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Sweet and Simple Frosted Gingerbread Cake

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This frosted gingerbread cake is just the perfect simple holiday dessert you’ve been looking for. It has earned RAVE reviews from family and friends, and I think you’ll love it too!

Tender and moist this cake has all the flavor and delicious warm spice you expect from a gingerbread cake! Plus it’s topped with a light and fluffy cream cheese frosting that takes it right over the top.

Frosted Gingerbread Cake on a cakeplate with a cake server and knife.

A Simple Frosted Gingerbread Cake

Simple in that it’s a one-layer cake you can quickly mix up in your stand mixer or even with a hand mixer. That’s right NO big stand mixer is needed for this cake!

And the frosting is just an easy little cream cheese frosting that’s creamy and smooth in no time at all. The recipe makes enough to give you a nice deep fluffy frosting that really goes well with the spicy cake.

Frosted gingerbread cake on a cake plate with a knife and server.

In fact, if you don’t have time to make the frosting grab a can of cream cheese frosting and this cake gets even easier!

What you need to make a Frosted Gingerbread Cake

  • an 8-inch round cake pan
  • parchment paper for easy cake removal
  • molasses
  • cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice
  • brown sugar
  • white sugar
  • soft butter
  • hot water
  • egg
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • buttermilk, or milk with a dash of vinegar

A slice of gingerbread cake, on a plate with a fork.

One thing about this recipe, and most cake recipes

They can split. What? A cake batter can split when you add eggs or an egg to the butter and sugar mixture. It just means the ingredients haven’t quite mixed correctly. It will look lumpy.

But we’re going to FIX IT!

At first, I thought I could fix this problem by warming the water and buttermilk. So I tried this cake with cold water and buttermilk the batter split, so then I tried warm water and buttermilk and egg, it still split. So I decided it had to be HOT water and buttermilk and a warm egg. It still split.

The best of these trials was the cake with just tap water mixed with the buttermilk, nothing special was needed.

Ok, but how do we fix a split cake batter??

BUT If your cake splits you can fix it!

A bite of gingerbread cake with frosting on a fork.

I watch enough GBBO to know that when a cake batter “splits” a bit of the flour mix helps bring it together. I’ve even seen it on the Best British Bakery.

I was so pleasantly surprised to find out adding flour can fix a split batter. If your batter splits I hope you just keep going and add some flour and blend it out.

A gingerbread cake traybake!

You can ALSO bake this little cake in a square pan and cut it into slices for a traybake. I made these for my Bake-Along group on Facebook.

I simply made the cream cheese frosting with a hint of cinnamon and piped on a few swirls. To get the diagonal line I just put an index card across it and dusted it with powdered sugar. Simple yet effective!

Love Gingerbread? Try my other recipes!

We LOVE gingerbread and I’ve made several different kinds of it over the years!

Try this Gingerbread Loaf Cake it’s got NO added sugar and it’s amazing!

real gingerbread

Make these Air Fryer Gingerbread Cookies, they’re just SO beautiful and seasonal!!

Or try these Gingerbread Cake Pop for a fun holiday treat.

Or these Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls are the festive Christmas Breakfast you’re looking for!

And these Gingerbread Cookie Bars are SO EASY to make, you’ll love having cookies in no time at all.

Gingerbread cookie bars on a cutting board.

Yield: 10 slices

Frosted Gingerbread Cake

Frosted Gingerbread Cake on a cakeplate with a cake server and knife.

This sweet and simple Frosted Gingerbread Cake is a sure-fire hit whenever you need a cake with a warm spicy flavor!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes


  • 1/3 cup of soft butter
  • 3 TBSP white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, or milk with a splash of vinegar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cardamom*optional


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces softened butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. preheat the oven to 325°
  2. grease an 8 inch round cake pan, line with parchment paper for best results
  3. cream the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy
  4. beat in the molasses
  5. then beat in the egg and vanilla
  6. stir the water and buttermilk together, and stir into the sugar mixture, it may look lumpy or split
  7. mix the flour, baking soda, and spices together in a separate bow
  8. add 1/4 cup to the liquids and mix
  9. add the remaining flour, gently stirring just until smooth
  10. scrape into the lined pan and level
  11. bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  12. cool on a baking rack for 20 minutes, then release it from the pan
  13. cool completely
  14. to make the frosting beat the cream cheese and the butter until smooth
  15. sift the powder sugar into the bowl, stir until smooth
  16. thin down with just enough vanilla to make a soft and spreadable frosting
  17. put some frosting onto a serving plate or cake stand
  18. put the cake on the frosting
  19. spread a thick layer of frosting over the top of the cake leaving the sides bare

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laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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