(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)
This is a super moist gingerbread cake recipe made with ground ginger, molasses, dark brown sugar, and maple syrup. It’s soft on the inside with a crunchy semi-hardened layer around the outside of the cake. The two different textures complement one another wonderfully!
You can serve this gingerbread cake just the way it is until you realize that spreading some cream cheese frosting on top, as we did, is beyond heavenly!
Gingerbread cake can also be served with powdered sugar icing, a spoonful of homemade whipped cream, or simply sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. You can also drizzle extra maple syrup on it. Whichever way it’s served, undoubtedly it’s delicious!
🍴 Key Ingredients
- 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses (3/4 of a cup for more molasses flavor)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- Cream cheese buttercream frosting (optional)
👩🍳 How to Make Gingerbread Cake (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
Step 1. Preheat the Oven
Preheat the oven until it reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2. Prepare the Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, use a measuring cup to measure out 3 ¾ cups of all purpose flour and add it together with 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of ground ginger. Then, combine the flour mixture until well blended. Set the flour mixture aside until later.
Step 3. Prepare the Wet Ingredients
In a medium saucepan, add 3/4 of a cup of the unsalted butter together with 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup molasses, and 3/4 cup maple syrup. You can also add more molasses if you prefer, up to 3/4 of a cup if you like lots of molasses flavor.
Tip: We used Grandma’s original unsulphured molasses, but you can use any of your favorite brands of molasses.
Step 4. Melt the Butter and Dissolve the Sugar
Turn the burner on low heat and cook the molasses mixture until the butter melts and the sugar is incorporated with the liquid. Do not leave the molasses mixture on the stove unattended. Keep stirring the mixture with a spoon or spatula so the butter, molasses, maple syrup, and sugar won’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
Turn the heat off and remove the saucepan from the stove. Then set the mixture aside to cool at room temperature for a few minutes.
Step 5. Beat the Egg
In the meantime, in a separate bowl, add 1 large egg. With a fork or a whisk, beat the egg until the white of the egg is blended with the yolk.
Step 6. Add the Egg to the Milk
Add the beaten egg together with 1 cup of milk. Stir the beaten egg and milk until blended thoroughly.
Step 7. Add the Egg and Milk Mixture to the Molasses Mixture
After the molasses mixture has cooled, pour the egg and milk mixture into the saucepan together with the molasses mixture. With a rubber spatula stir the ingredients until it is thoroughly blended.
Step 8. Prepare the Cake Batter
In a large mixing bowl, add the molasses mixture from the saucepan together with the flour mixture we set aside earlier. Make sure to remember to scrape the sides of the bowl while stirring the mixture.
Step 9. Mix Thoroughly
Continue to stir the cake batter until smooth. You can continue to mix the ingredients with the spoon or spatula, or if you have an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, you can go ahead and use that to blend the flour mixture together with the molasses mixture. Start with a low speed and gradually work up to a higher speed.
Step 10. Line a Square Pan with Parchment Paper
Put a layer of parchment paper in an 8×8-inch square cake pan. Pour the entire cake batter into the prepared pan.
Note: If you don’t have any parchment paper, generously butter and lightly flour the inside of the baking dish. You can use cooking spray instead of butter if you prefer to do so.
Step 11. Bake the Cake
Place the cake into the oven and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 and 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Step 12. Let the Cake Cool, Remove the Parchment Paper & Place the Cake on a Plate
After baking the cake, remove it from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan by lifting up the parchment paper. After that, remove the parchment paper away from the cake and place the cake on a plate. If you prefer to do so, drizzle or spread cream cheese frosting on top of the cake now.
⭐️ Recipe Variations
- You can use a loaf pan or two if you prefer instead of the 8×8 inch square cake pan as we did.
- Make gingerbread cupcakes using a muffin pan.
- You can use different types of molasses for this recipe such as light molasses, dark molasses, and blackstrap molasses if you prefer.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the cake instead of the frosting.
You can store leftover gingerbread cake in the pan it was baked in and place some plastic wrap or aluminum foil around it. Or you can remove the cake from the pan and store it in an airtight container. It can be left on the countertop or put in the refrigerator for a few days, and then after that you can freeze it.
Yes, you can freeze leftover gingerbread cake. Put the cake in a freezer-safe container. You can also wrap individual servings and put each serving in a small freezer-safe ziplock storage bag. The cake is good in the freezer for about 3 or 4 months. It thaws on the countertop within a few minutes. It’s also quite yummy to eat it partially frozen with some ice cream.
💭 Final Thoughts
This gingerbread cake is a great recipe to make during the holiday season, but it’s also great to make any time of the year.
Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering or a special occasion throughout the year and you are struggling to decide on a dessert to serve, this gingerbread cake recipe with cream cheese buttercream frosting is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. And don’t forget the vanilla ice cream. Gingerbread cake with vanilla ice cream is amazing!
💑 More Delicious Cake Recipes You Will Love
- A delightful applesauce cake made with applesauce, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and raisins. You can also add chopped walnuts or chopped pecans for extra crunch.
- This Mississippi mud cake is amazing with so much chocolate in every bite! The recipe includes mini marshmallows, chocolate frosting, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans on top. An ooey gooey treat that is so divine!
- A white upside-down nectarine cake that is sweet and super moist. The top layer is nectarines with a crumble topping that consists of sugar, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.
🗂️ Recipe Card
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ground ginger. Mix thoroughly. Set aside for now.
- In a medium saucepan, add the unsalted butter, dark brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup.
- Heat the molasses mixture over low heat until the butter and sugar have blended with the molasses. Keep stirring so the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
- While the molasses mixture is cooling down, beat the egg and add it to the milk. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the beaten egg and milk to the cooled-down molasses mixture. Mix thoroughly.
- Slowly add the molasses mixture to the flour mixture. Mix until thoroughly blended.
- Line an 8×8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper use butter or cooking spray and a dusting of flour inside of the cake pan.
- Pour the gingerbread cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 and 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- After baking, allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
- After that, remove the cake from the pan by lifting up the parchment paper.
- Then remove the parchment paper from the cake and place the cake on a plate.
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
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