Gingerbread cake is the most aromatic seasonal treat ideal for rounding up your holiday menus. While gingerbread is gorgeous and delicious, it is also a lot of work. But those traditional and comfy flavors are super simple in my gingerbread cake. It is guaranteed to lift your spirits and get you ready for the holiday season!
If you thought gingerbread cookies were fun, wait until you try this spicy gingerbread cake! I love making this one a few times during the holiday season because it’s a great way to entertain guests for the holidays, especially when served with an aromatic cup of tea or coffee!
When to Make a Gingerbread Cake?
This moist and fluffy cake is so perfect for entertaining guests along with a cup of cappuccino or Pumpkin Spice Latte.
It’s also a pleasantly sweet dessert ideal for a not-too-sweet pick-me-up. Anytime I’m in the mood for something spicy, which is almost all the time, this deliciousness does the trick. It’s especially fabulicious for the holidays.
Gingerbread Cake Recipe Ingredients
For the Cake
- All-Purpose Flour – This pantry staple is the unsung hero of this fresh ginger recipe for a rich and tender cake.
- Baking Soda – A classic raising agent for cakes and other desserts for delicious fluffiness.
- Baking Powder – Baking powder reacts instantly when activated, causing those fantastic bubbles in our gingerbread cake batter.
- Cinnamon – This warming spice is fabulous for seasonal desserts, including today’s gingerbread cake. I just think it’s so cool that it’s tree bark.🤩
- Ground Ginger – Finely ground, the fragrant spice adds intense, concentrated, and soul-satisfying flavors to the cake.
- Allspice – This incredible spice tastes like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove all in one. It’s so versatile that it works great in sweet and savory dishes.
- Nutmeg – No gingerbread cake recipe is complete without the famous nutmeg, a fall spice that always goes so great with ginger.
- Salt – A pinch of salt is the perfect flavor enhancer.
- Brown and Granulated Sugar – A little sweetness goes a long way. It also makes this gingerbread cake mouthwateringly moist.
- Butter – Room temperature unsalted butter is best for this recipe. You’ll also need a bit more butter for the butterscotch sauce.
- Eggs – This staple binds all the other ingredients together into a smooth batter.
- Ginger – Fresh ginger, the rhizome of the ginger plant, is exotic and so heartwarming. And it’s incredibly intense, so a little goes a long way.
- Molasses – The thick, sweet molasses adds body and a rich flavor to our cake.
- Hot Water – Why hot water? There’s something about adding it at the end that makes a smoother, softer cake that doesn’t crumble as easily. It also helps activate the baking soda and powder for a better rise. Ya know, I wonder what replacing the hot water with a cup of hot coffee would do for this fantastic recipe.
For the Butterscotch Sauce
- Butter – Butter adds creamy smoothness to the sauce. It really makes it shine, too!
- Brown Sugar – More flavorful and moist than white sugar, brown sugar is an excellent sweetener for caramel and butterscotch desserts.
- Cream – The creaminess adds bulk to our rich and buttery butterscotch sauce.
- Vanilla Extract – No cake is complete without this aromatic, all-natural flavoring. Homemade vanilla extract is so much better.
- Margarine – For a vegan gingerbread cake, substitute butter with margarine.
- Aquafaba – Aqua what? It’s the liquid that comes from canned beans, especially chickpeas. You can use a few tablespoons to substitute eggs. You can even whip it like egg whites. How cool is that?
- Corn Syrup – Substitute molasses with equal parts of dark corn syrup and brown sugar.
- Orange Peel – Add grated orange peel to the cake batter for an extra layer of fresh and comfy flavors.
- Cream Cheese Frosting – If you’re not a big fan of butterscotch, then top your gingerbread cake with a vanilla cream cheese frosting.
Tips and Tricks
Preheating the oven at least 15 minutes beforehand is important on this one. It gives you a more evenly baked cake.
If I worry about the cake sticking to the pan, I grease the pan with either butter or cooking oil, then lightly flour it. The oil helps the flour stick to the pan so that the cake doesn’t.
You can make the butterscotch sauce up to a week ahead of time and store it in a glass jar in the fridge.
Serving and Storage Instructions
To serve, let the gingerbread cake cool down before unmolding. Cut it into squares, then top it with homemade whipped cream and drizzle butterscotch sauce over each portion.
The cake will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also keep it in an airtight BPA-free plastic container in the fridge for up to a week.
You can also freeze the gingerbread cake for up to two months.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your oven is too hot or the cake is left in the oven too long, it will dry out. Also, make sure the flour was measured correctly. Sometimes, it’s better to measure flour by weight instead of volume.
Insert a toothpick into the cake and pull it out. It should come out moist but clean. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer and make sure the inside of the cake reaches 200–209°F (93–98°C). That means the cake is cooked through.
This cake is moist, so it should be soft. But if it’s too soft, let it rest on a rack until it cools completely. The cake will gain firmness as the butter cools and extra moisture dissipates. If you want it even firmer, chill it in the fridge, so the butter hardens.
What Goes with Gingerbread Cake?
A nice steaming cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte or Chai Tea Latte is the perfect complement for this gingerbread cake. Oh, and try a caramel sauce to complement the gingerbread cake as an alternative for butterscotch sauce. A little spoonful in your coffee is so good, too.
More Delicious Recipes to Try
How to Make Gingerbread Cake
Make the Batter
- Prepare the Pan – Preheat oven to 350℉/177℃. Grease a 9″x13″ square pan or a 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
- Dry Ingredients – In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. (Photos 1-2)
- Cream the Butter – Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl with the granulated and brown sugar until smooth and light. (Photos 3-4)
- Mix the Wet Ingredients – Add the egg, fresh ginger, and molasses and mix well. (Photos 5-8)
- Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients – Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Slowly add the hot water and stir until smooth. No worries if the batter thins out. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl. (Photos 9-10)
Bake the Gingerbread Cake
- Bake – Pour into the prepared desired cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If using a 10-inch cake pan, you might have to bake for an additional 5 minutes. (Photos 11-12)
Make the Butterscotch Sauce
- Heat the Butter and Sugar – Place the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Melt – Stir until the butter and sugar melt.
- Add the Rest – Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Serve and Garnish – Remove and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then slice and serve topped with homemade whipped cream and a drizzle of sauce.
Watch How To Make It
- 2½ cup (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (4.8 g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (2.4 g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (2.75 g) ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon (5.4 g) ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon (.5 g) allspice
- ½ teaspoon (1 g) nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) salt
- 10 ounce (284 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon (7 g) fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 cup (322 g) molasses
- 1 cup (237 g) hot water
- 1½ cup (300g) brown sugar, loosely packed
- ⅓ cup (76g) unsalted butter
- 1½ cup (360g) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350℉/177℃. Grease a 9"x13" square pan or a 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt.
- Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl with the granulated and brown sugar until smooth and light.
- Add the egg, fresh ginger, and molasses and mix well.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Slowly add the hot water and stir until smooth. No worries if the batter thins out. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Pour into the prepared desired cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. It's done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If using a 10-inch cake pan, you might have to bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then slice and serve topped with homemade whipped cream and a drizzle of sauce.
- Place the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir until the butter and sugar melt.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
Tips & Notes:
- Preheating the oven at least 15 minutes beforehand is important on this one. It gives you a more evenly baked cake.
- If I worry about the cake sticking to the pan, I grease the pan with either butter or cooking oil, then lightly flour the pan. The oil helps the flour stick to the pan so that the cake doesn’t.
- You can make the butterscotch sauce up to a week ahead of time and store it in a glass jar in the fridge.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.