting. I prefer freezing them overnight, but a few hours definitely helps too. Let them cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in freezer. This helps the frosting go on so smooth with no cake crumb mess! 

 

Gingerbread cake with buttercream frosting, Christmas trees, and a station wagon on white cake plate

What You Need to Make This Gingerbread Cake

To make this gingerbread cake, you will need the following ingredients. See the full recipe card below for detailed amounts and instructions! 

  • Butter – You’ll want softened unsalted butter for this recipe. 
  • Sugar – You’ll need both granulated sugar and light brown sugar for this recipe. Adding brown sugar helps us get the most delicious moist cake!
  • Eggs – These help us get the best textured cake.
  • Molasses – For the best gingerbread cake flavor!
  • Flour – All purpose flour is what this recipe calls for.
  • Ginger and cinnamon – Of course!
  • Baking powder and baking soda – This helps our cake rise when baking.
  • Salt – Believe it or not, the salt helps bring out the rich ginger molasses flavors.
  • Coffee – The cake won’t taste like coffee, but it helps tenderize the cake and bring out our flavor! 
  • Cream cheese and confectioners sugar – All for the love of frosting!

 

Gingerbread cake with buttercream frosting, Christmas trees, and a station wagon on white cake plate

How to Make This Gingerbread Cake

To make this gingerbread cake, simply:

  1. Make the cake batter – In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on a medium speed until fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the molasses. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, begin adding in the flour mixture alternately with the coffee. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Ex: 1 cup flour, half of the coffee, 1 cup flour, remainder of the coffee, remainder of flour. Divide batter between two greased 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. Bake – Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted in the center of each cake. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes before inverting onto wire rack. Cool completely before frosting (see notes).
  3. Make frosting – Beat butter and cream cheese in electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Lower speed and add confectioners sugar, cinnamon, and almond extract. Mix on high speed for about 2 minutes until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  4. Assemble – Spread the cinnamon almond buttercream between each layer and on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate as desired!

Freeze before frosting: In order to get the most beautiful cake, I freeze my cake layers before frosting. Preferably overnight, but a few hours definitely helps too. Let them cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in freezer. This helps the frosting go on so smooth with no cake crumbs! If planning to serve, pull the cake out of the freezer to frost about 3 hours prior. This gives plenty of time for the cake to come to room temperature.

To store: The flavors in this cake actually get even better as time goes by. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days and then move to the fridge for up to 7 days. You can freeze this cake for up to 2 months.

 

Gingerbread cake with buttercream frosting, Christmas trees, and a station wagon on white cake plate

More Holiday Recipes You’ll Love!

 

Gingerbread cake with buttercream frosting, Christmas trees, and a station wagon on white cake plate

Gingerbread Cake

Yield: 2 layer cake

With rich and tender cake layers, this Gingerbread Cake transforms your favorite holiday cookie into a decadent dessert. Paired perfectly with our favorite almond buttercream frosting, this cake is sure to put you in the holiday spirit! 

Ingredients

  • CAKE:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups hot coffee
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

    Make the cake batter - In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on a medium speed until fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the molasses. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, begin adding in the flour mixture alternately with the coffee. Beginning and ending with flour mixture. Ex: 1 cup flour, half of the coffee, 1 cup flour, remainder of the coffee, remainder of flour. Divide batter between two greased 9 inch round cake pans.


    Bake - Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted in the center of each cake. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes before inverting onto wire rack. Cool completely before frosting (see notes).


    Make frosting - Beat butter and cream cheese in electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Lower speed and add confectioners sugar, cinnamon, and almond extract. Mix on high speed for about 2 minutes until frosting is smooth and fluffy.


    Assemble - Spread the cinnamon almond buttercream between each layer and on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate as desired!

Notes

Freeze before frosting: In order to get the most beautiful cake, I freeze my cake layers before frosting. Preferably overnight, but a few hours definitely helps too. Let them cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in freezer. This helps the frosting go on so smooth with no cake crumbs! If planning to serve, I would pull the cake out of the freezer to frost about 3 hours prior. This gives plenty of time for the cake to come to room temperature.

To store: The flavors in this cake actually get even better as time goes by. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days and then move to the fridge for up to 7 days. You can freeze this cake for up to 2 months.

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Did you make this recipe?

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this Gingerbread Cake! When you make them, be sure to leave an amazing review in the comments below or tag #goingforgrace on social!

 

 

Welcome!

I'm Lauren, creator here at GFG. My husband Michael and I live in Tennessee. I'm into classic style, British baking shows, and pretty finds. My motto is dress like Kate, work like Reese, and entertain like Martha!

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2 Comments

  1. 12.11.18
    Mary said:

    Hello, beautiful cake. Where did you find the decorations?

    • 12.11.18
      Lauren said:

      Hi Mary! Thank you! All are from Target! I actually found them in the seasonal dollar section weeks ago, but I noticed they moved them to the Christmas section in ours now! I hope that helps!