Gingerbread cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting

This cake is perfect for a party or holiday meal. Spend some time baking it with a friend or family member and for an extra set of hands, and an extra special slice of bonding.

Eat. Run. Read.
This light and fluffy gingerbread cake is amazing with just the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. But to really dazzle, add a scoop of pumpkin or vanilla ice cream, and a sprig of holly for a garnish.

When my friend Jess and I get together, some sort of baking is almost inevitably going to occur.

We contemplated our choices and pondered the possibilities – coconut or chocolate? Maybe something fruity? Or how about something spicy? We settled on a gingerbread cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting because (a) ‘tis the season (b) Jess has never had gingerbread before, which is compounded by (c) nor has she cooked with molasses – one of my favorite ingredients!!!

We found our recipe on Gojee (oh the wide, wide world of food/recipe apps) and it turned out quite well. The original recipe was for cupcakes, but we made it in cake form and it worked perfectly. Unlike many gingerbreads, this isn’t dense at all – it truly is a gingerbread cake recipe. And the frosting, oh the frosting. Cinnamon cream cheese need I say more? Swoon.

I usually prefer to bake solo (as in, other people can watch, but only one cook at a time!), but Jess is one of the few (only?) people I can actually bake with. We work well together, trading off measuring and mixing and sticking our fingers in the batter and cleaning up as we go. She likes mixing the frosting, while I prefer full control over the frosting process.

After baking and cooling and frosting, we let our glorious cake solidify in the fridge for a grand total of 30 minutes before we couldn’t wait anymore … cake time! A serving suggestion: scoop some pumpkin ice cream on top (not pictured ... we ate it too fast). Trust me.

This cake would be great to bring to a holiday party, maybe decorated with some red and green sprinkles or a sprig of holly?

Gingerbread cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting
Printable recipe from Eat. Run. Read.

Cake Ingredients

2-3/4 cups flour

3 tablespoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons butter at room temperature

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1-1/4 cups molasses

1 cup hot water

Frosting ingredients

4 tablespoons butter at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon maple syrup

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and flour (very thoroughly! Our cakes stuck) three 8-inch round cake pans. 

2. Mix together the dry ingredients except for the brown sugar and set aside.

3. Cream the brown sugar and butter together in a mixer for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the molasses, mixing until well-incorporated.

5. Alternately add one third of the dry ingredients, one third of the water, etc, mixing after each addition. The batter will be thin. 

6. Evenly divide batter between pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge, tip the cakes out, and finish cooling on wire racks.

To make frosting

Place all ingredients in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until well-combined. Then, when your cake is completely cooled, frost it one layer at a time and enjoy!

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