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Gingerbread layer cake with brown sugar cream cheese frosting on a white cake stand.

Gingerbread Cake

  • Author: Maria
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours (including cooling time)
  • Yield: 6-inch layer cake 1x
  • Category: Cakes

Description

Gingerbread Layer Cake is a delicious three-layer cake filled and frosted with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting.  It’s the perfect celebration cake to make during the holiday season.


Scale

Ingredients

For the gingerbread cake

  • 350 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 8 g (2 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 2.8 g (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 4 g (2 1/2 teaspoons) ground ginger
  • 4 g (2 1/2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
  • 2 g (1 teaspoon) ground cloves
  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 165 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 55 g (1/4 cup) light brown sugar
  • 150 g (3 large) eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 g (2 teaspoons) pure vanilla extract
  • 250 g (3/4 cup) molasses
  • 180 g (3/4 cup) buttermilk

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 226 g (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 339 g (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 110 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 480 g (4 cups) powdered sugar
  • 8 g (2 teaspoons) pure vanilla extract

Instructions

For the gingerbread cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.  Grease and flour three 6-inch round cake pans.  Line the bottoms with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the softened butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla until mixed well.  Add the molasses and beat to combine.  With the mixer on low speed and in three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat until just combined.
  4. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack before frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting

  1. In a large bowl using the mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the brown sugar and mix to combine.  Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until powdered sugar is mostly incorporated.  Increase to medium-high speed and beat for 3 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.

 


Notes

Make-ahead:  Make cake up to 1 day in advance.  Keep in the baking pans, cover tightly, and store at room temperature.  Cream cheese frosting can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  When ready to use, bring the frosting to room temperature and re-whip for 5 minutes using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Freezing:  Freeze cake layers frosted or unfrosted for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.  Cream cheese frosting can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature, and re-whip for 5 minutes using a mixer.

Cupcakes: To make cupcakes, fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 20-22 minutes.

Keywords: cream cheese frosting, layer cake, holiday cake, gingerbread