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Easy Gingerbread Cake

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Grab your cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and make this tender and flavorful gingerbread cake topped with a cream cheese frosting from scratch in under an hour!

close up of slice of gingerbread cake with thick cream cheese frosting

Gingerbread Snack Cake

If you live in a place where you get to experience all the seasons, then you know exactly why so many of us look forward to fall. The changing colors of the leaves, the sweaters and scarves, the crisp mornings, and of course all the warm spices!

This beautifully spiced and moist snack cake is just one of the many things to look forward to, whether you’re ready for summer to end or not!

A delicate and soft cake with the bold flavors of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg are complemented by the cream cheese frosting.

I’m always surprised that my soft & chewy ginger snaps are popular year-round, but then I think of how good they are, sharing several of the same flavors as this cake, and it explains why they’re popular.

slices of gingerbread cake on a cake plate

If you’re not into frosting, you can dust this cake with a bit of powdered sugar or feel free to leave it off and eat this cake more like bread. Have a piece for breakfast with a hot cup of cranberry orange cider or as an afternoon snack.

Not only is this cake suitable for the coming fall months, but it makes a simple and delicious holiday cake that the whole family will love!

Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Butter – unsalted & at room temperature.
  • Sugar – granulated white sugar.
  • Egg – I like to use organic, free range eggs.
  • Molasses – use unsulphered molasses. Grandma’s Original is the one I use.
  • Flour – all-purpose while flour.
  • Salt – salt is great for balance in baked goods & it brings out flavors.
  • Baking soda – for rise
  • Ground cinnamon – try to pick a high quality cinnamon like ceylon.
  • Nutmeg – nutmeg is woody & bittersweet and adds a ton of flavor.
  • Allspice – pairs perfectly with nutmeg & cinnamon but you could use cloves if you don’t have allspice.
  • Boiling water – to slightly thin the batter.
ingredients laid out to make cake

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Vanilla
  • Powdered sugar
ingredients laid out to make cream cheese frosting

Equipment you’ll need

How to make an easy Gingerbread Cake

  1. STEP ONE: Preheat the oven and prepare a baking pan with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until the butter is creamed and the texture is light and fluffy.
  2. STEP TWO: Mix in the vanilla, then the molasses and the egg until well combined. Set aside.
  3. STEP THREE: In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Add the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture alternating with the hot water, beating after each addition. Then pour into the prepared pan and bake until done and allow it to cool.
  4. STEP FOUR: Mix together the cream cheese and butter, with a mixer, until creamy and well combined. Add in the vanilla and continue mixing. In small parts, add in the powdered sugar, mixing well between each addition. Do not over mix.
  5. STEP FIVE: Frost the cooled cake and enjoy!
collage of mixing bowl making gingerbread cake batter

What is molasses and which should I use?

Molasses is the liquid by-product of the sugar-making process. Depending on how light or dark the molasses is will determine at which point the molasses is gathered during the process.

For this recipe, you’ll want unsulphered molasses. I use Grandma’s Original.

Although not as popular in today’s world, molasses is still used in traditional baking, such as gingerbread and barbecue sauces, and of course it is how we get our brown sugar.

Since you bought some for this cake, you might as well make some gingerbread cookies, too!

gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting in baking dish

How to store it

If frosted, store the cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

If sprinkled with powdered sugar, the cake can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. Keeping in mind it will lose moisture over time, especially if not covered.

If you have any frosting leftover, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze it?

You an definitely freeze this cake! Because of the high fat content of the cream cheese, it will freeze quite well. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and put it in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and it will keep for up to 3 months.

Need more easy cake recipes? Try these:

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
Chocolate Snack Cake
Mexican Wedding Cake
Fall Poke Cake

Click here for my entire collection of cake recipes.

fork cutting into slice of gingerbread cake with title text overlay

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close up of slice of gingerbread cake with thick cream cheese frosting

Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Grab your cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and make this tender and flavorful gingerbread cake topped with a cream cheese frosting from scratch in under an hour!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 294 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Gingerbread Cake

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup unsulphered molasses I used Grandma’s Original
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ cup boiling water

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

To make the Gingerbread Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until the butter is creamed and the texture is light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the vanilla.
  • Mix in the molasses and the egg until well combined. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture alternating with the hot water and beating after each addition. Repeat until out of water and flour mixture.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • To a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), add the room temperature cream cheese and butter and mix together until creamy and well combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar in small parts, mixing well between each addition. Do not over mix.
  • Frost the cooled cake and sprinkle with some nutmeg.

Notes

If you don’t want to frost, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
If frosted, store the cake, covered, in the refrigerator.
If sprinkled with powdered sugar, the cake can be stored covered at room temperature.
If you have any frosting leftover, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 224mgPotassium: 191mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 500IUCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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