Gingerbread Cakes

Gingerbread Cakes

It’s Christmas Eve, and so my husband and I are about to hop in the car to visit his side of the family. I’m brining along these cute little gingerbread cakes to share for dessert.

These cakes are spicy and dense (in a good way) with just a tad of lemon cream cheese frosting to complement them. They have the consistency of a cake-y brownie but the flavor of gingerbread cookies. The petite cakes are about the size of cupcakes, but with a touch more style.

Frosting the sides of the cakes turned out to be a disaster. Feel free to try it, but all the cake crumbs made for a messy finish, even with a crum layer of icing to minimize them. I prefer the look of these bare-sided cakes, which has the extra benefit of better proportion of frosting to cake. If you like frosting but are easily overwhelmed by it, leaving the sides unfinished might be a good solution for you, too.

I baked these as 8×8 sheet cakes and then used a biscuit cutter to punch out small rounds after the cake had baked and cooled. You can also just make cupcakes if you don’t want to deal with the assembly.

Gingerbread Cakes

Gingerbread Cakes
Makes 9 small layer cakes

2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Ginger
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Molasses (unsulphured, like Grandma’s brand)
2/3 Cup Hot Water
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Ener-g Egg, optional

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1 lb Confectioner’s Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest from 1 Lemon

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Mix the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl until well combined.

Prepare two 8×8 baking pans as follows: grease the pans with margarine. Lay a square of parchment paper down in the inside of the pans, cut to fit the bottoms. Grease the paper as well. Use some of the try mixture you just made to flour the pans, shaking/tapping out any extra.

Whisk molasses and hot water together.

Cream the margarine and sugar. Whip the mixture with the optional Ener-g egg until light and fluffy.

Creaming Earth Balance and Sugar

Add part of the molasses mixture and part of the margarine and sugar mixture to the dry ingredients. Begin to combine. As the ingredients come together, add more of the margarine mixture and more of the molasses mixture until everything has been incorporated. Whisk to remove lumps, but to not over-mix.

Gingerbread Cake Batter

Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans. Bake at 350º F for 30-40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean, or the top of the cake, when touched, springs back. Let cakes cool completely, then remove from the pan. You may need to use a knife to loosen the edges, but the parchment paper should keep the bottoms from sticking.

Gingerbread Cake Batter

Once the cakes have cooled and have been removed from the pans, use a small biscuit cutter to cut 9 rounds from each cake.

Gingerbread Cake Rounds

Prepare frosting by beating all of the frosting ingredients in a stand mixee until well combined and fluffy.

Place a small amount of frosting on 9 rounds.

Filling the cakes

Stack the rounds.

Filled Cakes

Place the rest of the frosting in a piping bag and frost the top of each cake.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I garnished them with green and red nonpareils, but maraschino cherries would be awesome! Keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.

I hope you all have a great holiday season!

Gingerbread Cakes


  1. Chris

    Looking great. These pictures are marvelous! And the cake itself sounds like it is packed with holiday flavor (if there is such a thing).

    Biscuit cutters are definitely going on my post-Christmas list :P

  2. Lynn

    These are cute as a button! I might nudge my husband to try making them with some non-wheat flour — what the hey!

    Merry Christmas from a mostly-lurker!!

  3. bex

    Super cute and great presentation. I love ideas that let you make something impressive looking without taking loads of time or strange single use equipment. Happy Holidays!

  4. DJ Karma (VegSpinz)

    I am putting on pounds as I write this… love the Holidays- haha! The cut-outs are a cute idea- you could even cut out other shapes like Christmas trees or stars. I am definitely one of those people who don’t like a lot of frosting, so you could even fill it and dust the top with some powdered or colored sugar. NICE!

  5. laci

    Those gingerbread cakes are just simply adorable! so petite and creative, it’s certainly book worthy! Maybe you could try the batter in cupcakes instead of cutting out little rounds so much of the cake doesn’t have to go to waste… thanks! =] Merry christmas and happy newyear!

  6. reader in memphis

    You’re blog is so inspiring. I hope 2009 brings you many wonderful culinary moments captured for the internet to see.

  7. anonymous vegan

    your blog sucks. every recipe looks so good and tasty and when I make it its a big pile of sloppy mush. (actually your blog is amazing and I am the sucker)

  8. Kiersten

    Those look great! I am a little burnt out on sweets right now after all the Christmas cookies, but after it wears off I am going to try these. I love gingerbread.

  9. ling

    these are adorable! i made a batch and got nothing but compliments on how cute they were. i decorated the top with crushed candy cane instead of nonpareils–still v cute/festive. thanks for the great recipe!

  10. Beverly

    I just found your site by doing a search for homemade vegetable broth. I plan to use your recipe, but I am also bookmarking your site. Your pictures are beautiful and the recipes look so fun and yummy!

    Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  11. Tails

    Wow these look fantastic! I’m going to try them as soon as I’ve lost the weight I put on during Christmas time hahaha! I assume I can use non-vegan ingredients in place of the vegan ones?

  12. River (aka Pat)

    Gingerbread cakes! It reminds me of childhood – but then of course the winter holidays always remind me of childhood. I like the sides bare btw – that way the taste of the ginger has its way with the taste buds! Five pounds to go and then . . . Have a wonderful 2009 – and I’ll be visiting here more often, you bet!

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  14. Heidi

    I know its way after Christmas, but I just noticed these. And mmmm do they look good. I wonder if it would be possible to make these in a muffin tin and then cut the muffins in half and put icing in between o.o Or maybe they’d stick too much :/ I don’t know, but either way I’m going to try them :D

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  16. Kathleen

    I am trying this recipe for the Holidays..!! Thanks for sharing…
    Not sure if anyone has shared this with you, a trick I learned when it comes to icing…freeze the cake first and then icing hard to places like the the sides or a cake that will produce crumbs…

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