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Easy Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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The gingerbread flavor in this easy Gingerbread Cake is perfect for the season. The addition of frosting adds a touch of sweetness and creaminess. The best part about this Christmas cake however, is that the recipe uses a spice cake mix, making it super simple. Happy baking!

Serving a slice of gingerbread bundt cake with frosting.
Table of Contents

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is a good holiday dessert! Everything from peppermint chocolate cheesecake and double-layer holiday fudge to gingerbread men cookies and this delicious gingerbread Bundt cake recipe.

Using a spice cake mix does a lot of the work for you because it is already filled with wonderful warm spices. Add an additional bit of cinnamon and ginger for even more flavor.

Top this easy cake recipe with your favorite store bought frosting and gingerbread sprinkles for a finishing touch that anyone can do.

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What goes into this Recipe

The ingredients needed to make a gingerbread cake with a cake mix.
  • Spice boxed cake mix: This is the perfect base for gingerbread cake because of the spices in the cake mix. Plus, all the measuring is already done for you, so it’s super easy to just add a few extra ingredients.
  • Ground ginger: While there is ginger in the spice cake mix, extra is added for the awesome ginger taste we all know and love.
  • Cinnamon: I like to add cinnamon for extra spice and flavor.
  • Vegetable Oil: You can substitute melted butter for the vegetable oil.  Either will give you a moist gingerbread bundt cake.
  • Molasses: This is the key ingredient that gives it that classic gingerbread flavor. It also adds sweetness and a bit of dense texture to the cake.
  • Milk: Milk helps keep the cake moist and full of richness.
  • Eggs: You’ll need three large eggs to help hold everything together and to add an awesome chewy texture.
  • Frosting: To make it extra special, top your gingerbread cake with a cream cheese frosting. It’s deliciously sweet and provides an amazing contrast in flavor.  If you prefer to make your own frosting, try the cream cheese frosting from this Snickerdoodle Cake.
  • Caramel: Drizzle over the top for a little added amazingness.
  • Gingerbread Sprinkles: Sprinkle over the top of the cake so that everyone knows exactly what kind of cake it is.

See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Citrus Twist: Add a zesty twist to the cake by incorporating some citrus flavor. Add orange zest to the cake batter and prepared frosting for a refreshing and aromatic flavor.
  • Mocha Gingerbread: Enhance the richness of your gingerbread cake by stirring in a tablespoon of instant coffee granules into the cake batter. This will give your cake a subtle coffee undertone that complements the gingerbread spices.
  • Chocolate Lover’s Dream: If you’re a fan of chocolate, consider adding cocoa powder, chocolate chips or chunks to the batter. The combination of chocolate and gingerbread is a match made in dessert heaven.
  • Maple Glaze: Replace the caramel topping with a drizzle of maple syrup. The maple syrup will add a unique sweetness and complement the gingerbread spices.
  • Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting: Give your cream cheese frosting an extra kick by adding a pinch of nutmeg, cloves, and a dash of cinnamon. This spiced frosting will pair beautifully with the gingerbread cake.

How to make a Gingerbread Cake

  1. Start by combining the spice cake mix, ground ginger, cinnamon, vegetable oil, molasses, milk, and eggs in a large bowl. Now, mix using a handheld (or stand) mixer until everything is incorporated.
  2. Next, pour the gingerbread cake batter into a bundt pan that has been liberally sprayed with nonstick baking spray.  Then, bake in a 350°F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs (but not any raw cake batter). 
Steps 1 and 2 of making a gingerbread cake. 1, make the batter and pour into pan. 2, bake in a 350 degree oven.
  1. Next, allow the cake to cool in the bundt pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then invert it onto your cake plate.
  2. Once the cake is completely cooled, top it with prepared vanilla (or cream cheese) frosting, drizzle with caramel, and sprinkle with gingerbread sprinklesServe and enjoy!
Steps 3 and 4 of making a gingerbread cake. 3, add cream cheese frosting. 4, top with caramel and sprinkles.

Expert Tips

  • Start with a good nonstick Bundt pan. This will ensure that the cake will easily release from the pan.
  • Spray the bundt pan with cooking spray right before you pour batter into the pan.  If you spray the pan too soon it will pool at the bottom and can make it hard to remove the cake from the pan.
  • Spread the cake batter out into an even layer. That will help the cake bake evenly.
  • Do not over bake the festive gingerbread bundt cake.  It is important that you remove the bundt cake pan from the oven once there are crumbs on the toothpick.  This ensures that you have a nice tender crumb.
  • Wait 10 minutes before inverting the cake out of the pan. This will cool the cake just enough for it to release from the sides and easily come out of the prepared pan.
  • Make sure the cake is completely cooled before adding the frosting. If you try to do this step too soon the frosting will melt.

Storing and Freezing

Store: This Gingerbread Cake recipe is best stored in the refrigerator in either an airtight container or covered tightly in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

Freeze: You can freeze this gingerbread bundt cake for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it tightly without frosting, caramel, and sprinkles. Store it in an airtight container.

When ready to serve, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then frost it with your favorite cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!

Recipe FAQs

What kind of molasses should I use?

For the best results, you should use light or mild molasses for this recipe. Dark molasses has a stronger flavor, and it will overpower the other flavors in the gingerbread cake mix.

Grandma’s unsulphured molasses brand is the one I use, but there are other great brands as well.  I do not recommend blackstrap molasses as it can have a stronger flavor that tends to be more bitter.

What if I don’t have a spice cake mix?

If you don’t have a spice cake mix, no worries! You can make one using a yellow cake mix with a few added spices.

The ratio is:
1 yellow cake mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of either ground cloves or allspice.

Combine the ingredients and whisk until everything is evenly incorporated.

What is gingerbread?

Although the definition of gingerbread is a cake made with molasses and flavored with ginger, in the dessert world, it refers to many different baked goods. All of these desserts are flavored with ginger and sweetened naturally with items like molasses or honey.

In fact, the flavor of gingerbread comes in many different forms. My favorites are these easy gingerbread cookies and this amazing gingerbread cake recipe!

A finished gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting and caramel.

Do you love Bundt Cake Recipes?  Try these…

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a ⭐️ review below and tag @practicallyhomemade on Pinterest!

A finished gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting.

Easy Gingerbread Cake Recipe with a Cake Mix

Spice cake mix and other easy to find ingredients are transformed into the ultimate Gingerbread and baked in a Bundt pan. This holiday cake is festive, fun and totally delicious.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 529kcal
4.29 from 42 votes
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Ingredients

Gingerbread Cake

  • 1 box spice cake mix {13.25 ounces}
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup milk {I used 1%}
  • 3 eggs

Toppings

  • 1 cup prepared cream cheese frosting {or vanilla}
  • 3 tablespoons caramel topping
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread sprinkles

Instructions

  • First, preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare your bundt pan by liberally spraying it with nonstick spray and set aside.

Gingerbread Cake

  • Combine the spice cake mix, ground ginger, cinnamon, vegetable oil, molasses, milk and eggs in a medium bowl. Use a handheld {or stand} mixer to combine the ingredients until everything is incorporated. Pour the gingerbread cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan, making sure it is in an even layer.
  • Then, bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only a few crumbs. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting the Bundt cake onto your serving plate.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled, spread the prepared frosting over the top of the cake, drizzle the frosting with caramel topping and sprinkle with gingerbread sprinkles. Serve or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • Use a nonstick Bundt pan for easy cake release.
  • Spread the batter evenly for even baking.
  • Make homemade cream cheese frosting from the Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake recipe.
  • Wait 10 minutes before inverting the cake to help it release from the pan.
  • Store the Gingerbread Cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
     

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 478mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 4mg
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I added fresh grated ginger, cloves, nutmeg, all spice, and orange zest! It was amazing!

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