Gingerbread Spiced Loaf Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This post may contain affiliate links, please visit our privacy policy for details.

The holiday’s just got easier with this Gingerbread Spiced Loaf Cake with a super simple vanilla buttercream frosting! Not only is it effortlessly pretty, but SO delicious. Think, a fluffy and moist cake that’s full of the most delicious blend of spices and perfectly balanced with sweet molasses. It’s quite literally Christmas in cake form! After baking, this cake is finished with a four ingredient vanilla buttercream to really make this cake super special. Finish with mini gingerbread cookies, a few sprigs of sugared rosemary to create a gorgeous winter scene that everyone is sure to love!

loaf cake on wire serving board with white flowers and sugar around, frosting, mini gingerbread cookies, and sugared rosemary sprigs on top of cake. Christmas village, empty glasses, and more gingerbread cookies behind cake.

About The Recipe

Once this time of year comes around, we are always so busy! Between baking for the blog, shopping for Christmas gifts, and decorating, there’s almost no time left in a day! Which is what brings us to this super simple loaf cake.

If there’s one thing we love more than anything, it’s effortlessly pretty desserts that taste GOOD! This gingerbread loaf cake is exactly that.

Though, just to be honest, getting this recipe to come out wasn’t exactly so simple. We baked this cake FOUR times before we finally got it right!!

The problem? The cake kept sinking in the middle. No matter what we did, the cake was determined to sink in the middle. We almost gave up on the recipe, but it just tasted so good that we knew we had to get it right…somehow.

Turns out, the problem we were having was something super simple to fix!

You ready? The culprit to four sunken cakes turned out to be….over-mixing!

close up of sliced gingerbread loaf cake with slice missing, buttercream on top with decorated mini gingerbread cookies on top, as well as sugared rosemary sprigs.

Once we figured that out, we DID have a good laugh about it, but from there, it was smooth sailing. We changed the mixing method and the cake turned out beautifully!

Honestly, we could not be happier. The cake is light, moist, full of warming spice, and perfectly sweet…especially when you get a bite with the frosting. Every bite just melts in your mouth.

It’s the perfect easy and gorgeous cake for all of your Christmas baking needs!

Reasons You Will Love This Gingerbread Loaf Cake

  • Super simple to make.
  • Effortlessly pretty and perfect for gifting!
  • Plenty of warming spice and molasses flavor.
  • Can be made in-advance.
  • A crowd pleasing dessert.
  • Perfect for Christmas!
gingerbread loaf cake on square white tray with frosting, gingerbread cookies, and sugared rosemary on top, with more cookies around.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Cake:

  • All-Purpose Flour – This makes for a light, fluffy, and delicious cake every time!
  • Baking Powder – Just enough to give the cake some lift.
  • Baking Soda – Since the molasses and buttermilk are both acidic ingredients, adding a dash of baking soda is essential.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt helps bring out all the wonderful flavor in this cake.
  • Gingerbread Spice – We use a custom blend of spices in this recipe to give you the perfect amount of each spice for the perfect gingerbread flavor. Though, you can use a pre-made gingerbread spice, if you don’t have the individual spices.
  • Unsalted Butter – We prefer to use unsalted butter in this recipe to help control the amount of salt in the cake.
  • Granulated Sugar – Just the right amount of sugar to sweeten this cake!
  • Large Eggs – The large eggs give this cake a tender crumb. Make sure to get them out ahead of time, so they will be room temperature before making the cake.
  • Molasses – Adds sweetness, but also gives this cake a wonderful flavor.
  • Buttermilk – The best milk to use for this cake! It not only tenderizes, but also keeps the cake moist and delicioius.
eggs, flour, butter, ground spices, sugar, buttermilk, salt, baking soda, and baking powder on marble surface.

For The Frosting:

  • Salted Butter – A must for buttercream! Remember to get it out early, as it needs to be room temperature to beat properly.
  • Powdered Sugar – The only sugar you can use to make buttercream. Be sure to sift it, as you don’t want any lumps in your frosting!
  • Heavy Cream – Adds a wonderful lightness to the buttercream.
  • Vanilla Extract – Just enough to really give this frosting a delicious flavor.
butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla on marble surface.

How To Make This Gingerbread Spiced Loaf Cake

Step 1: Make the cake

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in molasses.

Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack to finish cooling.

baked gingerbread loaf cake on wire cooling rack.

Step 2: Make the frosting

With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, 1-2 minutes.

Beat in powdered sugar.

Add heavy cream and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.

Step 3: Decorate

Spread or pipe on top of cooled cake. Decorate as desired!

Decorating Ideas

Once this cake is baked, you can leave it as-is or decorate it! Either way, it’s completely delicious. Though, if you’d like to decorate your loaf cake, here are a few super simple ways to make it look extra festive!

  • Pipe or spread the frosting. If you have piping bags and tips, feel free to pipe a design onto this cake! Either way you choose to do it, it kind of resembles snow.
  • Top with mini gingerbread cookies. Not only does it really make the cake look cute, it lets everyone know immediately that it’s a gingerbread cake! Win-win!
  • Use sprinkles. Christmas sprinkles add such a fun (and beautiful) festive feel to the cake…with no effort.
  • Add fresh or sugared rosemary. Wet a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and roll them in granulated sugar! Place them on the cake to add a festive vibe. You can also do this with fresh cranberries!
  • Use red or green candies. This works great, especially if you you have gingerbread with M&M buttons!
  • Add orange twists or a bit of zest. Adding orange not only brightens the cake, but it also adds a fun and bright color!
  • Color the frosting. While this option might take a little bit more time, you can REALLY make a cute cake if you do this.
loaf cake on white square tray with frosting, decorated mini gingerbread cookies, and sugared rosemary sprigs on top, with sugar, more cookies and flowers around on marble surface.

How To Achieve The Perfect Buttercream

There are are a few things you can do to make sure you get the creamiest, silkiest buttercream every single time! The first is making sure your butter is room temperature. This is super important! Another is sifting your powdered sugar. Lumps of powdered sugar = lumpy buttercream! Lastly, if you feel your buttercream is too thick, you can add a splash (1/2 – 1 Tablespoon) of whole milk or heavy cream. This will help loosen it a little.

How To Store

There are a few ways you can do this! If you don’t need to cake right away, you can wait to frost the cake. You can store the un-frosted cake in the fridge for 3-5 days. You could even freeze the unfrosted cake up to 2-3 months! The buttercream can also be placed in an airtight container in the fridge and it will keep for about 3 days. Remember to get both out of the fridge or freezer and let come to room temperature before serving. The buttercream will also need to be re-whipped.

If the cake is already frosted, you can also refrigerate or freeze! If you choose to refrigerate this cake, it will keep for about 2-3 days. You could also freeze this cake for about 1 month.

overhead shot of loaf cake with slice laying in front, with cookies, frosting, and sugared rosemary on top with more sugar and cookies around.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven!
  • Check the expiration dates on all your ingredients.
  • Make sure the butter, eggs, and buttermilk are room temperature before mixing the cake.
  • Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately. This yields in a much better cake.
  • Don’t over-mix the cake batter. If it’s over-mixed, the cake will fall!
  • If your frosting is a little too thick, add a splash of whole milk or heavy cream to loosen it.
  • Baking times may vary based on your oven. Use a cake tester or toothpick to see if the cake is done.

When you make this Gingerbread Spiced Loaf Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, 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.

loaf cake on wire serving board with white flowers and sugar around, frosting, mini gingerbread cookies, and sugared rosemary sprigs on top of cake. Christmas village, empty glasses, and more gingerbread cookies behind cake.

Gingerbread Spiced Loaf Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Traci
This Gingerbread Spiced Loaf Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is the simple and delicious cake you'll want to bake on REPEAT this holiday season! Every bite is light, fluffy, moist, and full of the most festive flavor. It's SO GOOD!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 609 kcal

Ingredients
 

Cake

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

Frosting

  • ¾ cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Cake

  • Heat oven to 350 °F.
  • Spray a 9-inch loaf pan with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in molasses.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Mix only to blend. Do NOT over mix.
  • Spoon into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until cake tests done.
  • Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes.
  • Turn out onto cooling rack to finish cooling.

Frosting

  • With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, 1-2 minutes.
  • Beat in powdered sugar.
  • Add heavy cream and vanilla.
  • Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Spread on top of cooled cake.

Notes

  • Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven!
  • Check the expiration dates on all your ingredients.
  • Make sure the butter, eggs, and buttermilk are room temperature before mixing the cake.
  • Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately. This yields in a much better cake.
  • Don’t over-mix the cake batter. If it’s over-mixed, the cake will fall!
  • If your frosting is a little too thick, add a splash of whole milk or heavy cream to loosen it.
  • Baking times may vary based on your oven. Use a cake tester or toothpick to see if the cake is done.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 609kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 5gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 457mgPotassium: 404mgFiber: 1gSugar: 59gVitamin A: 1021IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 124mgIron: 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 @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

– Still Hungry? –

Here are a few recipes may like!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.