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gingerbread layer cake with cream cheese frosting

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This gingerbread layer cake with cream cheese frosting is a soft cake filled with all the holiday spices and topped with a light and tangy frosting.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 615 kcal


Gingerbread Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup butter room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temp
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temp

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese room temp
  • ½ cup butter room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 335 F. Spray three 8" round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make Gingerbread Cake

  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl cream butter until nice and smooth. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing just a bit in between. Add molasses and mix again until incorporated.
  • Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating into 3 parts to allow it to mix more evenly.
  • Pour batter into 3 prepared pans, If using a scale each pan should have about 560g of batter in each. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and edges are pulling from the sides.
  • Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10-15 minutes, and then carefully remove onto cooling rack to finish cooling.

Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and butter until completely smooth. Add vanilla, milk and about 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and add remaining powdered sugar. If it is too thick you can add a bit more milk to smooth it out.

Cake Assembly

  • Place one of the cake layers, top side up, on a cake plate or serving stand. Spread a small amount of frosting over the first layer.
  • Place the second cake layer, top side up, on top of the frosting. Repeat spreading a small amount of frosting again over the second layer.
  • Place final cake layer, top side down.
  • Frost the entire cake, top and sides, with a thin crumb coat layer of the cream cheese frosting. Place in the fridge or freezer for about 10-15 minutes to chill.
  • Pull the chilled cake out, and frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Because this is more of a "naked" looking cake, this shouldn't be must more frosting. See notes below if you want a thicker outside layer of frosting


If you would like a thicker frosting use 16 ounces of cream cheese and 5-6 cups powdered sugar. Add as much milk as necessary to get desired consistency.
Cakes will have the best results if made with room temperature ingredients. I like to pull my eggs, cream cheese, and butter and buttermilk out of the fridge an hour or two before I start baking, depending on how cold the house is.
Make Ahead Instructions: The frosting can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge in a sealed container. Remove frosting from the fridge an hour before you’re ready to frost the cake, to give it time to come to room temperature.
Freezing Instructions: After baking the cake layers, allow them to cool completely, then wrap them well in plastic wrap and stick each layer in a ziplock freezer bag. They can be frozen for a few months. I usually just pull them out of the freezer once I am starting to make my frosting, or an hour or two before I want to assemble.
I have given both cups and grams as measurements. Grams will be more precise, especially when measuring flour. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, no problem! Just lightly spoon flour into your measuring cup to insure its not packed in there. Light and fluffy is the key.


Calories: 615kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 6gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 488mgPotassium: 427mgFiber: 1gSugar: 73gVitamin A: 895IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 155mgIron: 3mg
Keyword cream cheese frosting, gingerbread cake
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