This is the best gingerbread cake because it’s easy to make, super moist, and perfectly spiced! The gingerbread flavor is perfect and the brown butter makes the cake extra special! A must make dessert for the holiday season!
I love making gingerbread in the winter months! My gingersnaps are my all time favorite! And to let you in on a secret…I think ginger and molasses are the most underrepresented of the holiday flavors. Peppermint and pumpkin get all the love, but I love all things ginger too!
This warm, perfectly spiced gingerbread cake is such a delicious way to warm your kitchen, surprise your favorite people, and have a festive dessert. Let’s dig in!
What Molasses Do You Use for Gingerbread?
For this gingerbread cake, use unsulphured light or dark molasses, all of which can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store. Grandma’s is a popular brand.
I’ve found that blackstrap is a little too dark and bitter for a sweet cake like this one. Blackstrap molasses is better for savory recipes because it has less sugar than light or dark molasses.
How to Brown Butter
The brown butter makes this gingerbread cake extra special. There is nothing that smells quite as delicious as brown butter, and it adds this great rich, nutty, toffee flavor to your baked goods! You just need a stove top and a pan to make it, too.
- Put the butter in a small saucepan and melt it completely over medium heat.
- Once melted, crank up the heat to medium high. Stay close to the stove and keep an eye on things!
- Continue stirring and look for small golden bits that will start to settle on the bottom of the pan. After about 3-5 minutes it will smell deliciously nutty and caramel-y.
- Once this happens, pour it into a heat-safe bowl and let it cool completely. Easy as can be!
How to Make Gingerbread Cake
- We start with preheating the oven (350 degrees F) and greasing a bundt pan. Make sure you REALLY grease your pan. There is nothing worse than a perfectly baked cake getting stuck in the pan and ruining your presentation!
- As you go through the ingredient list, make sure your spices are all fresh. Outdated spices won’t taste quite as good, and the spice is really what makes this cake shine.
- You’ll notice we’re baking with both brown butter and oil. Do you need both? Yes! That brown butter adds lots of flavor, while the oil keeps things moist. The buttermilk is another ingredient that improves texture and moistness.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together and set them aside. I think the spices and flour all mixed together are so pretty!
- Add the wet ingredients into the bowl of your mixer and beat it all on high speed for about 3 minutes.
- When measuring molasses, spray your measuring cup with cooking spray so the molasses will slide right out!
- Get it light and fluffy in there before beating in room-temperature eggs one at a time, then vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour and buttermilk in three additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just barely combined; don’t over mix!
- Pour batter into your prepared bundt pan and bake for about an hour, checking at the 50-minute mark. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out mostly clean when it’s finished!
- Remove it from the oven, admire your gorgeous gingerbread bundt cake, and let it cool for about 10 minutes before loosening the edges with a butter knife.
- Invert the cake onto a cooling rack, finish cooling to room temperature, and dust with powdered sugar.
- Cut into pieces, serve, and enjoy!
A simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar is our favorite way to serve and enjoy this gingerbread bundt cake. It looks really beautiful and like a winter wonderland! The flavor of the cake is so good, it really doesn’t need anything extra.
If you want something different you can add a glaze to the cake. A lemon, maple, or vanilla glaze would be great drizzled on top of this gingerbread cake. Just make sure the cake is completely cool before adding the glaze.
How to Store Gingerbread Cake
Keep your gingerbread cake covered in an airtight container on the counter for 3-5 days. While it tastes best fresh, you can freeze it for up to two months.
More Cake Recipes:
Looking for more bundt cake recipes? Here are some of my favorite easy cake recipes:
- Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- Confectioners’ sugar, for decorating
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup Bundt pan generously with non-stick baking spray or grease with butter and flour. Set aside.
- Put the butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, crank up the heat to medium high. Continue stirring and look for small golden bits that will start to settle on the bottom of the pan. It will smell deliciously nutty and caramel-y. This should take around 3 to 5 minutes. Once this happens, take it off the heat and pour into a small, heat-safe bowl to cool a bit.
- While the butter is cooling, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the browned butter, oil, brown sugar, and molasses and beat on high speed until light and fluffy for about 3 minutes.
- Next, beat in eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until just combined, don’t over mix.
- Pour cake batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully loosen the edges of the cake with a butter knife. Then invert the cake onto a cooling rack or serving plate, cool until room temperature and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into pieces and serve.
Have you tried this recipe?
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Photos by Molly
This looks amazing! Gingerbread cake is one of my favorites this time of year!
I hope you love this one!
Hi Maria. As a kid my grandmother’s gingerbread was one of my favorite treats but it’s something I’ve never made. This looks so good and I can’t wait to try it. I’ve never been a drinker but LOVE to use liquor in baking, especially during the holidays. I was wondering if I might be able to incorporate a little confused whiskey or possibly rum into this recipe? Maybe in place of some of the buttermilk or molasses?
I haven’t tried it. I wouldn’t take away the molasses or buttermilk, but if you want to add whiskey or rum, you can try it. Don’t add more than 1/4 cup.
Lemon curd spooned over a slice would be delicious!
Oooh, yes! That sounds amazing!
A 12 cup bundt is too much for my family and I could freeze half but wondered if I can use 2 6 cup bundt pans and give one away? What baking time recommend?
I would check it at half the time to be safe.
Baking it right now, the smell is divine!
Do you think this hold up if I used it in a different type of mold? I have a Nordic Ware pan that makes two little houses and I’m wondering if this would work.
It should. Nordic Ware pans are great!
This cake turned out perfect!
A nice balance of spices and the texture is moist.
A denser cake but not disgustingly heavy.
Not too sweet.
Bake time was right on!
Love the browned butter.
I made this cake for Christmas and it was absolutely delicious! Hands down the best gingerbread cake I have ever eaten. The cake came out exactly as pictured on this site and had a wonderful spicy flavor. I served the cake with fresh whipped cream and fresh raspberries – so yummy!! This will be my new go to gingerbread receipe!!
So happy you loved it!
This is a great recipe, but there is more to browning butter than that. And it takes much longer then that.
Put your butter in the sauce pan and don’t ever walk away. Cook it at medium and medium only. Your butter will start to boil. This is because it is releasing water. It will foam for the same reason. Don’t stop stirring it. It will again come to a smaller boil. During the second boil is when the solids start to brown. Do not let them burn. You want golden brown. Cool it quickly.
If you love gingerbread, I cannot recommend this recipe enough. It smells amazing, tastes great and is so moist you won’t believe it. I had a small slice plain for breakfast this morning and we had it with a little vanilla ice cream last night. You could also do a simple glaze. Mine was done after 50 min in the oven so check after 45. I had problems getting the wet mixture “light and fluffy” but I think it was because my butter was still a little to warm. When it didn’t lighten after the first 2 minutes I let it rest for a couple of minutes and when I went back it started lightening right away. This recipe is a keeper!
I never tried this
I made this cake yesterday. I added a little bit of grated fresh ginger for a little extra kick. Wow it is really good. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the world. The 20 minute prep time was not accurate for me – ha – but it came out wonderful, still!
I cut the recipe in half because I have a gingerbread man cake pan that I use every year. I really wasn’t happy with the recipe I had been using so I thought I would try this. It is fantastic and the spices are perfect to what I have been looking for. I did sneak in a 1/4 teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice tho. My problem is my sister cannot stand the taste of butter and she loves gingerbread so would margarine work or should I add extra oil instead? Anyway this recipe is a keeper.
I bought a ginger bread house bundt mold and decided to try this recipe. My first try was to see how it worked, with plans to do it again and have the grandkids decorate it. The gingerbread was wonderful and got rave reviews. When I repeated the process at our daughter’s house with two of our daughters, we were talking and joking so much, I kept mixing things in the wrong place. It didn’t matter. The cake was perfect. It looked so good, everyone had some, and it never did get decorated. Even those not normally big gingerbread fans loved it. Great recipe!
I made this Gingerbread Bundt cake for our Bunko Christmas party, and wow, it was so good! It was so moist and flavorful. It had just the right amount of spices and tasted wonderful. We put a dollop of whipped cream on each slice, because that is how my mom always served her gingerbread cake, but you really don’t need it. The dusting of powdered sugar gave it a festive, “dusted with snow” look! I would highly recommend this cake.
Do you mean light in color and fluffy? Mine never got light colored even after beating for 5 minutes. Should I be using the paddle or wire whisk on my standmixer? It’s in the oven now – hoping for the best 😉
I love gingerbread cake with a huge dollop of whipped cream!
Has anyone made this as cupcakes? If so how long do you bake them?
I’m baking this cake right now for Christmas but I can’t get the brown sugar mixture light and fluffy either!
I like this cake…moist and lovely texture. I might add more spices next time. I used grandmas unsulphured molasses, but still find that to be a bit of a bitter molasses.
I live in Canada and we get Crosby’s Fancy Molasses; they make 3 grades of molasses, but ‘Fancy’ is what I use for this type of baking. It’s smoother and lighter tasting than others.
This cake is sooooooo gooda big hit with my family
It’s so good! Glad you loved it!
Why no blackstrap?
‘Fancy’ molasses is lighter tasting, but some people swear by blackstrap for gingerbread; I think it’s a taste preference. In Canada we have Crosby’s molasses (I’m not affiliated with them, I just use their products). I like blackstrap for my baked beans recipe, but I think I’m going to bake this cake with Fancy molasses. Crosby’s sells ‘cooking’ molasses and I think that’s a mixture of Fancy and blackstrap.
Made this and was very delicious would make it again I didn’t change anything in the recipe but I did add extra ingredients I added a bit of pumpkin pie spice cardamom and dark chocolate chips thank you for this wonderful dessert
I am so glad you loved the cake. Thanks for sharing.
It’s good but mine didn’t come out too moist…it’s pretty dense.
Of all the gingerbread bundt cake recipes I looked at, I decided on this one. That browned butter trick is the bomb!! I added a kick of 1/2 tsp of ground long pepper. Then I made a simple Meyer lemon glaze and Decorated with sugared cranberries. Memorable dessert! Thank you for this recipe!
So happy you loved the cake!