This stunning Gingerbread Cake has two thick, moist layers of spiced gingerbread cake and a generous coating of Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Create the perfect Christmas cake by dressing it up with rosemary, fresh cranberries, cinnamon sticks and star anise for garnish, if desired.
Layered Gingerbread Cake
If you are looking for one of the most impressive Christmas cakes, this Gingerbread Cake is a definite win!
Not only is it an impressive looking cake, but it is also absolutely delicious! We start with two big thick layers of moist Gingerbread Cake that are loaded with spices and molasses.
Then we whip together some butter and cream cheese into a sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting that’s the perfect pairing with this classic cake.
The History of Gingerbread
Gingerbread is said to have begun in Greece and was brought to Europe in 992 CE and then over to the Americas with settlers from Europe. It is now widespread around the world and comes in so many different forms: cakes, soft cookies, gingerbread houses, gingerbread men and even gingersnaps (crisp ginger cookies).
The word “ gingerbread” refers to a large category of baked goods, typically flavored with the below ingredients:
It is traditionally sweetened with honey, granulated sugar or brown sugar…or a combination of all three!
Gingerbread Cake Ingredients
This gingerbread recipe is sweetened with a combination of granulated sugar, applesauce and molasses.
The molasses and applesauce are also both used, along with butter and oil, to keep the cake extra moist.
To give it that perfectly spiced flavor, we use cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and a pinch of salt.
While the recipe ingredient list may look intimidating, don’t worry, half of the list is made of spices!
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting for Cake
This Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting is one of my favorite frostings I make. It’s smooth, creamy and sweet with the perfect amount of cinnamon and splash of maple syrup to warm it up.
I have used it on many of my big layered cakes and it’s always a big crowd pleaser! You will always find it thickly spread on my Pumpkin Cake!
To prepare this frosting, we cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Beat in the maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Add the powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth and perfectly whipped! Frost it generously on your cake and enjoy licking those beaters. ;-)
How to Store Gingerbread Cake
Because of the cream cheese, this cake should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
However, this cake tastes best when it is closer to room temp with just the slightest chill to it.
To achieve this perfect temperature for the best taste and texture, remove this cake from the fridge 30-45 minutes before you are ready to serve. Let the cake sit on the counter and warm up.
Festive Garnish Ideas for Cake
To re-create the garnishes you see pictured on this Christmas cake, arrange the following on top of the frosted cake:
- Fresh Rosemary
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Star Anise
- Fresh Cranberries
This cake is deliciously moist, full of spices and frosted with the most delicious Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting! It is the perfect Christmas dessert recipe that will impress your guests!
Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup molasses
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ⅔ cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup whole milk
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 cups Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine molasses, melted butter, and sugar. Add applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract, beating until well combined.
- Beat in flour mixture alternating with oil and milk. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.
- To prepare frosting, in a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
- Assemble 2 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between. Then apply a thin crumb coat of frosting on top and sides. Place in a freezer to harden for about 10 minutes.
- Apply one final thick and even layer around outside of cake. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.