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Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

20 Reviews

This moist Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect for the holidays. It’s packed with cozy favors like ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, and molasses.

slice of Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on white plate

Easy Christmas Dessert Recipe

When it comes to the holidays, Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. Most years it’s the only time everyone in my family is in the same place. So spending time at my parents’ house means the holidays are filled with love and laughter.

Christmas is also my favorite time to bake. Not only are there so many delicious holiday treats, but — more importantly — I love spending time in the kitchen with my mom and sisters. It’s the perfect place to catch up, reminisce, and maybe burn a batch of cookies. (Am I the only one who does that????).

So for today I’m sharing this gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s moist, deliciously dense, and has the most delicious gingerbread flavor. The cream cheese frosting isn’t too sweet. I decorated mine with cranberries and mint leaves to make it a little more festive.

slice of Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting topped with fresh cranberries and mint leaves

Gingerbread Cake Ingredients

This easy Christmas dessert requires few ingredients, many of which are the classic gingerbread spices. For the gingerbread cake itself, you’ll need:

  • Molasses
  • Boiling water
  • All-purpose flour
  • Spices
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs

And for the homemade cream cheese frosting, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Heavy cream 

homemade cream cheese frosting meant for gingerbread cake

How to Make Gingerbread Cake

This gingerbread cake recipe is really straightforward to make. Here’s the basic rundown of how to make this festive ginger cake: 

  1. First we stir together the molasses with hot water — if you miss this step, the molasses is too thick and won’t mix evenly into the batter.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves). The warm spices add so much flavor! 
  3. Beat together the oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Using oil makes the cake extra moist, then the brown sugar gives a delicious caramel flavor.
  4. Finally, the dry ingredients and molasses are mixed in, and it’s time to bake.
  5. The cake will bake for about 35 minutes, but I always start checking just a little early to be sure.
  6. Once the gingerbread cake has cooled, frost with homemade cream cheese frosting.

How Long Will Gingerbread Cake Keep?

This gingerbread cake will keep well in an airtight container for several days, if not longer. In fact, a ginger cake is often at its best a few days after baking!

What’s the Best Molasses for Gingerbread Cake?

Any molasses besides blackstrap molasses will work in this gingerbread cake recipe. Blackstrap is too bitter to be used in this cake. 

Can I Bake This Recipe as Cupcakes? 

Most definitely! Use cupcake liners and check the gingerbread cupcakes after 18 minutes to see how they’re doing. 

two slices of Gingerbread Cake on white plates

Tips for Making Gingerbread Cake

For a super smooth cream cheese frosting, make sure the butter and cream cheese are warmed to room temperature first. Also, make sure you’re using brick-style cream cheese and not the whipped or low-fat kind. You need full-fat, brick-style cream cheese to make the perfect cream cheese frosting. 

To measure the molasses more easily, I recommend spraying your measuring cup with non-stick spray before pouring the molasses into it. It makes the clean-up a breeze too! 

For a little more holiday cheer, you can decorate with cranberries and mint leaves like I did in the photographs. Or a few festive sprinkles look so pretty too! 

More CAKE RECIPES You Have to Try:

More Christmas Dessert Ideas You’ll Love:

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This moist gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting is perfect for the holidays. Filled with ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar & molasses - it's packed with warm, cozy flavors. 

Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

4.05 from 20 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 15 -18 pieces
This moist Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect for the holidays. It’s packed with cozy favors like ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, and molasses.


Gingerbread Cake

  • 1 cup molasses*
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger use 3 tsp for a stronger ginger flavor
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil canola works too
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 8 oz brick-style cream cheese softened
  • 3 - 3.5 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream as needed
  • fresh cranberries and mint leaves for decoration (optional)


Gingerbread Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  • In a large measuring cup, gently stir together the molasses & boiling water.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, baking soda and salt.
  • Using an electric mixer beat together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla until evenly combined.
  • Then with the mixer on low speed, beat in about 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by about 1/3 of the hot water & molasses. Repeat until all the flour & molasses are mixed in. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 32-37 minutes, or until the top is set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl beat together the butter and cream cheese until evenly combined.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and salt.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time until the desired sweetness level is reached. Then beat in 1-2 tablespoons of cream as needed. If the mixture is thin, you may not need to add any cream.
  • Frost the cooled cake. Then optionally decorate with cranberries and mint leaves.


  • *I don't recommend blackstrap because the flavor is too strong.
  • This cake is also a great recipe to make ahead. You can bake the cake and let it cool. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. The night before you'd like to serve, thaw the cake in the fridge. Then, frost the next day.
Nutrition Facts
Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 522 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 334mg15%
Potassium 409mg12%
Carbohydrates 100g33%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 79g88%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 439IU9%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

gingerbread cake recipe

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Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • Frosting was great, However this Ginger cake was a very dry dry cake. What do you recommend.

    • Reply
    • Oh no! I’m so sorry Crystal! A dry cake is usually the result of a bad ratio between wet and dry ingredients. Are you sure you measure the flour and all the wet ingredients correctly? Dryness can also come from over mixing. You could also experiment with you oven temperature. Some oven bake hotter than others, so you could try baking at 325 instead of 350 or baking for a shorter time.

      • Reply
  • Is there something other than ground ginger that would work? I was going to make this for a friend, but she’s allergic to ginger

    • Reply
    • Hey Alix! There are a few options for substitutes for ground ginger. Try substituting an equal amount of ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground mace, or ground nutmeg.

      • Reply
  • This recipe looks wonderful! Do you think it might work for cupcakes too? If so, how long would you suggest baking for regular sized cups? 

    • Reply
    • Yes, they will definitely work for cupcakes. Try 18-20 minutes to start and just keep your eye on them! Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • Do you think this cake would work okay in layers, or is the texture too soft? It looks amazing. Thanks!

    • Reply
    • We’ve never tried it in layers, but if you try it, let us know how it does! It’s a pretty soft cake, but I think it could work!

      • Reply
  • hey girl- this cake looks amazing!

    • Reply
  • This cake looks insanely delish, especially that cream cheese frosting!

    • Reply

Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄