I love the smell of freshly baked gingerbread and of course the flavour. This is the best old fashioned gingerbread cake recipe if you want to wow everyone. My birthday falls on Christmas day, so I love to have this as a Christmas birthday cake (that means I get two slices instead of one!) It’s an easy fall or holiday dessert with warm spices and dark molasses, and it’s both festive and nostalgic.
Although there are plenty of traditional Christmas cake ideas to choose from, this gingerbread cake recipe is hard to beat. It’s a simple-to-make cake that everyone will love. Perhaps this could become a new holiday tradition in your home.
Best Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake Recipe Ingredients
Get ready to make the best Christmas ginger cake you ever had! Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’re going to need for this gingerbread cake which is moist and lightly spiced, as well as perfect for the holidays. This is actually the gingerbread cake that I used in my gingerbread trifle recipe.
Typical cake ingredients go into the cake batter, including unsalted butter, both white and brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. A combination of flour and cornstarch makes a type of ‘cake flour’ (or, if you have some, you can use cake flour instead). In addition, you need molasses, and can choose from different types of molasses, like dark or blackstrap molasses or unsulphured molasses.
Common spices – ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground ginger add gingerbread spice flavours, and then vinegar, baking soda, salt, and milk also go into the flavorful cake mix.
The frosting is made with cream cheese, since its tangy taste pairs wonderfully with the spice cake. Cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, heavy cream, and salt combine to make this delicious cream cheese frosting for your easy gingerbread recipe. Don’t forget the Christmas themed sprinkles!
How to Make this Moist Gingerbread Cake
Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the butter and sugar with a stand mixer, then add the eggs and vanilla, and beat some more. You can use a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer, or even a balloon whisk if you’re feeling energetic!
Pour in the molasses and beat a little more, then mix in the vinegar and milk. At this point, don’t be alarmed if the batter seems to separate – that’s a normal reaction when adding the vinegar.
Sift the dry ingredients into the batter and mix again on a low speed until everything is well mixed together. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about forty minutes or until done. It is done when a toothpick inserted into the center is clean.
Let the cream cheese and come to room temperature. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and then add the butter, bit by bit, beating the mixture between each addition.
Once the frosting is airy and light, you can add the salt and vanilla. Add half the powdered sugar and beat some more, then add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.
Cool completely and then frost the cooled caked with the vanilla cream cheese frosting and then add some festive sprinkles on top. It doesn’t get easier than this delicious recipe!
It’s up to you whether you serve it in the baking dish or turn it out first.
Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Cake FAQs
Rather than try to juggle this recipe with your Christmas dinner main course and sides, you might prefer to prepare this super moist gingerbread cake ahead. Make it up to three days ahead of time and keep it wrapped snugly in foil or plastic wrap, but don’t frost it or add the sprinkles until just before serving, for the best result.
That’s completely up to you. I love it with a cup of coffee. You might like to serve it with vanilla ice cream to add a complementary flavour. One thing’s for sure, and that’s this is the best gingerbread cake no matter what you do or don’t serve with it. The warm spice flavours and moist texture are just amazing and the frosting is delicious too.
Make sure your oven is true to temperature. Cooking to hot will dry it out. Also, make sure you measure the flour accurately. Too much flour can dry it out. Store this ginger cake in an airtight container to keep it moist.
Gingerbread Cake Recipe
The BEST Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake Recipe
- 1 Cup salted butter softened
- ⅔ Cup granulated sugar
- ½ Cup brown sugar
- 1 Cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 ¾ Cups all purpose flour
- 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ Teaspoons baking soda
- 3 Teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 Teaspoons cloves
- 2 Teaspoons ginger
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Cup whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you plan to serve the cake on a platter, prepare a 9×13 baking pan by lining with parchment paper. If you plan to serve the cake in the 9×13 baking pan, lightly grease the bottom and sides with butter or baking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, use a paddle attachment to beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until combined and becomes a bit lighter in color.
- Add the eggs and vanilla, beat until the mixture starts to become light and airy. While the mixer is running, stream the molasses in and continue to beat for a couple minutes.
- Add the vinegar and milk, beat until combined.
- Turn the mixer off and sift the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and salt into the batter. Turn the mixer back on using a medium low speed and mix until combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared 9×13 pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. When finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- When the cake has cooled, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Begin by cutting the softened cream cheese into chunks and place into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on a high speed until it becomes smooth and a little airy.
- Reduce speed to medium high. While the mixer is running add a couple tablespoons of the softened butter, once the butter has incorporated into the cream cheese, add a couple more tablespoons of the butter. Continue doing this until all the butter is gone. Whip until light and airy.
- Add the salt, vanilla, and half of the powdered sugar, mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. Then add the remaining powdered sugar and whip on high speed until light and fluffy.
- If you plan to serve the cake on a platter, remove the cake from the pan and use a long bread knife to slice all of the edges off the cake, this will give it a nice clean look. Frost the top of the cake with a thick layer of the cream cheese frosting.
- Sprinkle with festive sprinkles when ready to serve.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
I love this gingerbread spice cake. It’s the best old fashioned gingerbread cake recipe for this time of year and makes a nice change from traditional Christmas cake. The warm spices in this fluffy cake and perfect cake frosting makes it extra-special. If you love gingerbread cookies, you will also love this moist cake. It’s perfect for the holidays and, in my opinion, the best gingerbread cake recipe in the world!
If frosting is not for you, serve warm ginger cake with a dollop of whipped cream instead. This delicious recipe is one you will make every holiday season. Happy baking!