Gingerbread Cake Recipe

Gingerbread is quite possibly one of my favorite flavors of all time, so when I stumbled upon this recipe by The Cake Merchant back in August (!) I knew it was going to be difficult to wait until December to try it. Silly holidays and their signature flavors! 

If you want to see what I ended up doing with this cakes, click here to see my Ugly Christmas Sweater cake decorating tutorial. 🙂

What I love about this recipe the most is that you only need one bowl. None of that dirtying 80 dishes shiz; we’re all baking enough as it is! The second thing I love about this recipe is that it has actual molasses in it. It’s amazing how many recipes in the blogosphere omit this completely essential ingredient. It’s like making a curry without coconut milk; possibly great but just not the same.

This recipe makes two 8-inch cakes, which for me is the perfect amount of batter for one of my mini 2-tier cakes (two 6-inch cakes and one 4-inch cake). And throwing it together couldn’t be easier. Just whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl,

gingerbread cake dry

Toss in the wet ingredients…

gingerbread wet

Give it a nice stir (it will be thick)…

gingerbread mixed  

Then add a full cup of coffee or boiling water 1/4th cup at a time so you don’t scramble the eggs.

gingerbread coffee

The finished batter will be much lighter and smoother.

gingerbread creamy

Now divide it among your greased and lined cake pans and bake at 350 degrees. 

 gingerbread filled tins

The 4-inch needs about 20 minutes and the two 6-inch cakes need about 30. But since everyone’s oven is different it’s good to check early and often.

gingerbread out of oven

The last step is to just let them come to room temperature on a cooling rack. Then you’re good to go!

gingerbread cooling

Despite this recipe calling for oil instead of butter, I found that the cake lost a bit of moisture after a couple of days. I recommend getting them out of the oven the moment a toothpick comes out clean and then wrapping them tightly in some plastic wrap as soon as they reach room temperature. It also doesn’t hurt to coat each layer in some simple syrup while assembling the cake itself. 

Overall though, I didn’t miss the butter too much. I got tons of compliments depth of the gingerbread flavor. The cake is about as dense as gingerbread too, which means it’s great for carving and/or stacking. So give it a try! And let me know in the comments how it turned out.

Until next time <3

Gingerbread Cake Recipe
A one-bowl gingerbread flavored cake, perfect for the holidays!
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 3 c (375 g) all-purpose flour
  2. 1 c (200 g) granulated sugar
  3. 1 tbsp ground ginger
  4. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  6. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  7. 2 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 2 large eggs
  11. 1 c (240 ml) vegetable oil
  12. 3/4 c (180 ml) molasses
  13. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  14. 1 c (240 ml) freshly brewed hot coffee (or boiling water)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and line two 8-inch round cake pans. If making a mini tiered cake, grease and line two 6-inch cake pans and one 4-inch cake pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt salt.
  3. Add the eggs, vegetable oil, molasses, and vanilla. Whisk to combine (batter will be very thick).
  4. Add 1 c of boiling water or freshly brewed coffee, 1/4 c at a time, until full incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter among the cake pans and bake approximately 20 minutes for the 4-inch cake and 30 minutes for the 6-inch cakes.
  6. Cool completely and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap until ready to use.
Adapted from The Cake Merchant
Adapted from The Cake Merchant
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Recipe Name
Gingerbread Cake Recipe
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Cook Time
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3 thoughts on “Gingerbread Cake Recipe

  1. I’m tooooootally with you on gingerbread’s amazingness and how addictive the flavours of this season are… I really want to make something with eggnog in it now but there’s nowhere in NZ to buy it!!! I think it will love gingerbread even more in cake form – looking forward to trying this recipe xo

    1. No eggnog in NZ? That’s crazy! Have you ever considered making your own? I don’t know if you’re familiar with Chef John on Youtube but he has a recipe for it here: It seems easy enough, but then again he makes everything look easy. haha. Thanks for the compliment! I wish I could take credit for the cake recipe but I found it on The Cake Merchant’s website. I adapted it slightly by adding a pinch of ground cloves and some vanilla extract. It was good! Like I said in the entry, it did seem a tad dry, but it could be that I a few days before eating the cake. I hope you like it! 🙂

      1. We are seriously missing out on many delicious US specialities here! I think making my own eggnog will def be the only way – good advice 🙂
        And we all use some sort of recipe to start something from right, but if you adapt it as you have, you’ve made it your own! Credit where it’s due 😉

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