Fluffy Gingerbread Cake Recipe

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Tis’ the season for a fluffy gingerbread cake! This is a small, easy gingerbread cake recipe flavored with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It’s incredibly flavorful and a super moist gingerbread cake. The cake is filled with ginger flavor and easy to make.

It’s the perfect cake to make and top with our gingerbread buttercream and just as tasty by itself as a snacking cake. We actually prefer it plain as the flavor is so good!

This is a decadent dessert that puts a twist on classic gingerbread by turning it into a light and fluffy cake for everyone to enjoy. If you’re looking for an alternative to gingerbread cookies, this is the cake for you. It’s a wonderful dessert for a holiday party, Christmas brunch, or Sunday evening dessert. Without frosting, it’s really good for breakfast with a gingerbread latte!

gingerbread cake recipe with gingerbread frosting and a cookie on the top.

We love this cake for several reasons:

  1. It’s a small snacking cake.
  2. Easy to make and perfect alone or with whipped buttercream.
  3. Incredibly moist and has an intense ginger spice flavor.
moist gingerbread cake recipe

How to Make The Best Gingerbread Cake

This cake is simple to make! Here’s everything you’ll need to make this classic, moist gingerbread cake.

Supplies

  • 8×8 or 9×9 Square Cake Pan
  • Electric Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Parchment Paper
  • Spatula
ingredients to make a gingerbread cake

Ingredients (Full Recipe in Recipe Card Below)

Brown Sugar – Adds the perfect, deep sweetness and richness to the cake.

Eggs – Stabilize and add structure.

Buttermilk – Creates a moist and tender cake.

Unsalted Butter – Adds so much flavor and creates a super moist texture.

Molasses – Adds a rich gingerbread flavor. Grandma’s Molasses is perfect for this recipe. Here are ideas for molasses substitutions too.

Vanilla Extract – Adds more flavor and enhances the ingredients in the cake. Use pure vanilla extract.

Ground Ginger, Cloves, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg – All of these ground spices add an intense gingerbread flavor.

All-Purpose Flour – We use King Arthur flour and it works perfectly.

Baking Powder and Soda – Leavening agents that create a fluffy texture.

cake batter with flour before folding in

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then prepare an 8×8 or 9×9 cake pan, either size will work. Grease the bottom and sides with butter and cut a slice of parchment paper to lay inside.

Beat the brown sugar and eggs.

Add in buttermilk, molasses, melted butter, and vanilla extract.

Beat for 5 minutes until all of the ingredients are combined and have a fluffier texture.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients.

Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and using a spatula, fold it all together.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.

homemade cake

Tips for Making this Gingerbread Cake

Remember to beat the liquid ingredients for 5 minutes to add air to the mixture. However, when dry ingredients are added you want the mixer to be on low and you don’t want to overheat. Just mix until combined then fold everything together.

When baking, set the timer for 25 minutes and then check on the cake. If it needs more time add an extra 5 minutes. We recommend 30 minutes but cooking times vary.

Use good quality ingredients when making this cake. Organic, fresh ingredients will create the best flavor and texture.

How to Store Gingerbread Cake

Once you’ve made this moist gingerbread cake, you’ll want to store it in an airtight container or plastic wrap to keep it from getting dry. This cake can stay good for about a week, but it’ll start to dry out after a few days, especially in the fridge. 

Gingerbread Cake Toppings

While our gingerbread cake recipe is delicious on its own, feel free to add your own toppings if you want something extra. Here are some fun ideas:

  • Homemade Caramel Sauce
  • Crystalized Candied Ginger
  • Whipped Cream
  • Crushed Pecans
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Orange Zest
  • Fresh Grated Nutmeg
  • Citrus Glaze
moist gingerbread cake

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re answering everything you need to know about making a classic gingerbread cake!

Do You Have to Refrigerate Gingerbread Cake?

Your gingerbread cake doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge, as long as the toppings don’t. While your cake will last longer in the fridge, it’s not recommended because it dries out faster. 

What Is Molasses?

Our easy gingerbread cake recipe calls for the use of molasses. Molasses is a thick syrup that’s leftover from the sugar-making process, and it’s a very popular ingredient for holiday baking. 

Substitutes for Molasses

If you’ve started baking your gingerbread cake and discovered that your pantry doesn’t have molasses, what can you do? Fortunately, there are substitutes for molasses that you should be able to find in your pantry.

Some of the best substitutes include:

  • Dark brown sugar
  • Dark corn syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Honey

If all else fails you can substitute molasses with a mixture of granulated sugar and water. Since sugar won’t offer the same rich flavor as molasses, you’ll want to be heavy on the use of your other spices. 

slice of cake for the holidays

Can You Use Golden Syrup Instead of Molasses?

Golden syrup is also a popular substitution for molasses, as it’s a similar consistency and flavor. You can use the same amount of golden syrup in place of the amount of molasses than a recipe calls for. 

What Is the Difference Between Gingerbread Cake and Ginger Cake?

The ginger cake is a broad term for any ginger-flavored cake, but gingerbread cake has a more distinct flavor. Gingerbread uses a combination of spices, including ginger, as well as molasses, to create a sweet and spiced flavor and aroma. 

Can I Make Gingerbread Cake Into Only Two Layers?

Yes! If you prefer you can double this recipe and make two layers. We recommend using the same sized layers to avoid overcooking or undercooking. An 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish, round or square will work perfectly.

Why Is My Ginger Cake Dry?

Moist gingerbread cake is much better than dry gingerbread cake!

If you bake your gingerbread cake and it turns out dry, you may have made a mistake somewhere along the process. Be sure that you’ve baked it at the proper temperature and that you didn’t use too much flour. This cake is very moist and uses butter, eggs, and buttermilk so it should not be dry. However, the edges of cakes are always a little drier than the center.

More Recipes You’re Sure to Love

If you enjoyed this recipe, here are some others that you and your family should enjoy this holiday season too! 

recipe for gingerbread cake

If you made our easy moist gingerbread cake recipe, be sure to let us know by leaving a review in the comments below!

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gingerbread cake slice

Gingerbread Cake

Tis' the season for a fluffy gingerbread cake! This is a small, easy gingerbread cake recipe flavored with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It's incredibly flavorful and super moist. The cake is filled with ginger flavor and easy to make. It's the perfect cake to make and top with our gingerbread buttercream and just as tasty by itself as a snacking cake. We actually prefer it plain as the flavor is so good.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 9 people
Calories: 342kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, 12 tbsp, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then prepare an 8×8 or 9×9 cake pan, either size will work. Grease the bottom and sides with butter and cut a slice of parchment paper to lay inside. 
  • Using an electric mixer, beat brown sugar and eggs for at least 3 minutes.
  • Add in buttermilk, molasses, melted butter and vanilla extract.
  • Beat for 5 minutes until all of the ingredients are combined and have a fluffier texture. Scape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Combine the flour, ground spices, baking soda and baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients.
    adding ingredients into a blender
  • Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and using a spatula, fold it all together.
    folding in the flour to make gingerbread cake
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
    9x9 baking dish with gingerbread cake batter
  • Let the cake cool and then add a fluffy layer of gingerbread frosting over the top OR leave it without and it's just as good!
    buttercream frosting ona gingerbread cake

Notes

  • Make sure the butter is room temperature and soft before whipping.
  • If the frosting curdles, add more powdered sugar and continue to whip on high.
  • Whip on high until the frosting is light and fluffy. You can’t over whip frosting!
  • Always give it a taste and see if it needs more spices or sugar.
  • Double the recipe to make a layered cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 556IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 2mg
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