Make your holidays extra festive with this easy gingerbread cake recipe! There are loads of warming flavours like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and rich molasses. The whole gingerbread cake is topped with a simple icing sugar glaze and plenty of fun sprinkles!
Now that my American friends have had their Thanksgiving and we are on the last week of November, bring on all the holiday inspired goodies, like this gingerbread cake recipe!
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be sharing this one! I want to thank my fam jam, though, because over the past few weeks they’ve enjoyed their fair share of this cake while I was recipe testing.
Cake for you and you and you! Cake for everyone!
The things we do, am I right?
All the testing was worth it, though, because this gingerbread cake is really good. As my sister-in-law said, it has all the warming flavours of the holidays, but totally suitable for year-round eatin’. I wonder, is she trying to tell me something, LOL.
This gingerbread is not too sweet and literally takes minutes to whip up. It’s made with some simple ingredients that you probably have on hand. The hardest part? Waiting for this baby to cool.
If you’re a fan of gingerbread, you may enjoy this homemade gingerbread coffee creamer!
How to Make Gingerbread Cake
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.
- Place butter, cream cheese and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a bowl with a hand mixer).
- Blend until smooth, combined and fluffy.
- Add molasses and vanilla extract and blend.
- Next, add eggs (one at a time), blending in.
- Mix in reserved dry ingredients.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake.
- In a bowl or large measuring cup, mix the ingredients together for the icing sugar glaze.
- Pour icing sugar glazed over cooled gingerbread cake, add sprinkles and enjoy!
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Icing Sugar Glaze for Cake
For this gingerbread cake recipe, I kept the icing simple. The acronym I regularly use (and you may have heard me say it before) is K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid).
The cake itself is, like I said, not overly sweet so this icing sugar glaze adds some sweetness and a pretty factor (along with those sprinkles, of course).
The glaze is literally two ingredients. I used icing sugar and orange juice. While recipe testing I tried with various quantities of icing sugar:
- ½ cup of icing sugar (just enough to drizzle some lines of icing sugar along the top of the cake)
- 1 cup of icing sugar (enough to drizzle over top but not quite enough for my likin’)
- 1.5 cups (what I was happy with)
Tip: To make this easy icing sugar glaze, start with 1.5 cups of icing sugar and add 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Stir, stir, stir.
Slowly add additional orange juice, if needed (1 teaspoon at a time), to get your desired consistency. I used 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons.
A little bit of juice goes a long way and you don’t want the glaze too thin. It should be thick, almost thick like honey.
Make sure your butter and cream cheese are softened before making this cake. The ingredients blend better and you get the most oomph out of them. To quickly soften both butter and cream cheese, cut into squares and place on a plate for 10 to 15 minutes or until softened.
When measuring the molasses, grease a measuring cup with baking spray before pouring in the molasses. It helps it to come out more easily.
Once the batter is poured into the greased pan, tap it down on a hard surface a bunch of times to remove any excess air bubbles before baking.
Ensure that the gingerbread cake is fully cooled before icing. Otherwise, the icing sugar glaze will just melt (aka soak) right into the cake and it won’t ‘pop’.
I mixed the icing sugar glaze in a measuring cup (to make things easier). Just pour and let the icing sugar glaze flow naturally over the cake.
As soon as the icing sugar glaze is over the cake, decorate with sprinkles. Because this is a holiday cake, sprinkles are definitely recommended.
More Easy Holiday Baking Recipes
- Baked Eggnog Donuts
- Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate, Cranberries and Walnuts
- Fruit Cake Bread Pudding
If you want to be extra indulgent, serve a big hunk of this gingerbread cake with some vanilla ice-cream and an eggnog latte (from Champagne Tastes). So good!
Hope you love this homemade gingerbread cake as much as we do!
If you make this gingerbread cake recipe, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed!
Easy Gingerbread Cake Recipe
Gingerbread Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour , spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 ounces light cream cheese (softened)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- ½ cup brown sugar (packed)
- ½ cup fancy molasses
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- Baking spray or butter (to grease pan)
- Festive sprinkles (garnish, optional)
- 1.5 cup icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons orange juice (less if you want thicker consistency or more if you want a thinner consistency)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a bowl with a hand mixer), blend (on medium-high speed) cream cheese, butter and sugar until combined, smooth and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes (stop to scrape sides of bowl, as necessary, with a rubber spatula).
- Add molasses and vanilla extract and blend for another 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed and add eggs, one at a time, blending about 15 to 30 seconds with each egg addition.
- Add reserved flour mixture and blend until just combined
- Generously grease a fluted cake pan (I used a 10-inch, non-stick pan) and pour or scoop batter into it (batter will be thick). Tap the pan down on a hard surface a few times to settle the batter and remove any air bubbles. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.Note: Because pans and ovens can vary, check on at the 40 minute mark).
- Once done, allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and let COOL COMPLETELY on a cooling rack before icing and adding any sprinkles. Slice and enjoy!
- Add icing sugar to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of orange juice and whisk. A teaspoon at a time, add more juice and whisk until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over cooled gingerbread cake. Note: If you want the glaze thicker, add a little more icing sugar. Conversely, if you want a thinner glaze, add more juice (a little goes a long way).
- Cooling time may vary. To speed up cooling time, place the cake in the fridge for a little while.
- When measuring the molasses, grease a measuring cup with baking spray before pouring in the molasses. It helps it to come out more easily..
- Ensure that the gingerbread cake is fully cooled before icing. Otherwise, the icing sugar glaze will just melt (aka soak) right into the cake and it won’t ‘pop’.
- I mixed the icing sugar glaze in a measuring cup (to make things easier). Just pour and let the icing sugar glaze flow naturally over the cake.
- As soon as the icing sugar glaze is over the cake, decorate with sprinkles.
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 Serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.