Gingerbread cake is the ultimate festive dessert! Topped with silky white chocolate buttercream, you’ll have this tasty spiced cake on repeat for the holidays!

I love the flavor of gingerbread. It just tastes like Christmas cheer! Gingerbread pancakes, sugar cookie bars, and brownies are a few of my favorite recipes. They’re perfectly spiced and delicious!

Closeup of a slice of gingerbread cake, garnished with cranberries.

Gingerbread Cake With White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

I can’t get over how amazing these holiday cake recipes are! First, cranberry Christmas cake and now gingerbread cake, ready for all of your end-of-the-year parties! This moist, fluffy cake is spiced to perfection. And to make it even better- each layer is smothered in my favorite white chocolate buttercream. The creaminess of the frosting and flavor of the cake make this a knockout dessert. After all, it smells amazing, tastes amazing, looks amazing, and everyone’s going to want a piece.

The other great thing about this cake is that it’s easy to make! Whether you’re a seasoned baker or it’s your first time making a cake from scratch, you’ll pull it off with flying colors! This tasty dessert will be the star of the show wherever it goes. It’s impressive and delicious! For a little extra holiday flair, I like to garnish my cake with cranberries. You can even use sugared cranberries to really take it over the top! Be warned, this may become your new favorite holiday dessert recipe!

What Do I Need to Make Gingerbread Cake?

It takes quite a few ingredients to make this cake but trust me, it’s well worth it! Honestly, you may be able to find most of them in your pantry right now! Individual measurements can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Cake Flour: First up, I like using cake flour because it gives the gingerbread cake a delicate crumb. Similarly, all-purpose flour will give your cake a light structure, but the texture will be slightly different.
  • Granulated Sugar: To sweeten up the entire cake, white sugar is added.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: I love dark brown sugar! It adds a deep sweetness and richness. Perfect for a gingerbread cake!
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Both are necessary for a light, fluffy cake.
  • Salt: Added to enhance overall flavor.
  • Ground Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves: A blend of these 3 spices is what will give you that perfect gingerbread flavor.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk adds moisture and fluffiness to your cake. In fact, the acid in buttermilk actually causes a chemical reaction with the baking powder and soda in your batter, making the whole cake extra fluffy!
  • Milk: I always use whole milk in my cakes. The more fat content in your cake = the moister it is.
  • Vanilla: Adds a perfect, sweet flavor!
  • Vegetable Oil: Helps to keep your cake moist. You can substitute this for canola oil or butter as well.
  • Molasses: Adds a smoky sweetness and smooth texture to your gingerbread cake batter.
  • Eggs: Needed to bind everything together!

White Chocolate Buttercream

For more tips and tricks on making the best white chocolate buttercream, see my full recipe here!

  • White Chocolate: You can use bakers chocolate, your favorite white chocolate bar, or even candy melts here.
  • Unsalted Butter: Softened butter adds richness and flavor. Also, it keeps your frosting nice and smooth.
  • Powdered Sugar: Added for sweetness and a smooth texture.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla makes everything better! I recommend adding pure vanilla extract. It will give your frosting a deeper flavor.
  • Salt: A pinch is needed to enhance the flavor of your frosting.
  • Heavy Cream: Add if your frosting is too thick.

Let’s Get Baking!

In just a few steps, you’ll have an amazing holiday dessert on your hands! Gingerbread cake is a classic recipe I love coming back to each year. It’s simple and delicious!

  1. Preheat Oven, Prep Pans: First, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 2 8 inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. If you’d like you can add a parchment round in the bottom of the pan and give that a light spray of cooking spray as well, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have parchment.
  2. Sift Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  3. Mix in Wet Ingredients: To the same bowl, add the buttermilk, milk, vanilla, molasses, oil and eggs and beat with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or a hand mixer just until fully combined.
  4. Bake: Next, separate the batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when pressed on. Let cool completely.
  5. Frost: Frost with the white chocolate buttercream.
3 pictures of mixing together gingerbread cake batter.

Making White Chocolate Buttercream

  1. Melt: In a small bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Allow the fully melted chocolate to cool down for at least 10 minutes, until it is room temperature, not warm to the touch.
  2. Mix Butter and Chocolate: In a large bowl, add the softened butter and beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and light. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add in the cooled white chocolate until fully combined and smooth.
  3. Whip: Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and mix on low until nearly completely absorbed before increasing the speed to high. Whip for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy. If the texture of the frosting is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and mix on medium low to combine.
A full cake frosted with white chocolate buttercream, garnished with gingerbread crumbs and cranberries.

Gingerbread Cake Tips

Keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll be baking like a pro! I know you’re going to love how your gingerbread cake turns out! It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite recipes for Christmas.

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: The key to a lump-free batter is to use wet ingredients that are at room temperature. If possible, set your dairy products and eggs out on the counter 30 minutes before you begin baking.
  • Measure Flour: Be sure to measure out your flour. Adding too much or too little can keep your cake from having the right structure.
  • Don’t Overmix: Only mix your batter until smooth! If you overmix, gluten will develop in your batter and make your cake hard and rubbery.
  • Adding Nuts: Nuts are a great way to add a little extra flavor and texture! Walnuts and pecans go perfectly with the spiced flavor of gingerbread.
  • Switch Up Frosting: I used white chocolate buttercream in this recipe because it’s not too sweet and lets the gingerbread flavor shine through. If you want something more tangy and prominent, you can switch it up for cream cheese frosting instead!

A slice of gingerbread cake on a stoneware plate.

Storing Leftover Cake

In the rare event that you have leftovers of this tasty cake, here’s how to store and enjoy it later!

  • In the Refrigerator: Since there’s buttercream in this recipe, you’ll want to store your cake in the fridge. Wrap in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. It will keep for 4-5 days.

Closeup of cake slice and breaking off a piece with a fork.

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