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Celebrate the holidays in style with this incredible Christmas Gingerbread Cake. Three layers of moist gingerbread are covered with a cream cheese frosting for an amazing Christmas dessert that will impress everyone!

Christmas gingerbread cake ready to serve.

Do you love gingerbread? We sure do! This gingerbread cake has the most amazing gingerbread flavor. The combination of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves will leave you salivating! It’s all topped off with a cream cheese frosting to make the ultimate Christmas cake. This stuff is what Christmas dreams are made of!

The batter for this cake calls for buttermilk. The acid in the buttermilk will react with the baking soda and baking powder to help this cake rise, creating a fluffy crumb. If you don’t have buttermilk, be sure to read our Buttermilk Substitutes post to pick something that works for you. Please don’t just use milk or water. It will impact the results of the cake.

  • Cupcake Instructions:

    Would you prefer gingerbread cupcakes to a gingerbread cake? No worries, this recipe works for cupcakes too! They are baked at 325 degrees for 20-22 minutes and this recipe makes about 36 cupcakes.

  • Can I make gingerbread cake into only two layers?

    Is a 3 layer cake too much for you? We get a lot of requests for instructions on how to make a smaller version of the same cake. Simply divide the recipe by 2/3rds for a two layer cake or use the scaling feature on our recipe card below.

  • Storage Instructions:

    This cake will need to be stored in the refrigerator due to the cream cheese frosting. If you don’t have refrigerator space or don’t like cream cheese frosting, you can always use a regular buttercream. However, we strongly prefer the flavor of the cream cheese frosting when it comes to pairing with gingerbread. It provides the perfect balance!

A slice of Christmas gingerbread cake on a stack of plates.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious cake recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

A slice of Christmas gingerbread cake.
Celebrate the holidays in style with this incredible Christmas Gingerbread Cake. Three layers of moist gingerbread are covered with a cream cheese frosting for an amazing Christmas dessert that will impress everyone!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 2 8 ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease three 9-inch round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, molasses, warm water, buttermilk, and eggs. Whisk in ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Slowly add in flour and mix until just combined.
  • Divide batter evenly into prepared baking pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.
  • Once cooled, make your frosting by beating butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla extract until just combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar until you reach your desired frosting consistency.
  • Layer the cake together, frosting between layers as well as the top and outside of the cake.


Calories: 698kcal | Carbohydrates: 131g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 698mg | Potassium: 845mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 104g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 4.1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gingerbread Cake
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Kathy Cunningham
December 29, 2017 3:53 pm

Can I make this with gluten-free flour? Can I use beach sand instead of sugar? Can I make this without eggs? Can I use pterodactyl eggs? What is buttermilk? I don’t have any molasses. What is molasses? Can I make a molasses-based recipe using Tang Instant Breakfast drink instead? What is wrong with everyone? If you don’t have the ingredients, GO TO THE STORE. If you don’t know what something is, GOOGLE IT. If you have concocted a fake allergy for yourself, find another recipe. It just blows my mind how people take a lovely creation and try to morph… Read more »

Suehaye Fraley
December 29, 2017 5:17 pm

Yes! People can be crazy with these questions.

November 11, 2018 11:59 am

5 stars
?? Couldn’t agree more!

October 26, 2020 9:46 pm

I plan on making it with gluten-free flour due to celiac disease. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Patti Dengler
November 5, 2020 11:13 am

5 stars
This is the best tasting and textured gingerbread cake ever. The frosting is perfect for it. Didn’t pay attention to the requirement for using parchment. I should have. It is necessary or the cake crumbles. So, on my first go I ended up making some caramelized chopped apples and served the whole thing as more of a trifle. I shall make it again and remember to use the parchment so my cake stays together so I can frost it :).

Pat Tiffany
November 16, 2020 11:56 am
Reply to  Patti Dengler

Thanks for letting others know.

January 11, 2019 6:21 am

5 stars
I made this for Christmas and it was delicious!!! It did fall slightly. According to my family this I’d definitely a keeper.

January 6, 2019 4:55 pm

5 stars
Make for Christmas – delicious! Making it again – just 2 layers- for a friend’s birthday!

Charlene R
January 3, 2019 9:32 am

5 stars
Fantastic Cake. Everyone loved it! i cannot recommend it highly enough

jim ragone
December 21, 2020 3:18 pm

5 stars
Cant wait to try this cake Thank you keep cooking

December 16, 2020 9:02 pm

I want to make this cake, and wish to use the scaling tool you mention, but I can’t find this feature. can you help? thanks!

December 17, 2020 9:34 am
Reply to  susanne

The scaling tool is on the recipe card, where it says how many servings there are. Click on the number of servings and you’ll see a scale pop up to adjust the recipe up or down. You should see the amounts change in real time as you scale. Hope this helps!

December 3, 2020 1:26 pm

Love all your recipes , even a non cook like me can follow because you make it easy. Love the way you present it in video and easy to follow.
You are the best!👍

January 9, 2020 6:23 pm

It’s the best cake ever! I served it with friends and family… they wanted seconds! Thanks for sharing.

December 24, 2019 10:36 pm

5 stars
Just made this for Christmas Eve and it was a hit!!!! Wonderful recipe!!! Thank you!

November 12, 2018 9:47 am

lite or dark molasses? Look like a fantastic cake, my husband is drooling.

January 9, 2021 8:57 am

Ooo 💜 my lordie what a cake, I’m obsessed with anything ginger and this one hit all the marks. I only did the 2 layers because that would have been to big a temptation to finish the left overs, so 2 layers was better than 3…lol
I have a few Ginger cakes I make regularly, this one was special as I haven’t had such a light Ginger cake before, except for a ginger sponge of course. Thankyou thankyou for sharing this delicious recipe…⭐🥰⭐

Joy Blackburn
December 29, 2020 5:24 pm

5 stars
I have a family of picky eaters who have a variety of food allergies. Desserts rarely please everybody in this crowd. But! This gingerbread cake received rave reviews from everyone! It has been officially inducted into our annual Christmas menu! It’s very rich, so I recommend cutting slices that are as thin as a gingerbread cookie. If you do, this enormous cake will last and last. You could easily serve 30 people!

December 26, 2020 3:59 pm

5 stars
I just made this cake, and quite honestly, it was the best I’ve ever made (and I’ve made a lot). The final consistency was perfect for gingerbread and the flavor was out of this world. The only tweak I made was, after all ingredients were mixed together, the batter seemed quite thin. I added about a 1/2 cup of flour to thicken it up a bit, and it was great! Highly Recommend!

Diana O'Brien
December 18, 2020 7:36 pm

I see how to adjust the servings, but to scale down to make only 2 layers, what number would one scale down to? 10 instead of the original 16?

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