Gingerbread Cake with Molasses Buttercream {Holiday Classic}

A classic moist and flavorful gingerbread cake with molasses buttercream and salted caramel drizzle. A holiday dessert that will surely become a new favorite!

Gingerbread Cake with Molasses Buttercream

I am one of those people who goes to their doctors once a year just because. I see my family physician, woman doctor, and eye doctor to get my yearly physical. I also always get those appointments done in the last two weeks of the year because there is just something about starting the new year with a clean bill of health. Or it could just be that I’m paranoid whatever.

Gingerbread Cake with Molasses Buttercream

Anyway I went to my family physician yesterday and he asked me the usual doctor small talk staples “so what’s new with you since I last saw you?” “Have you been exercising?”. And I of course went was like “oh nothing, still in school chugging along”. But it took a minute before it hit me that something was new since I last saw him. I have a blog and I spend a lot of my free time playing with flour and butter or plugged online. Are these symptoms I should relate? Lol! He just said ” Make sure you get your eyes looked at because it looks like you spend a lot of time in front of a screen.”. So eye doctor here I come!!

But just the act of telling him I have a baking blog and I have met so many amazing people (yes, you!) I connect with daily and that I just went to Minneapolis to bake in the Pillsbury kitchens made me realize my life is definitely different from it was a year ago. Having this little space online where I share my favorite recipes and talk cake cupcakes and macarons with people I can call friends has changed my world in ways I cannot even begin to fathom. But I will save the mushy stuff for the week after next when I celebrate the actual one year of the blog.

Gingerbread Cake with Molasses Buttercream

At the end of my doctor’s visit, I was sent home with a healthy stamp and a recommendation to take Vitamin D supplements (apparently I’m a hermit) and to exercise more (what’s new). I took this as a cause to celebrate so I cuddled up with a cup of tea and a slice of this flavorful gingerbread cake while watching Pride & Prejudice. There is something about the combination of molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon and Colin Firth that is just so comforting. This holiday classic is easy to whip up in no time. The gingerbread cake is moist and flavorful. Not too sweet and has a great balance of molasses and spices. I topped the cake off with a simple molasses buttercream and drizzled a little salted caramel for decoration. You can leave this off if you like but I loved the added salty flavor up against the sweet molasses.

Gingerbread Cake with Molasses Buttercream

Make this flavorful gingerbread cake this holiday season as your family and loved ones gather. And once you get a minute or two, call your doctors (family physician and woman doctor if you are a girl) to set up your yearly physical appointments. It is important to stay on top of your health :)

Hope you have a great last weekend before Christmas! I’ll be one of those scrambling to start my shopping!

Gingerbread Cake with Molasses Buttercream
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A classic moist and flavorful gingerbread cake with molasses buttercream and salted caramel drizzle. A holiday dessert that will surely become a new favorite!
Yield: 1 9-inch round cake
INGREDIENTS
Gingerbread Cake
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
Molasses Buttercream
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ -2 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons molasses (more if you want a sweeter frosting)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (if needed)
  • Topping:
  • Salted caramel (optional)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round pan with Pam baking spray (or butter and flour) and line with parchment circles. Grease parchment and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add egg, molasses and vanilla extract and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, starting and ending with flour mixture and beating on low speed after each addition until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm.
Frosting
  1. Whip butter on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, molasses and salt and mix on low speed for 1 minute until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and whip for 2-3 minutes.
  2. If frosting is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream and beat on medium speed for an additional minute or two.
  3. Spread frosting on top of cake and smooth using an offset spatula. Drizzle with some salted caramel if desired.
ZAINAB'S NOTES
A Blahnik Baker Original. You could make this a gingerbread latte cake by adding ½ cup brewed coffee instead of buttermilk and/or 1 teaspoon coffee extract or instant espresso powder. Also, I added a few drops of white coloring to make the buttercream lighter in color.

Gingerbread Cake with Molasses Buttercream

Comments

  1. marcie says

    Oh, this looks scrumptious! I’m such a huge fan of gingerbread and that molasses buttercream looks so creamy and irresistible. I go to the doctor religiously every year like you — one can’t be too careful! Congrats on your upcoming blogiversary! That’s so exciting. :)

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thank you so much Marcie!! The buttercream was so easy to just lick on it’s own…dangerous I tell you. I’m so glad you are like me too. You can’t be too careful indeed :). I’m excited about the blogiversary and might do a similar giveaway as you :0. Have a happy Holiday my friend!!

  2. Amy | Club Narwhal says

    Aw, I love this, Zainab! What a fun way to look at all the amazing things you have been able to achieve this year. Also, I am a sucker for gingerbread in any form and this cake looks like perfection!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thank you Amy!! I am not using a memory lane kind of girl but this year has truly been amazing and I have met so many friends, present company being on my top list!! So glad we are friends. Have a great holiday!!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      That’s my favorite movie!! And I always watch it around this time of the year I don’t know why. It was just perfect with this cake. Thank you so much my dear for always being here. You are one my favorites too and always look forward to your recipes :) I hope you have a great weekend and A Merry Christmas!!

  3. Emily {Pink Tiger in the Kitchen} says

    So it’s like you totally read my mind by posting this cake! I’ve been trying to think of what to make for dessert this coming week and this sounds PERFECT!! I mean you can’t go wrong with gingerbread spices and molasses!! Plus throw in some Colin Firth…. yes please! :)

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Yay!! I got magic powers!! I’m glad you can try this for the holiday. It is so simple and easy to make so perfect. Just remember to serve fresh and slightly warm. Have a happy holiday dear :)

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thank you Jessica!! I am loving the new camera :) It was the best early present ever lol! Thanks for pinning and sharing. Hope you have a great holiday!!

  4. Jamie | Jamie's Recipes says

    Gingerbread cake, cup of tea, and Pride and Prejudice all at the same time?! It is like you know me :) I don’t know what it is about salted caramel but that stuff is so addicting, you know I will be heavy handedly drizzling it on my cake.

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Hahha looks like we need to hang out together :) It will be perfect. Nothing beats a Colin Firth afternoon on a cold day!! And you are right, salted caramel kills!! So good. Thank you very much my dear. Hope you have a great holiday season. Merry Christmas!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thank you Renee!! I was excited too and so I ate cake…probably not the best but hey…who is checking :O Have a great weekend dear!

  5. Allie | Baking a Moment says

    Oooh, girl, this cake looks wonderful! I love how simple it looks yet the flavors sound so complex and exciting! Beautiful pics, I can see you are really doing well with that new camera! This is such a lovely post and you’ve articulated so many of my own feelings about blogging too…

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thank you so much my dear!! The camera is ridiculously fun to play with and it’s pushing me. I love it to say the least. Blogging has been the best thing this year…brought me so many blessings like you :)

  6. Julie @ This Gal Cooks says

    Speaking of doctors, I need to schedule my yearly with my GYN! And I need to find a general doctor in my area so I can start getting yearly physicals again. I should schedule all of that soon!

    This cake looks lovely, Zainab! I’d eat a tiny slice right now, even though I’m staying away from sugar for a bit. Pinned! Have a lovely weekend!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Yay!! Get those doctors appointment in soon, especially that you have school later in the year. It always makes me feel so much better to know everything is going great. Thank you so much for your sweet comments always!! Definitely one of my favorite blogging friends and so glad I started this blog!! Hope you have a happy holiday!!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Well hello there Tina (said beautiful cake! lol). Thank you so much for you sweet comment. I totally think we need that campaign!!! We are good girls already for staying on top of our visits and passing lol!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Oh nice I reminded you. The eye doctor is important for us with all this screen time! Thank you so much for the sweet comment. Hope you have a great weekend :) and a happy holiday!!

  7. Laura Dembowski says

    It makes me very nervous to go to the doctor. I do go sometimes when I need too, but I think we focus to much on doctors and tests and medicine. I do take Vitamin D + Calcium, fish oil, and biotin. I love Vitafusion vitamins – they’re like candy! I also love this cake. It looks fab!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Oooo I like your recommendation for Vitamins thanks!! I don’t like doctors much (my scientist issues) but I do think that yearly check ups are necessary because they prevent lots of surprises. Most things can be better treated if caught earlier on.

  8. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says

    I love reflecting on the past year. You have achieved so many accomplishments with this blog. I love following along, Zainab! I laughed when I read your doctor story because I imagine my next appointment will be very similar. My exercise routine decreased to only 3-4 days a week and it really had an effect on me. I’m hoping to get back up to 6 days after the new year.

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thank you so much Ashley!! it means so much to me that you are so supportive and always here to share this space with me :) BTW, you are doing good with 3-4 times a week. I wish I did that. I need to get back in shape lol!

  9. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet says

    Okay seriously I am one of those who hate going to any doctor and wait and wait till I get tired of hearing my husband and finally make an appointment. And what do they say.. Vitamin D and exercise! Wow almost a year we are so close in blogging age!! :) and pride and prejudice! My all time favorite movie and know like every word. Lastly this is long so I will just say the cake is AMAZING!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      I know I don’t like them either!! So I suck it up and go once a year to make sure all is good and I can go back to living away from them lol. We are very close in blogging age and I was so happy to celebrate your blogiversary a few weeks ago :)

  10. Emily @ Life on Food says

    Gingerbread just screams Christmas!! This cake looks great, specially with the pretty frosting. I laughed when I read the first paragraph. I have an eye doctors and the family physician appointment both on the 31st. Nothing like the last minute.

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thanks Emily!! SO funny you have your eye doctors already. I need to schedule mine which I am sure will be in January. I have a feeling I might need glasses with all this screen time this year lol! Hope you are having a great weekend and all ready fro Christmas!

  11. Catherine says

    Wonderful that you got a clean bill of health. A wonderful Christmas present.

    The cake sounds comforting and delicious for the holiday.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Blessed New Year. Catherine xo

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Dear Catherine, Thank you very much for your sweet comment!! I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year too!! Hope you have a happy and safe holiday :)

  12. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs says

    I feel like I spend most of my life in the doctor due to sport related injures and my poor eyes :–( Not nice, not nice.
    But these bars??? Oh. Gosh. Not only do they look gorgeous (seriously, your pictures are amazing!), but I’m sure they also smell and taste delish, don’t they? Oooooh, I want a piece right now!
    Enjoy your weekend! xo

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Oh Consuelo you gotta be more careful lol! Otherwise you won’t get to the marathon. Thank you so much for the sweet comment!! Hope you are enjoying your weekend too :)

  13. Kumar's Kitchen says

    yes yes yes…this is going to be a part of our new holiday tradition….whats not to love in this cake…the molasses butter cream and salted caramel topped on a spiced gingerbread…heavenly food and beautiful food clicks as always,thanks so much for the inspiration :-)

  14. Kelly says

    This cake looks gorgeous Zainab! I love the salted caramel frosting with this gingerbread cake – it sounds incredible:) Yay for a clean bill of health for the new year and congrats on your upcoming blogiversary! I love all of your creative and yummy goodies and beautiful pics (from your old and new camera) and totally agree to the wonderful friends you get to meet :) Pinning and hope you have a great weekend and an amazing holiday :)

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Kelly thank you so much :). You always make me smile with your sweet comments! Hope you have a great weekend. Happy holidays :)

  15. Lawyer Loves Lunch says

    Hello! I wandered on by from Ash’s blog and I’m so glad I did! I’m not a huge fan of gingerbread cookies (something about the texture is too weird) but I can definitely get behind this cake, especially with the addition of caramel!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Hi!! It’s so nice to have you over here. I’ll have to thank Ash next time I’m over. Gingerbread cake is much better than the cookies if I must say so myself lol! Nothing beats a warm slice of spiced cake like this. Hope you can give it a try. Happy Holidays to you and the family!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thank you so much Deb! And how did I not know you lived in MN? And in Rochester? My adopted home state! The Mayo clinic is my dream job after grad school. So glad i found out that little fact today. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday!!

  16. Monet says

    Beautiful cake, my friend! I adore gingerbread, and I have yet to make gingerbread cookies or a cake this year. I will have to make this one happen…and soon! Thank you for sharing this sweetness! I hope you have a blessed Christmas!

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Thanks Monet!! I love gingerbread and had to make it first. But after seeing your cut out cookies this morning I realized I have yet to make any of those this year. I need to make those over the long weekend after Christmas. I wish you and the family a Merry Christmas. And I hope Lucy has a wonderful first Christmas :)

  17. Tammy says

    Oooh la la! What a decadent dessert. I don’t think I’ve laid eyes on anything more perfect…and look at that caramel drizzle. It would be dangerous for me to be left alone with this ;D
    Haha blogging is such a joyful experience…It makes my heart sing to ‘celebrate’ the holidays with so many like minded foodie aficionados. I look forward to celebrating BB’s blogoversary ^_^

    Merry Christmas Zainab!!! Oh, and Happy New Year! :D

    Toodles,
    Tammy<3

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Tammy!! Thank you so much my dear!! Blogging has really been great because I have met so many amazing people. I’m feeling so blessed :). Wishing you and Catherine and the family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

  18. Brenda says

    I stumbled upon your blog after seeing this cake on Pinterest this weekend. Your recipes all look fabulous and I have to say, this cake is amazing! I made it the other night immediately after seeing the recipe (I made vanilla bean buttercream using vanilla bean powder instead of the molasses buttercream) and we loved it so much I made it for Christmas at my family’s tomorrow! You are officially “bookmarked”! :)

    • Zainab Mansaray says

      Brenda, thank you so much for the rave review!! This cake made our Christmas table too and I’m glad you and your family enjoyed it!! So happy you found me. Merry Christmas!! Wishing you a happy holiday season!

  19. Gloria // Simply Gloria says

    Zainab, I’m am totally drawn to your cake. I LOVE gingerbread. And, I can just imagine the texture in this moist cake. The icing is making drool! Thank you for sharing this at the Show Stopper Saturday party with all of us…. I love it!

  20. Brandi says

    It’s as if you wrote this post for me! (I’m not really that vain! LOL) My husband has been staying on my case about scheduling health exams. I really need to get my butt in gear and make those appointments. Thanks for the friendly reminder and delicious recipe!!

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