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!
We love this cake for several reasons:
- It’s a small snacking cake.
- Easy to make and perfect alone or with whipped buttercream.
- Incredibly moist and has an intense ginger spice flavor.
Table of contents
- How to Store Gingerbread Cake
- Gingerbread Cake Toppings
- Do You Have to Refrigerate Gingerbread Cake?
- What Is Molasses?
- Can You Use Golden Syrup Instead of Molasses?
- What Is the Difference Between Gingerbread Cake and Ginger Cake?
- Can I Make Gingerbread Cake Into Only Two Layers?
- Why Is My Ginger Cake Dry?
- More Recipes You’re Sure to Love
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.
- 8×8 or 9×9 Square Cake Pan
- Electric Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Parchment Paper
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
- Santa Hat Gingerbread Cupcakes
- Chewy Ginger Cookies
- How to Build a Gingerbread House
- Gingerbread House Icing
- Gingerbread Tree
- The Best Gingersnap Cookies
- Mini Gingerbread Houses
If you made our easy moist gingerbread cake recipe, be sure to let us know by leaving a review in the comments below!
- 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
- 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.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and using a spatula, fold it all together.
- Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
- 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!
- 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.