Gingerbread recipe perfect for the holidays. A very easy to make, fluffy, sweet and spiced cake, topped with delicious cream cheese frosting.
Holiday-themed desserts could be fun and easy to make. We have a variety of them on our blog, among our popular once are Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, Neon Chocolate Sugar Cookies and Sweet Potato Casserole.
Classic Gingerbread Recipe
This Gingerbread Recipe is perfect to make for the winter holidays! The spiced cake is a family favorite, made with ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, each bite is bursting with flavor! Also, the shining star in this Gingerbread Recipe is the molasses.
Usually, this type of dessert is made with light molasses, but I love the dark molasses. Because it has a deeper, has a more prominent flavor, and it also gives the cake that very dark color, instead of the lighter brown.
Topped with cream cheese frosting, the combination of sweet, tangy and holiday spices makes your taste buds extremely happy! Seriously, guys, you will end up eating this cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, its that good!
What is the difference between Blackstrap and Molasses?
- Light Molasses is the syrup made from the first boiling. Also, it is the lightest in color and sweetest in taste. It is the most commonly used in baking and is what we have used for this Gingerbread Recipe.
- Dark Molasses is the type created from the second boiling. Also, it has a thicker texture, it is darker and less sweet. It can also be used in baking, but it will produce a more distinct color and flavor.
- Blackstrap is the syrup produced after the third boiling. It is the thickest and darkest of all, and also tends to have a bitter taste. This one is NOT used in baking!
Should I use sulfured or un-sulfured molasses?
The short answer is: It Doesn’t matter! The “sulfured” molasses has sulfur dioxide added to it, which acts as a preservative and prevents it from spoiling. Sulfured varieties tend to be less sweet than un-sulfured products. They will both work great for this gingerbread recipe.
Looking for more easy holiday cakes? Check these out:
- Chocolate Baileys Poke Cake
- German Chocolate Poke Cake
- Carrot Cake Poke Cake
- Blueberry Zucchini Poke Cake
Gingerbread Recipe Tips
- First, you can use light/mild molasses, for a lighter and also more traditional gingerbread cake. Also, that will have a more light brown color.
- In addition, do not confuse the dark molasses with a black strap!! Blackstrap molasses should NOT be used be for baking!
- If you don’t have some of the spices on hand, that’s ok. However, make sure you use ground ginger and cinnamon.
- Watch the cake not to burn it!
- The cream cheese frosting is optional, you can serve the cake sprinkled with powdered sugar or plain. This cake is also great served warm.
- Similarly, you can totally use store-bought cream cheese frosting to save some time.
Tools/Ingredients I used to make this Gingerbread Recipe:
- Molasses – you can either get mild or dark, whiter you prefer more. The mild aka light one is the most popular.
- Ginger – perfect in this recipe, adds amazing flavor.
- Ground Cinnamon – one can never have too much cinnamon on hand!
- Ground Cloves – I love it especially in holiday recipes.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes Total time: 50 mins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into chunks)
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup mild molasses if you are using dark use 1/2 cup
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 1 large egg
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 package of 8 ounces full fat cream cheese (softened)
- 1/4 cup butter (softened)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- Gingerbread sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 9-in square pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. I also like to line the pan with parchment paper that overflows on the side, as handles, for easy cake removal.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground cloves. Set aside.
- Add butter, dark brown sugar, molasses and boiling water to a large bowl. Whisk until butter is fully melted. When the mixture is luke warm at touch, whisk in the egg until fully combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk/fold until just combined and the batter has no lumps.
- Transfer batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, check by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake, it should come out with just a few cooked crumbs, not raw batter, the center of the cake should not be giggly.
- Remove pan from oven place it on a rack to cool. You can serve the cake warm, without frosting, or wait for the cake to fully cool and frost.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended.
- Add sugar gradually, beating after each addition until blended.
- After adding 3 cups, and if the frosting is not as thick as you want, gradually add the 4th cup.
- Spread frosting over the top of the gingerbread cake.
- Garnish with sprinkles if desired.
- Serve and enjoy!