It’s beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAAAAAAS!
That means it is Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting-season!
Today is December 1. Not only is it my best childhood friends birthday (happy birthday Nat), but it is the month that I wait for all year long. I LOVE DECEMBER. Time to put up the tree, hang those stockings by the chimney with care, and make your husband go outside in the freezing cold and put up the Christmas lights on the house. It’s the season of giving, am I right?
December is also all about GINGERBREAD everything
Move over Pumpkin Spice, your time is up. There is a new Sheriff in town and her name is Ginger. Now that we got that amazing introduction out of the way, we can talk about why we are all here. My INCREDIBLE Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting. Now, no one claimed this to be healthy by any means, but let’s be honest, the holidays usually aren’t. If you want to impress those party guests, you must make this cake!!
Seriously, this Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream needs to make an appearance this Christmas
I cannot stress enough how delicious this Gingerbread cake in fact is. It is super moist, perfect amount of sweet and spice, and that buttercream is what dreams are made of.
It is 3 layers so it is a little work, but it is completely worth the time put in.
Trust the process
My trick is to bake the cakes the night before, let them cool on a wire rack then place in the fridge over night. This will help move the process along the next day and simply do the fun stuff…FROST AND DECORATE. Cooling in the fridge also makes it easier to frost because the cake is slightly chilled. Warm cake makes it super hard to have clean frosting.
When starting the layering process, I like to add a dollop of frosting, spread evenly, then for fun, I like to crush up store-bought gingersnaps and sprinkle in between the layers. I wish I would say they stay crunchy, they do not. They do however add another layer of flavor to the cake so I highly recommend doing that!
Once layering all 3 cakes is finished, I add a super thin layer of frosting to the sides and top. It does not need to be perfect, if crumbs get in frosting here it is ok! This is to get a smooth surface around the cake before you frost the outside for real. It gives a nice clean canvas for the outer layer of frosting that everyone will see. Once you place a thin layer of frosting around the cake, chill in the fridge again for about 20 minutes before doing the final layer of frosting.
For this cake, I like to top it with my Classic Gingerbread Cookies. I made a little pathway out of white pearl sprinkles-you can find here. Fresh rosemary sprigs make GREAT trees on top! I love fresh herbs so I also added fresh thyme around the base as well as cranberries to add a pop of color.
Ok, my mouth is watering thinking about this cake. I will be making this again for our family Christmas and I hope you do as well!!! Let me know your feedback and happy baking!
For another fun holiday gingerbread idea that is edible but also a fun craft project, try my Gingerbread Stained Glass Ornaments!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs
- Gingerbread cookies
- Fresh cranberries
- White pearl sprinkles
- 6 ounces full fat cream cheese (1 brick minus a little, doesn't have to be exact), softened
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease and flour three 6" cake rounds (I use spring-form rounds, they are easier to pop the cakes out after baking)
- Line base with parchment paper (I trace the bottom of the round and cut a circle into parchment paper so it fits the base)
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and spices, set aside
- Using an electric mixer (I use my KitchenAide Stand Mixer), beat butter until smooth
- Add sugars and beat on medium-high until fluffy
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time (I crack both eggs in a measuring cup with a spout, easier to pour in and not accidentally get shells in the dough!)
- Add molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined
- Alternate adding dry ingredients with buttermilk, fully incorporating after each addition
- DO NOT OVERMIX
- Spread batter evenly into prepared baking rounds (I find it easiest to ladle in with a spoon and distribute evenly into thirds so all cakes cook the same)
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops of the cakes turn golden brown and until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
- Remove cakes from baking rounds and let cool completely on a wire rack
- Beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on low until well combined (slowly add the powdered sugar and mix on low or else it will get powdered sugar EVERYWHERE. Don't ask how I know:/ )
- Once combined, turn speed up to high and beat for 4-5 minutes until smooth and creamy
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving platter
- Top cake with 2/3 cup frosting
- Repeat with remaining layers
- Apply a thin coat of frosting to the edges and top of cake, this is called crumb coating. It helps create a smooth and crumb free cake surface to do the final layer of frosting)
- Chill for 20 minutes
- Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream
- I did a more rustic pattern so the edges didn't have to be perfectly smooth
- Top with white pearl sprinkles to create a pathway, gingerbread men/women, fresh rosemary sprigs to create trees
- Around the base of the cake, place fresh thyme sprigs and cranberries for a pop of color
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