Our Gingerbread Bundt Cake has amazing deeply warm and comforting spices in a soft and moist cake that is perfectly balanced by fluffy cream cheese icing. Place this beauty on a cake stand and let it shine as the centerpiece of your holiday dessert table!
There’s almost no flavor as connected to Christmas as gingerbread. Just the mention of it brings back holiday memories of cookie decorating (and eating!) and all those cute little cookie people lined up on a platter. And then there’s the gingerbread houses! So much fun!
Yes, gingerbread is the spice cake of the season. It’s marked by ginger, of course, and the deep flavor and color of molasses. Add other warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. We’ve struck the perfect balance of all of these flavors with this bundt cake, which is simple to put together but oh so impressive. Pipe lines of fluffy cream cheese buttercream over the top, with another dollop to fill the center of your cake for a cool and slightly tangy balance to all of those wintry spices.
Reverse Creaming Method
We’re using the tried and true reverse creaming method here and, of course, highly recommend you use a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients so that your cake turns out as moist and deliciously perfect as ours!
We talk all about the reverse creaming method way back in our lemon bundt cake post. Is the favorite method of the queen of cakes herself, Rose Levy Beranbaum, and she shares it in her book, The Cake Bible. This method produces a soft and tender texture while protecting against the over-development of gluten, which would make your cake more tough.
Must-Have Kitchen Scale
You’ve heard the talk about using a scale for baking before, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, go get yourself a kitchen scale and start weighing your ingredients! Your baked goods will thank you. You will have better, more consistent results with fewer dishes and less clean-up. All wins! This scale from OXO is our favorite. It would also make a great gift for you or the bakers in your life.
Prepping Your Pan
This is perhaps the trickiest and most important part of baking a bundt cake. It can be so frustrating to go to all the trouble of making a cake only to have it stick in either large or small pieces! Here’s what we’ve learned after more than a decade of baking.
#1 – Taking the time to properly prepare your pan is 100% worth it. Melt some butter and brush it onto every interior surface of your pan. Push the butter into all the little crevices so that you have a thin layer absolutely everywhere. Once you’ve done that, sprinkle in a little flour, then turn and tap the pan so that a light dusting covers the entire interior surface. Turn your pan over in the sink or over a trash can and tap to remove any excess flour.
Once you’ve done all this, look closely at your pan. Are there any spots with no flour? If not, great job! If so, simply dab a little more of the melted butter into that spot with your pastry brush and dust again with flour. Keep doing this until there are no more flourless spots. Trust us, if you leave any spots, they will be the death of you and your attempts to get your cake out of the pan without sticking!
#2 – Let your cake cool completely before attempting to remove it from the pan. This is important because as your cake cools, two things happen. The first is that the cake shrinks slightly and will pull itself away from the pan all by itself, making it come out that much easier. Secondly, your cake needs a bit of time to finish setting after baking. If you try to turn it out while it is still hot in the middle, these parts will crumble and your cake will want to break instead of holding together.
Patience is your friend! Still, sometimes your cake will have a mind of its own and stick anyway. If that happens, remember it still tastes amazing and everyone is always impressed by a trifle, too. So, cut up that cake, layer it with the frosting, and call it done!
Need a bundt pan? Or simply want a new one? This is a great time to snag some deals and there are a ton of pans to choose from in all sorts of designs (find a huge list here). Look for heavy pans with a nonstick coating. Nordicware has some really great and pretty options, like this one, this one, or this one.
Mixing Your Cake
Back to the mixing method. You start by mixing your dry ingredients together, then add your butter until it’s broken into small pieces. We add the ginger with the butter because butter (or any fat) is great at carrying flavor. When the butter is mixed in, add the almond milk and mix for a full minute and a half. Scrape the bowl before adding your eggs, which you’ve whisked up with vanilla and molasses. You’ll add this mixture in two parts, mixing on a higher speed in between so that everything is thoroughly combined. Pour it into your prepped bundt pan and bake!
Finishing Your Gingerbread Bundt Cake
While your cake is cooling, mix up your frosting. We’ve iced this cake in the style of Nothing Bundt Cakes, placing thick lines of icing in the natural dips of our cake. Follow the lines made by your own cake pan.
You can use a ziptop baggie with a corner cut off or use a pastry bag fitting with a medium or large round tip. When you’ve piped your lines, pipe any remaining icing into the center of your cake. Decorate with chopped crystallized ginger or some pretty sanding sugar (we used rose gold on ours). Cut and serve!
Leftovers can be wrapped well and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Of course, the cake is better when it’s eaten within a couple of days of baking. Bring it all back to room temperature before eating.
Want More Cake?
Here are some more options for amazing cakes to serve up this holiday season!
The Most Amazing Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cake:
- 11-1/4 ounces (1-1/2 cups) brown sugar
- 6 ounces (1-3/4 cups) cake flour
- 3-2/3 ounces (3/4 cup) all purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) almond milk, at room temperature
- 3 whole large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons molasses
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 ounces (1-1/2 cups) sifted powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 ounces plain cream cheese, at room temperature and cut into cubes
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a Bundt pan by brushing it thoroughly with melted butter then dusting it with flour. Set aside.
- Combine Dry Ingredients: Place the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until all ingredients are evenly distributed, about 30 seconds.
- Add Butter: Cut the butter into pieces and add to the flour mixture along with the grated ginger. Continue mixing on low speed until the butter is broken up into small pea-sized pieces.
- Add Milk and Eggs: Pour in the milk and mix until the flour is moistened, then turn the mixer to medium-high and mix for 1-1/2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.While the mixer is running, whisk together your eggs, vanilla, and molasses in a medium bowl. At the end of the 1-1/2 minutes, scrape the sides and bottom of your mixer bowl. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly pour half of the whisked egg mixture in at the edge, then turn the mixer to high for 30 seconds. Return the mixer to low, add the rest of the egg mixture, then mix again on high speed for another 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides again to make sure everything is fully combined, then pour the batter into your prepared Bundt pan.
- Bake and Cool: Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched with a finger and a toothpick inserted in the center comes back with moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool completely in the pan on a wire cooling rack, then invert onto a plate to remove the cake from the pan.
- Start the Frosting by Whipping Your Butter: While the cake is cooling, make your frosting. Begin by using the paddle attachment and your stand mixer to beat the softened butter on medium speed for 5-6 minutes, until the butter is light in color and fluffy. You may need to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally to keep the butter engaged with the paddle.
- Add Powdered Sugar: Sift together your powdered sugar and salt, then add it to your mixer bowl along with the vanilla and mix first on low, then on medium, for another 4 minutes. The mixture should be very light.
- Add Cream Cheese: Add your softened cream cheese and mix on low speed until smooth. Be careful not to mix it for too long at this stage or your icing will become too soft and may become runny.
- Decorate and Serve: When your cake is completely cool, place the icing in a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip (#12 or bigger) or use a ziptop bag with one corner cut to create a 1/4-inch hole. Squeeze gently and steadily to pipe lines from the middle to the outside of the cake in the style of Nothing Bundt Cakes.
- For a festive topping that brings another hit of ginger, chop crystallized ginger into pieces and sprinkle on top of the icing. If the ginger pieces are too sticky, toss them in a bit of granulated sugar before sprinkling them onto your cake.
- For cupcakes, bake for about 25 minutes. Mini-cupcakes will bake in about 18 minutes. Look for the same signs as above that the cakes are done baking.
- You can also make this into a layer cake. The batter will fill two 8-inch round pans. Simply prepare the pans by spraying them with cooking spray or brushing them with melted butter, then lining the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Quadruple the icing recipe and use it to both fill and frost your cake.
- If your icing becomes too soft, cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to firm up the butter and cream cheese slightly, then mix again on low until it is smooth.
- Leftover icing should be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Let it warm to room temperature, then mix briefly to smooth and lighten it again before using.
- Leftover cake with the frosting should also be stored in the refrigerator but allowed to come to room temperature before serving. Unfrosted cake can be stored tightly covered at room temperature for 4-5 days (but tastes best if eaten within 2-3 days).