a slice of molasses gingerbread cake

Molasses Gingerbread Cake

Cakes, Southern Desserts

This gingerbread cake recipe with molasses is one I’ve been making for years. It has all the best flavors of Christmastime, and it’s a true crowd-pleaser.


If you’re not a huge fan of gingerbread, this old fashioned gingerbread cake recipe will turn you right around. This cake’s flavor profile is amazing, and it is soft and moist and all-around delightful. It’s the perfect dessert to make for Christmas.

This cake recipe is a nice and easy one. The one way this dessert won’t come out right is if it’s overcooked, so watch its baking time closely. Overcooking will make it dry. 

The 40-50 minutes baking time is for a bundt or tube pan. Those are deep and take more time than a square or round pan. If you use a 9″ square pan, reduce the baking time to about 35 minutes. Whichever cake pan you use, check your cake on the early side and keep an eye on it.

Store gingerbread cake leftovers in foil on the counter or in the refrigerator. This cake is even better on the second day – it becomes more moist and dense after sitting overnight. I love eating this cake’s leftovers for breakfast. I just pop my slice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Perfection.

Watch How to Make Gingerbread Cake

Which Type of Molasses Should You Use?

I’ve only made this recipe with unsulphured molasses. I always use the one called Grandma’s Original Molasses. It seems about right in the middle of light and dark molasses.

Blackstrap molasses, which is a triple-boiled dark molasses, might be too strong-tasting for this recipe, but if that’s your preference, try it out. 

I’ve read that using sulphured molasses will make for a terrible gingerbread cake, so would suggest avoiding that. This type seems uncommon anyway. Unsulphured molasses is what you’ll typically find at the grocery store.

What if you don’t like molasses at all? I have an alternative for you. Try our syrup cake. It’s a similar cake, using cane syrup instead of molasses.

Topping your Gingerbread Cake

This recipe uses a simple confectioner sugar icing for a slight amount of extra sweetness. Other options for your topping your cake:

  • Dust it with powdered sugar
  • Drizzle a warm lemon sauce on it 
  • Cream cheese frosting 
  • Whipped cream
  • Brown sugar glaze 
  • Caramel buttercream frosting
  • Caramel sauce
  • Sprinkle on some candied ginger

Or top it with nothing. This cake is also great plain, especially if you plan to enjoy it as a breakfast cake!

gingerbread molasses cake

Ingredients

Molasses Cake

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses unsulphured
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour or wheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water

Icing

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar or more as needed
  • water

Directions

Making the Molasses Gingerbread Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer or a hand mixer to cream together the sugar and softened butter. Beat in the egg, and then stir in the molasses.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg & butter mixture: the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Mix on low. Stir in the hot water.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until an inserted knife or toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let cool. Once cool, invert the cake onto a plate or rack.

Making the Icing

  1. Put the powdered confectioners sugar into a small bowl, and slowly add very small amounts of water, until a syrupy consistency is achieved.
  2. Drizzle over the cooled cake.


We hope you’ll enjoy our old fashioned gingerbread cake recipe!

a slice of molasses gingerbread cake

Gingerbread Cake with Molasses

This gingerbread cake recipe is one I've been making for years. It has all the best flavors for Christmastime, and it's a true crowd-pleaser.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 12
Calories 303 kcal

Ingredients
  

Molasses Cake

  • 1/2 cup white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses unsulphered
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water

Icing

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar or more as needed
  • water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer or a hand mixer to cream together the sugar and softened butter. Beat in the egg, and then stir in the molasses.
  • Stir the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt into the wet mixture. Mix on low. Stir in the hot water.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until an inserted knife or toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let cool. Once cool, invert the cake onto a plate or rack.
  • Put the powdered sugar into a small bowl, and slowly add very small amounts of water, until a syrupy consistency is achieved. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Notes

If using a 9″ square pan, reduce bake time to about 35 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 318mgPotassium: 451mgFiber: 1gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 257IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 3mg
Keyword christmas, gingerbread
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