Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

Moist Gingerbread Layer Cake Recipe

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This Gingerbread Layer Cake is a beautiful way to serve your favorite holiday flavored cake! Rich gingerbread layers with a perfect homemade buttercream is topped with gingerbread men to create a Christmas cake idea everyone enjoys.

If you love gingerbread, you will also love these Gingerbread Donuts or my old-fashioned gingerbread cake.  So many amazing ginger-flavored options to choose from this holiday season you won’t run out of new ideas!

Gingerbread Layer Cake

Gingerbread Layer Cake

I love this simple triple-layer cake recipe.  A wonderful combination of moist gingerbread and a homemade cream cheese frosting make this a hit during the holidays!

Another favorite thing about this gingerbread layer cake is how beautiful it is to serve.  A single slice of this cake is large and satisfying.  It goes a long way at the dessert buffet and it is stunning presentation everyone will praise you over!

Gingerbread layer cake on a white plate on white table topped with cookie

Tips for Frosting a Gingerbread Layer Cake

When you are frosting a layer cake, you want to use an angled spatula. This will let you smooth the sides of the cake easily. You will also want to make sure you are adding enough frosting to each layer and let the excess slide over the sides.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to let your cake cool completely before frosting it.  A chilled cake is ideal for frosting.

If you want more variety to serve, you may like my recipe for this gingerbread fudge recipe or even the gingerbread crinkle cookies that are easy to make and delicious.

Gingerbread Layer Cake

Ingredients for a Gingerbread Layer Cake

  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Molasses
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Salt
  • Whole milk
  • Water
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Nutmeg
  • Small Gingerbread men
  • Rosemary

Other Things You Will Need

  • 3- 8 inch round cake pans
  • Baking spray
  • Parchment paper
  • Electric mixer w/ mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • Large bowl
  • Small measuring cup
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Cake plate
  • Serrated knife
  • Offset spatula
  • Pastry bag
  • Large round tip

How to Make a Gingerbread Layer Cake

Begin by preheating the oven as directed and prepare your cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper.  Set these aside until later.

Now, combine the butter and sugar until fluffy and then mix in the molasses and vanilla mixing well.  Add your eggs one at a time scraping down the sides as you go.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Now, you will mix half of the dry ingredients into the wet batter.  Mix this well, and then add in your milk and water and continue to beat until completely combined.

Divide the cake batter into the three pans and bake as directed.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

To make your frosting, you will beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth, then add in your powdered sugar slowly until it is completely smooth.  You can mix in the vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar now and any additional powdered sugar until the consistency you want.

Assembling the Gingerbread Layer Cake

Once the cakes have cooled completely, you will trim off the excess to make the tops flat.  Now, use one cup of the frosting and spread onto the first layer evenly.  Add a second cake layer and icing and repeat.

Layering gingerbread cake for gingerbread layer cake with icing between layers

When the final layer is in place, finish frosting the outside of the cake.

Icing a gingerbread layer cake

Scoop the remaining frosting into a piping bag and add large dollops of frosting around the outside of the cake.  To finish the cake, you will sprinkle the top with some nutmeg or cinnamon and add a few gingerbread men and rosemary to the top of the cake.

Gingerbread layer cake on a white cake stand topped with gingerbread cookies

Servings: 12

Gingerbread Layer Cake

Prep Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time:
27 mins
Make a Gingerbread Layer Cake as the ideal decadent dessert during the holidays. Loaded with fresh ginger and homemade cream cheese frosting between each layer, this is a hit at every holiday event.


Cake Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 C brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 C molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs room temp
  • 2 3/4 C flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C whole milk
  • 1/4 C water

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 16 oz cream cheese room temp
  • 3/4 C unsalted butter room temp
  • 10 C powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Small Gingerbread men
  • Rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prep the three cake pans with baking spray.
  3. Line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper circles.

Cake Directions:

  1. Add butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until it is light in color and is fluffy. (Cream for at least 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp of the time)
  2. Now you can mix in the molasses and vanilla to the mixing bowl Mix well until combined with the butter/sugar mixture. Continue to mix until the molasses is completely mixed. As necessary scrape down the sides of the bowl to mix.

  3. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix well after each egg has been added. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
  4. In another large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a small measuring cup add the milk and water. Set aside.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter. Mix until well incorporated. Pour in the milk and water mixture beating until well combined. (Batter may have the appearance of being curdled.)
  6. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

  7. The batter will have the appearance of being smooth. There will no longer have the appearance of being curdled. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.

  8. Divide the cake batter between the three prepared cake pans.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 24-27 minutes. (Or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with very few crumbs.)
  10. Remove the baked cakes from the oven. Set the cakes aside to allow them to cool slightly. (About 2-3 minutes)
  11. Once the cakes have cooled, remove them from the pans to begin frosting.

  12. Wash mixing bowl and beaters to prep to use for the frosting.

Frosting Directions:

  1. Add the cream cheese and butter to the mixing bowl. Beat until the butter and cream cheese are well combined.
  2. Begin to slowly add half of the powdered sugar. Beat until all ingredients are combined and the texture is smooth.
  3. Continue to beat the mixture while adding the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beating until smooth. Slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar beating until smooth.

Assembling the Cake Directions:

  1. Using a large serrated knife remove the top (domes) from the top of each layer of the cake.
  2. Position the first layer of the cake on the serving/cake plate. Measure out one cup of frosting spreading it evenly on the first cake layer.
  3. You will now add the second cake layer. Spread another cup of frosting onto that layer of cake.

  4. Add the third (3rd) layer of the cake on top.
  5. Set aside some of the remaining frosting.
  6. Frost the outside of the cake with some of the remaining frosting. Using an offset spatula to spread the frosting.
  7. Scoop the remaining frosting into the pastry bag fitted with a large round tip to pipe dollops around the top of the cake.
  8. Sprinkle the top of the cake with nutmeg. Add the gingerbread men and rosemary to the top of the cake if desired.
  9. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. (Cake is best served at room temperature.)
  10. Cover the cake with plastic wrap.
  11. The cake will still be good for 2-3 days.
Nutrition Facts
Gingerbread Layer Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 985 Calories from Fat 333
% Daily Value*
Fat 37g57%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 144mg48%
Sodium 260mg11%
Potassium 552mg16%
Carbohydrates 159g53%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 134g149%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 1307IU26%
Calcium 175mg18%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Gingerbread Layer Cake

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