Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Isn’t gingerbread just one of the best Christmas flavors? I love this time of year and all the seasonal flavors that come with it! Gingerbread, eggnog, peppermint, pomegranate, orange – some of the best! This moist cake is laced with all the best spices and it’s brimming with robust flavor! And of course we couldn’t leave out the cream cheese frosting! I’m addicted to cream cheese frosting lately, if you are following and haven’t noticed. It goes on just about any kind of cake and the tang of the cream cheese just balances out all the sweetness in the frosting so it’s not overwhelming.

Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

This cake is simply dreamy and it’s perfect for the season at hand! If you are looking for a dessert to impress those you are guests or loved ones this season then don’t pass this one up! You’ll love that it’s a single layer two so it’s much faster than preparing and assembling a layered cake.

If you’d like to decorate with the sparkling cranberries like those pictured here, just follow this link here (if you have cranberries that are too small to fit on a wire rack like mine were, just dry on a wax paper lined baking sheet).



Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking ClassyGingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy


Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 1 vote

Yield: About 10 servings


  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sparkling cranberries and mint leaves (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan (or an 8-inch square. Or a 10-inch springform would work too just reduce baking time slightly). Line bottom with a round of parchment paper (or square if using a square dish) and butter parchment, set aside.
  2. In a heat proof mixing bowl whisk together boiling water and baking soda. Stir in molasses and granulated sugar, whisking well to dissolve sugar, set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir vegetable oil and eggs into molasses mixture, then whisk wet mixture into dry mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 - 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then run a knife around edge of cake to loosen and remove ring. Cool completely on a wire rack then frost top with cream cheese frosting and decorate with cranberries and mint leaves if desired.
  5. For the frosting:
  6. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix until pale and fluffy.
  7. Recipe source: adapted from Cook's Illustrated via KCET


  • I don’t know why I’ve never made a gingerbread cake! This looks so yummy and I can’t get over those gorgeous cranberries! December 12, 2014 at 5:46am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: Yes! So obsessed with gingerbread and cream cheese frosting. I need to put them together. Those sugared cranberries are the perfect topping! December 12, 2014 at 6:38am Reply

  • Shannon Ellis: Just the dessert I was looking for. I had been searching for a week, but nothing inspired me. Making this for a Christmas Party tonight — the cake is already out of the oven and my house smells amazing! Thanks for the recipe! December 12, 2014 at 8:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it Shannon! December 12, 2014 at 2:13pm Reply

      • Shannon Ellis: It came out beautifully and more than one party guest described the frosting as “divine.” Thanks again for the recipe! December 18, 2014 at 7:15am Reply

        • Jaclyn: I’m so glad it was enjoyed! Thanks so much for your review Shannon! December 18, 2014 at 12:04pm Reply

  • Jennifer: Wow! Absolutely beautiful photographs. The presentation of this cake is a showstopper. December 12, 2014 at 8:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jennifer! December 12, 2014 at 2:13pm Reply

  • Natasha of Your cake is beautiful and seems so simple to make! Gingerbread and cream cheese frosting sounds like a heavenly combination. Pinning! :) December 12, 2014 at 8:57am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Natasha! December 12, 2014 at 2:13pm Reply

  • Silvia M: A gorgeous cake!!! December 12, 2014 at 11:40am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Silvia! December 12, 2014 at 2:12pm Reply

  • Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction: What gorgeous looking cake! So festive! December 12, 2014 at 12:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jessica! December 12, 2014 at 2:11pm Reply

  • Jan: Jaclyn, your recipes and photos are great! My husband is on a gluten free diet. Have you ever tried any of your recipes using gluten free flour? December 12, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

  • Teresa: Oh, my gosh, this cake looks divine! I love gingerbread and with a drool-worthy cream cheese frosting – wow, I’d be in seventh heaven! December 12, 2014 at 8:49pm Reply

  • Renee: Hi Jaclyn,
    I’m going to be making this cake today, and I noticed in the ingredient list, you do not say how much molasses to use. It does say 2/3, but nothing after that. I am going to assume you mean 2/3 cup, but I wanted to confirm with you first before I make it. As soon as I saw this picture, I knew I had to make it. The cream cheese frosting looks amazing. I’m actually making it for my colleague’s birthday. I hope mine comes out as well! Thanks! December 14, 2014 at 6:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So sorry! Yes it’s 2/3 cup I must have accidentally deleted it! December 14, 2014 at 6:36pm Reply

  • Kate @ Diethood: I am SO IN LOVE with this cake! You make the most beautiful desserts! HIGH FIVE! December 14, 2014 at 9:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kate :)! December 14, 2014 at 6:35pm Reply

  • Megan {Country Cleaver}: Gingerbread is totally the flavor of the season!! This is so fluffy and perfect! December 14, 2014 at 5:01pm Reply

  • Melanie Allison: Looks delicious! I love your website! :) Do you think this would work well to do in loaf pans? If so, what do you think the baking time would be? I would love to give small loafs as gifts. Thanks for all of the fun and enjoyment I get from browsing your site! December 21, 2014 at 3:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m not sure how it would work as a loaf? I’m not sure you’d get a nice domed top this cake just comes out pretty level.
      I’m so happy to hear you like my site! December 21, 2014 at 7:02pm Reply

  • Rhonda: Made this delightful cake for Christmas dessert. Everyone loved it. My daughters and sons all raved about the cranberries and yummy frosting–which is what we always use on our carrot cake recipe!

    Plan to make this again! December 25, 2014 at 11:19pm Reply

  • Brittany Nannini: I made this for Christmas dinner for my gingerbread-loving husband, and it was perfect! Moist, perfect amount of spice, and the frosting was to die for! Thank you for the fantastic recipe. I will be making it again, and I don’t think I can wait for the holidays! December 30, 2014 at 2:16pm Reply

  • Ann: This cake looks amazing. Our daughter is looking to have a winter wedding and would like to use these as a centerpiece for each table as the cake. Can you use regular commercial grade cake pans? Have you ever made this cake and freeze it (without frosting). How did you sugar the cranberries?

    Thanks January 13, 2015 at 7:17pm Reply

  • Jocelyn: This is a delicious cake. However, I had to add some extra powdered sugar to the frosting because the frosting seemed too thin to me. Also, I baked the cake in an 8 inch square pan, which I don’t recommend because the cake domed significantly. December 13, 2015 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Rose: Hi! I came across this receipt whilst looking for a Christmas dessert to make for a party! The photos look amazing and I’m sure it’ll taste delicious as well!
    Can this cake be made in advance? As I do have work before the party so it would be great if I could make it in advance – a day or 2 days beforehand. December 17, 2015 at 1:07pm Reply

  • Sarah: Would it be feasible to double the recipe and make in two 9″ round pans, to create a 2-layer cake for a larger number of people? December 22, 2015 at 4:02pm Reply

  • Ashlie: Hi! how many batches would I need to make of this recipe if I wanted to make a 10in two layered cake?? December 18, 2016 at 2:39pm Reply

  • Amy: I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it for Christmas. I made it in an 8×8 pan. It is really the perfect cake for Christmas. Great gingerbread and spice flavor, and the cream cheese frosting is incredible. Will absolutely make this again. December 27, 2016 at 8:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Amy! December 30, 2016 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Anne French: Brought this to a Christmas party and it was a huge hit! Looks lovely & festive and tastes delicious. A nice change from the usual chocolate desserts. This recipe is a keeper for sure! December 2, 2017 at 2:57am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for letting me know it was enjoyed Anne! December 4, 2017 at 12:48pm Reply

  • Larissa: I usually use bake even strips and regular pans to get flat cakes for decorating, but I followed your directions and got a huge dome. December 8, 2017 at 8:30am Reply

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