Moist Gingerbread Layer Cake
This Gingerbread Layer Cake is super moist and full of the flavor of molasses and spices! It’s sure to be a hit and great cake for the holidays!
Boy do I love me some gingerbread! I’ve got a fair number of gingerbread options on the site – these cookies, this cheesecake, some cookie cups and even this trifle. But what I’ve been missing for some time now is a delightful cake!
This cake has been in the making for a while. It has taken time to get it just the way I wanted it. Fluffy, light, moist – all were necessary. After countless versions, I’m so happy to say I finally mastered it and I’m pumped to share it with you!
To start, you’ve got the usual butter and sugar. In this cake I went with brown sugar to pump up the flavor and accent the molasses. Be sure to fully cream the butter and sugar together. It adds air to the batter that gives the cake it’s lightness. You’ll actually be able to see the color of the mixture lighten and the texture change.
Next is adding the molasses and a little vanilla. Don’t be alarmed when you add the molasses and it doesn’t incorporate beautifully. Molasses is some sticky stuff, so you’ll want to be sure to be scraping down the sides of the bowl throughout the mixing of this batter. Get everything in there and well incorporated. It may look a little separated because of the molasses, but that’s ok.
Next up is the eggs, then the dry ingredients mixed with the milk and water. The dry ingredients are FULL of spices! Of course there’s plenty of ginger, then cinnamon and cloves. They’re some of the best spices around and they give this cake the best flavor! Lots of flavor, but not too much.
The cake is baked and frosted with a classic cream cheese frosting. Is there any better combo? I topped it off with some cute gingerbread men, some pearl sprinkles and a little rosemary. All the decor would be totally optional of course, but it’s so festive!
I shared this cake with a group and my goodness, it was a hit! They went nutty over how moist it was and all the great gingerbread flavor. I have no doubt this is one I’ll be making over and over again. I hope you love it too!
Moist Gingerbread Layer Cake
Yield: 12-14 slices
3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (225g) packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (180ml) molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups (358g) all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1/4 cup (60ml) water
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (172g) butter, room temperature
10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:
1. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
3. Add the molasses and vanilla extract and mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure the molasses gets combined.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Batter may look a little curdled. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Batter should smooth out and not look curdled anymore. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for about 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
9. Add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined.
10. Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
11. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat until smooth.
12. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
13. Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes.
14. Place the first layer of cake on your serving plate or a cardboard cake circle. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly onto the cake layer.
15. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of frosting.
16. Add the final layer of cake on top.
17. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting, then use the tip of a 9 inch offset spatula to create stripes on the sides of the cake.
18. Use the remaining frosting to pipe dollops around the top of the cake. I used Ateco tip 808.
19. Sprinkle the top of the cake with nutmeg and pearl sprinkles. Add some gingerbread men and rosemary, if desired.
20. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Best served at room temperature. Cake is best when well covered for 2-3 days.