Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is bursting with flavour thanks to the spices and molasses. It will make a delicious addition to your holiday spread.
I’ve loved gingerbread ever since I was a kid, devouring as many gingerbread men as I could before the season was over. I couldn’t wait to make it in cake form, to create a cake that’s fluffy, moist and full of spice.
The cake is made with brown sugar to accentuate the molasses flavour. When you cream the butter and sugar together, be sure to cream it for a full 3-4 minutes. This will ensure the cake is light and fluffy. You’ll know when you’ve beaten it enough, as the colour will become lighter and the texture will change.
Real gingerbread contains molasses, and this cake is no different. If you’re new to using molasses, just know that it is incredibly sticky, and you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula while mixing to make sure it all gets incorporated. The batter may look a little separated because of the molasses, but don’t worry, it will all come together to form a smooth batter once everything else is added.
Ginger, cinnamon and cloves give this cake a punch of flavour, without being overpowering. Once the cake is baked and cooled, it’s frosted with a luscious cream cheese frosting. I made sure to add some lemon juice to my frosting, as it balances the sweetness so well. I chose to decorate the cake with sugared raspberries and rosemary, but you can use whatever takes your fancy. I thought the little fawn was a lovely touch to the cake. In case you didn’t know, the deer is one of my favourite animals.
My Mum was the first taste tester for this cake and she absolutely loved the rich gingerbread flavour and how light and moist the cake is. I hope you enjoy it too!
Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 12-14 slices
3/4 cup unsalted butter (170 g), room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz (224g) full fat cream cheese
3/4 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Make the cake: Line and grease two 9-inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes).
Add molasses and vanilla extract and mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients and stir together. Combine milk and water in a measuring cup.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until just combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until just combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined and smooth, being careful not to over-mix.
Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove them from the pans to cool completely.
Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add 4 cups confectioners sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
Assemble the cake: Level the cakes with a serrated knife if necessary so the tops are flat. Place the first cake layer on the serving plate and spread about half of the frosting over the cake. Add the second layer of cake and the rest of the frosting, smoothing it on evenly. Leave the sides bare. Decorate the top of the cake with sugared rosemary and raspberries if desired. Keep cake refrigerated and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Notes: 1. Check on the cakes once 28 minutes are up, as it’s very easy to leave them in the oven a touch too long and end up with a dry cake. 2. Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 2-3 days. 3. Cover and store leftover frosting in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, and up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator, then beat the frosting for a few seconds until it’s creamy again.
Recipe adapted from: Life, Love and Sugar