Gingerbread Layer Cake with Spiced Buttercream Frosting

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Spiced Buttercream Frosting… aka, the best way to truly celebrate the Christmas season! Three layers of flavorful and delicious gingerbread cake, that have been generously frosted with a gingerbread spiced American Buttercream. This cake is so simple, but when it’s baking, the smell is absolutely mouthwatering and oh so delicious. It’ll truly make it feel like the holiday’s! Every bite is layered with spice, hints of molasses, sweet vanilla, and filled with creamy spiced buttercream. This is the perfect spiced cake for your Christmas dessert table. Oh, and the best part? It’s so much easier to make than you might think, and so pretty with barely any effort! It’s guaranteed to the be a showstopper and a crowd favorite.

gingerbread cake with powdered sugar drifting down and cookies

→ This post is also available as a Web Story: Gingerbread Cake

About The Recipe

There is nothing more festive than gingerbread. It’s the quintessential spice mix for the holiday’s, especially Christmas! Between gingerbread cookies, a mug cake, and beignets, we had to do one more gingerbread bake before the season was over…

And we chose to do a gingerbread spiced layer cake!

Because…is there anything better than a large slice of cake at the holidays? Especially when it’s served with a large mug of eggnog or cocoa!

cake slice being pulled away from cake with gingerbread cookies, greenery, and glasses

This recipe is actually an adaptation from The Pick of The Crop cookbook! We were flipping through, trying to find inspiration from some our family and friends recipes…and that’s when we stumbled upon this!

It definitely needed some updating, but now this gingerbread cake is the ultimate holiday bake!

The first try with this was just a little off. It was way too sweet, not enough spice, and it was overdone! But, no worries. We took the leftover cake and turned it into yummy dark chocolate cake pops! No waste, right?

So, we tried again. Mom checked the formula’s, double checked, and we got to baking. Cutting back the sugar and adding our own custom spice blend were definitely the right choices!

The cake was perfect in every way possible. It baked evenly, the spices were clear and prominent, and the cake itself was moist and fluffy.

But, it’s crazy to think how much can change in a recipe over the years! I’m sure back then the cake was perfect, but with the changes in ingredients and quality as the years passed… The cake was just – okay.

Now, the cake is everything you could want in a holiday spiced cake. It’s easy, delicious, and perfect for friends and family!

Oh, and the addition of spiced buttercream is so. good.

Even if you aren’t a huge frosting fan, you will adore the gingerbread buttercream. It’s sweet, spicy (but in the best way!), and the perfect compliment to this cake. The flavors meld so well that it genuinely tastes like a gingerbread cookie!

cake on a white plate with cookies, greenery, and a slice behind

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

For The Cake:

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Allspice
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Molasses
  • Buttermilk
molasses, flour, nutmeg, salt, baking power, ginger, all spice, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, butter, sugar, milk, and eggs on a marble counter

For The Frosting:

  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • AllSpice
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Heavy Cream
butter, powdered sugar, ginger, nutmeg, all spice, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk on marble counter

Instructions

In a large bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the mixer with the beater attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Stir in the molasses.

Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Begin and end with dry ingredients.

Transfer the cake batter into three 8 inch greased cake pans. It’s about 1 pound of batter per pan. Bake at 350 for 23 minutes, or until the cake tests done.

Turn the cakes out onto a wire cooling rack and level as needed. Set aside.

cake layers leveled on a cooling rack with crumbs behind

In a large bowl, sift together spices and powdered sugar. Set asode.

Powdered sugar and spices in glass bowl

In the mixer with the beater attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.

Add the powdered sugar in small increments, mixing well after each addition.

Stir in the vanilla and heavy cream.

Putting It All Together

Place one layer of gingerbread cake on a cake board. Spoon about 1 cup of frosting onto the cake. Spread it around and get it as level as you can! Crumbs may come up and it’s okay if they do. Place the second layer of cake on top of the frosting and repeat.

When you get to the third layer, spoon a small amount of frosting onto the cake and spread it. This thin layer of frosting is the crumb coat! It’ll keep all the crumbs out of the final layer of frosting. From here, decorate as you see fit! I went with a more wispy design, thinking along the lines of snow or winter wind.

frosting spread across cake

Feel free to do whatever you wish! I used our leftover gingerbread cookies to add some cute decorative elements, but feel free to make this cake your own. Just have fun!

What To Serve With Gingerbread Cake…

My favorite thing is a large mug of hot chocolate, but that’s me! I love the combo of gingerbread and chocolate…but, here are a few more ideas to serve alongside this cake at Christmas!

Drinks:

Desserts:

How To Store

You can keep this cake in a covered cake plate on the counter for a few days. Or, if you have leftovers, you can store this cake just as easily! You can place it in the fridge covered by a cake plate or even freeze individual slices!

You could also freeze the individual cake layers and assemble the cake at a later date!

Substitutions

  • If you aren’t a fan of spiced buttercream, you can make this cake with a whipped dark chocolate ganache frosting.
  • If you don’t have individual spices, you can use about 2-4 Tablespoons of Gingerbread Spice.
slice taken out of gingerbread cake with slice behind, cookies, greenery, and fairy lights

Expert Tips

  • This recipe makes an eight inch cake.
  • Baking may vary based on your oven! Use a cake tester/tooth pick to check if your cake layers are done.
  • If you use a scale, it’ll be easier to get each layer exactly the same!

When you make this Gingerbread Layer Cake with Spiced Buttercream, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

gingerbread cake with powdered sugar drifting down and cookies

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Spiced Buttercream Frosting

Traci
The ultimate Christmas bake! This Gingerbread Cake with Spiced Buttercream is sweet, perfectly spiced, and just SO. GOOD.
4.6 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 23 mins
Total Time 38 mins
Course Cakes and Cupcakes
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 1099 kcal

Ingredients
 

Cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Frosting

  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray 3 8-inch cake pans with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • Add molasses.
  • Stir in 1/3 of flour mixture.
  • Add 1/2 cup of milk. Stir.
  • Stir in 1/3 of flour mixture.
  • Add remaining milk. Stir.
  • Stir in remaining flour mixture.
  • Divide evenly into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cake tests done.
  • Let cool.

Frosting

  • Whisk together powdered sugar, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  • Beat butter with an electric mixer.
  • Add powdered sugar mixture, a little at a time.
  • Beat in heavy cream.
  • Stir in vanilla.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • If you aren't a fan of spiced buttercream, you can make this cake with a whipped dark chocolate ganache frosting.
  • If you don't have individual spices, you can use about 2-4 Tablespoons of Gingerbread Spice.
Expert Tips:
  • This recipe makes an eight inch cake.
  • Baking may vary based on your oven! Use a cake tester/tooth pick to check if your cake layers are done.
  • If you use a scale, it'll be easier to get each layer exactly the same!

Nutrition

Serving: 1SliceCalories: 1099kcalCarbohydrates: 125gProtein: 6gFat: 66gSaturated Fat: 41gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 216mgSodium: 828mgPotassium: 533mgFiber: 1gSugar: 98gVitamin A: 2097IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 183mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @abakers_table or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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