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Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake is the perfect addition to any holiday dessert table.  This classic recipe features warm, spicy flavors and can be finished with rich cream cheese frosting, a dusting of powdered sugar, or a simple dollop of whipped cream.

square slice of gingerbread cake on a white plate topped with whipped cream

Gingerbread seems to be one of those controversial flavors that you either love or hate.  I love warm, spicy flavors (like what’s found in a homemade Chai Tea Latte and Chai Spiced Applesauce) but I will admit that molasses isn’t always my favorite flavor profile!  It can be overwhelming if not used sparingly or paired properly.

This gingerbread cake is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy!

gingerbread cake on white plates with silver forks

What’s in Gingerbread Cake?

Let’s start with what is gingerbread?  Gingerbread used to be a term that referred to preserved ginger but now refers to a wide range of baked goods containing ginger and molasses (or honey).  Gingerbread cookies, gingerbread cupcakes, gingerbread houses, and the like are a popular Christmastime dessert.

For this easy gingerbread cake recipe, you will need:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • ground ginger
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground cloves
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • molasses
  • egg
  • buttermilk

How to Make Gingerbread Cake

This recipe is one of my favorites because it results in a no-fuss cake (like my one-bowl chocolate cake) that doesn’t need to be layered and doesn’t really even have to be decorated (though I tend to always add something to the finished product – see below).  

To make this gingerbread recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar before beating in the egg and molasses.
  5. Add the dry mixture by alternating with buttermilk and beating after each addition.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Spread batter evenly into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
whipped cream on a whisk

How to Decorate Gingerbread Cake

I prefer to finish my cake with homemade cream cheese frosting.  The rich and tangy cream cheese helps to cut the strong molasses flavor.  If I don’t feel like making frosting, I will whisk up some homemade whipped cream.  If I am feeling extra lazy- a simple dusting of powdered sugar is a beautiful and (ridiculously easy) presentation! 

How to Store Gingerbread Cake?

This cake is even better the next day as the flavors age.  Store in an airtight container, in a cool place, for up to 1-2 weeks.  This cake can also be frozen for up to two months.  To freeze: wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container.

white plate with silver stars and a slice of gingerbread cake

More Delicious Cake Recipes

square slice of gingerbread cake on a white plate topped with whipped cream

Gingerbread Cake

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Emily Grace

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Whip cream for serving if desired
  • Powdered sugar for dusting if desired

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Beat in egg and molasses.
  • Add dry mixture alternating with buttermilk, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Spread batter evenly into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool to room temperature or serve warm with whip cream.
  • Store leftovers in airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 289IU | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @GraceGoodEats or tag #graceandgoodeats!

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Recipe Rating




Vanessa

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Thanks for sharing! How far ahead of time can I make it?

Suzanne

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

This looks so good! What a fun cake to make for Christmas celebrations!

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