Gingerbread Cake with Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting

What can I say about this cake?

It’s a pretty, delicious, mess.

See, the heady spices of the ginger go so amazingly well with the super-light lemon-ginger frosting. But, slicing it is a test of patience for sure. This cake don’t slice pretty, it just is what it is. It’s one of those cakes that leans toward the rustic with it’s appearance and slice-ablility. The flavors are magic–I mean, citrus and spice is so magical! The cake is full of warm and fragrant spice–it’s sturdy and totally holiday appropriate. The frosting is like eating a lemony, gingered, tangy cloud. It just melts on the tongue and the tarteness of the curd cuts through the rich spice of the cake. The flavors are all the best parts of the season and I could totally see this cake as part of a holiday spread, in all its messy glory.

Gingerbread Cake

Makes 1, 8inch round cake. 

Adapted from this recipe. 

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp.

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground, dried ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350*F, grease an 8inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment. Set aside.

Melt butter–in a saucepan or microwave. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk  eggs, molasses, sugar, vanilla, and ginger. Whisk in the cooled butter, mix well to combine.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined and there are no longer any dry streaks of flour. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool one a rack for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely. Can be stored wrapped well in plastic for 3 days.

Lemon-Ginger Curd

adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours

1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/4 cups sugar

6 egg yolks

1 egg

pinch of salt

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine everything in a saucepan and whisk to break up eggs. Whisk over medium-low heat, until butter is melted and everything is well combined. Continue to whisk over med-low heat until the curd has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Curd will thicken a bit as it cools. Scrape the curd into a mesh sieve over a bowl, press the curd through the sieve. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd. Cool to room temperature and then cool in the refrigerator until ready to use. Can be stored, covered well in the refrigerator, for about 1 week.

Seven Minute Frosting

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

This frosting is best the day it is made. 

2 large egg whites

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a heatproof mixing or mixer bowl, set over a pan of simmering water and whisk quickly and continuously until the mixture begins to get light in color, foamy, no longer has any sugar granules when rubbed between two fingers, and is just hot to the touch. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment for about 6-7 minutes or until the frosting is bright white, light, and holds a stiff peak.

To Assemble:

For the Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting, take about 1/3 of the Seven Minute Frosting and whisk it with 4 Tablespoons of lemon curd. Fold the frosting/curd mixture into the remaining Seven Minute Frosting.

When I next make this cake, I will definitely not cut it into layers. Cut your cake into layers, if desired, and create a dam using the Lemon Cloud Frosting about 1/4 inch from the edge of the cake using a piping bag. Fill the center with lemon curd. Top with second layer, chill to set up. Since, I am not going to do this layer thing again, I would do the same thing with the frosting dam and curd, but on top of the cake. Then, cover the top with the remaining Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting. It’s pretty messy, but this cake is best at room temperature. It would be nice to frost it just before serving.





  1. says

    Um, I still think it looks beautiful! I love this trend in cakes to just ice the tops of each layer. It’s such a pretty contrast with the white frosting, yellow filling and gingerbread color of the cake.

    Side note: I also LOVE your square cake plate! Where is that from?

  2. says

    Wow, this looks absolutely delicious. Screw the fact that it may not cut nicely or pretty, it’s all about the taste! And that cake looks and sounds amazing. I may have to bake it this weekend!

  3. says

    I feel like is a cake isn’t pretty when you slice it, then that’s a gateway into grabbing forkfuls in the middle of the night. I’m totally down for that.

  4. says

    I love the fact that there is gimger in the lemon curd. I have to try this one. I could put ginger in everything I eat. My last discovery: carrot, orange and ginger juice. And your photos are beautiful!

  5. says

    Where to begin with this recipe. It looks so good. Love fresh ginger and 7 minute frosting. I bet it is so good mixed with the curd and all the flavors sound wonderful together! Who cares if it doesn’t slice perfectly? It sounds like it tastes amazing.

  6. says

    I can’t believe I only now just found your blog! Your food looks amazing and I can’t wait to start cranking though some of your recipes. Gingerbread is one of my favorites and you definitely can’t beat seven minute frosting :) Glad I came across this!

  7. says

    Oh, the messiest cakes are always the tastiest, everybody knows that. It’s SCIENCE. And that frosting looks like a dream… specifically a dream of mine, because there’s nothing in this world that I love more than whipped egg whites and sugar. (Okay, almost nothing…)


  8. says

    OK – this is so pretty! I love the lighting, cake plate, obsessing over that napkin with the orange trim (the the heck did you get that?!) and well, obviously, the cake. I want it all!

  9. Wendy McDonald says

    This is the BEST gingerbread cake recipe I’ve ever tried. I made it today and the smell was so amazing that I cut into it before even making the lemon curd or icing. This is a definite keeper for fall and winter baking.


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