This gingerbread cake recipe is easy to make, perfectly moist and fluffy, and made with a delicious blend of molasses and warming spices.
This is one of those recipes where I so wish I could just pop over and serve you a warm slice to try. ♡
Because if you love gingerbread as much as I do this time of year, I’m telling you, this gingerbread cake needs to be part of your life. It’s made with the classic rich mix of molasses and warming spices that we all love in a good batch of gingerbread. And I’m partial to this particular gingerbread cake recipe because it bakes up to be incredibly moist and fluffy. You can either serve it up solo, dust it with some powdered sugar, or go all out and top it with whipped cream or cream cheese frosting — all will be delicious. And of course, cake for breakfast the next morning is always an excellent idea too.
I’ve included a few extra customization ideas below, if you would like to mix in some orange zest, chocolate or bourbon for a slightly different twist on this recipe. But however you make it, you can count on the fact that this cake is going to make your home smell extra cozy and festive this time of year…and taste even better.
Alright, let’s make some gingerbread cake!
Gingerbread Cake Ingredients
Here are a few quick notes about the gingerbread cake ingredients that you will need to make this recipe:
Flour: We will use basic all-purpose flour here, which gives the cake its structure and fluffy texture.
Butter: The recipe is written with unsalted butter, which needs to be room temperature in order to cream well with the sugar. If you only have salted butter on hand, no worries, just subtract 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt from the recipe.
Molasses: Unsulphured molasses is the classic ingredient that gives gingerbread its distinctly rich and sweet flavor.
Egg: An egg will serve as our binding agent to help hold all of these ingredients together and add extra stability to the cake.
Brown sugar: Brown sugar will serve as our primary sweetener, which also adds its own extra hint of molasses flavor to the cake.
Spices: I’ve used a classic mix of ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves to spice this cake. But please feel free to customize this recipe with whatever types and amounts of warming spices you prefer in your gingerbread.
Salt: A hint of fine sea salt will help to bring out the best of these delicious flavors.
Vanilla extract: We will also add a hint of vanilla extract to enhance the flavor of the spices and add a bit of warmth to the cake.
Baking soda: Baking soda will serve as our primary leavening agent, to give the cake and light and airy texture.
Boiling water: Yes, we will use an entire cup of boiling water to help dissolve and meld the ingredients together and give the cake plenty of moisture.
Toppings (optional): This cake is delicious on its own. But if you’d like to go the extra mile, it is also absolutely heavenly topped with whipped cream, cream cheese frosting or a dusting of powdered sugar.
Gingerbread Cake Tips
Detailed instructions for how to make gingerbread cake are included in the recipe below, but here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:
Use room temperature butter. As always, it’s important to use room temperature butter here so that it can properly cream with the sugar to make the cake nice and fluffy.
Don’t worry about the runny batter. Heads up that the batter for this cake will be quite runny once the boiling water is mixed in. Don’t worry — the cake will bake up to be perfectly after some time in the oven.
Grease your knife. This cake is definitely (and wonderfully) quite moist and can have the tendency to stick a bit when cutting. So if you want clean slices, I recommend lightly greasing the knife with a bit of butter.
Adjust the spices to taste. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to gingerbread spices, so feel free to adjust the amounts of ginger, cinnamon and cloves to taste.
Here are a few more variations that you’re welcome to try with this gingerbread cake recipe:
Add orange zest: Add the zest of 1 medium orange to the batter for a citrusy twist.
Add cocoa powder: Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to the batter for a chocolatey twist.
Add rum or bourbon: Replace 2 to 3 of the tablespoons of boiling water with rum or bourbon (or your favorite liquor) for a boozy twist.
Add nuts, chocolate chips, sprinkles: Unfortunately most of these add-ins would sink to the bottom of the batter if you try to add them to the actual cake, but feel free to sprinkle on top of the whipped cream or frosting!
Add caramel sauce: My favorite bourbon caramel sauce would be absolutely heavenly drizzled on this cake too.
More Ginger Recipes
Looking for more sweet ginger-loving recipes to try? Here are a few of our favorites:
Mix the dry ingredients.In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and sea salt until combined.
Mix the remaining ingredients.In a separate large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), use an electric mixer to cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, vanilla extract and egg and mix on medium-low speed until combined, pausing to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the dry ingredient mixture and mix on medium-low speed until evenly combined. Add the boiling water and (very carefully) mix on low speed until evenly combined. The batter will be quite thin and liquidy – don’t worry.
Bake.Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Serve.Slice, top with any of your desired toppings if desired, then serve and enjoy!