If you’ve never made gingerbread cake for a fall or holiday dessert, you’re missing out! The warm spices and flavorful cake, topped with homemade whipping cream is Christmas in a dessert. Your whole family will agree that this is The Best Gingerbread Cake. I’m calling it right now that once you make this they will request it every year from here on out. It’s a favorite in our house, second only to this Out of This World Carrot Cake.
Every time I make this cake, I’m shocked all over again by how much EVERYONE loves it! Even my kids or other kids I serve it to beg for a second piece. Maybe this shouldn’t be such a surprise, but with the flavors being so full of spice, I always assume kids are going to turn their nose up at it. That couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to The Best Gingerbread Cake recipe. In fact, last time I made this Conner asked if he could have it or his birthday cake this year. Ha!
I always serve this cake warm with a giant scoop of homemade whipping cream. Those two are a fantastic pair. But if you want to take it up a notch, drizzle it with some caramel syrup. Homemade or store-bought caramel sauce is delicious. I’ve also heard that some people love it with sliced bananas on top.
More awesome holiday desserts
- Dreamy Toasted Coconut Cake
- Pumpkin Pecan Crunch
- Chocolate Cookie Pie
- Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Brown Butter Raspberry Pie
- Perfect Mint Brownies
step-by-step pictures for how to make the best gingerbread cake
Frequently asked questions about making The Best Gingerbread Cake
what size pan should i bake the gingerbread cake in?
The best size pan for this recipe is a 9×13. I use a glass 9×13 baking dish. Using this size gives a nice, traditional thickness to the cake.
if i don’t have molasses is there anything i can substitute in its place?
No, unfortunately molasses is a very unique ingredient. It’s crucial for the flavoring and texture of the cake. If you don’t have any molasses, just put this little recipe on the back burner until you can buy it at the store. It’s worth the wait!
can this cake be made gluten free?
I haven’t experimented with that myself, but I can’t imagine that it would be a problem if you have a good gluten-free flour blend. If you make it gluten free, come back and let me know how it turned out.
is it okay to use cool whip instead of homemade whipping cream?
Yes, of course it is okay! I just recommend the homemade whipping because it’s my favorite way to eat the cake, and it really adds an extra something.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 cup molasses
- 2½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup hot water
- TOPPING (homemade whipping cream)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup powder sugar (Granulated sugar works. Start with ⅓ cup and add more, if needed)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or with a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and softened butter for 1 minute.
- Add the egg and molasses and mix until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. (If you prefer, you can mix them all in a separate mixing bowl first and then add to wet ingredients). Mix well.
- When the wet and dry ingredients are combined, add in the cup of hot water. Mix again until nice and smooth. Start mixing on low, or you'll flip water everywhere.
- Once batter is smooth, pour into the prepared 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Add cream, powder sugar and vanilla in a medium-size mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until stiff peaks form.
- Serve warm cake with a generous scoop of homemade whipping cream. If desired, drizzle with caramel sauce and a dusting of cinnamon.
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