Easy Gingerbread Bundt Cake
Add this beautiful, spiced, festive easy gingerbread bundt cake recipe to your dessert menu this Christmas! This cake is packed with warming, aromatic flavors, drizzled in cream cheese and topped with sugared cranberries to add a sweet, tart flavor to every bite.
If you are looking for a gorgeous Christmas bundt cake with the wow factor then look no further. This beautiful show-stopping gingerbread cake will have your taste buds dancing! It is moist, tender, flavorful and topped with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting.
This is the kind of dessert that is meant to impress your family and friends (just like a bûche de noël does). It will disappear within minutes!
Why this recipe works
Brown sugar and molasses give this cake its beautiful brown color and add sweetness to it. It also includes popular warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice which gives this dessert its notorious festive flavor. The cream cheese topping works perfectly with this gingerbread bundt cake recipe and the sugared cranberries add a burst of sweetness to every bite.
- Dark brown sugar: This sugar is recommended as it has a distinctive caramel, toffee-like flavor which works well with the spices and molasses in this cake.
- Molasses: This sweetener adds a warm, sweet, smoky flavor to the cake. It also gives the cake a moist and chewy texture. Be sure to use unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap).
- Spices: Ground cinnamon, allspice, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger are added to the cake to add seasonal flavors.
- Unsalted butter: Ensure that the butter is at room temperature for the best results.
- Buttermilk: Don’t skip the buttermilk as it will tenderize the cake and help it to rise. It should also be at room temperature. If you don’t have any buttermilk to hand then make your own by adding one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup (1 cup) then fill the rest of the cup with milk. Stir the mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes before using it in the Christmas bundt cake recipe.
You can easily add in chocolate chips or nuts to this cake batter. After combining the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, stir in 1 cup of your mix-in. Dried cranberries or raisins would be good options too!
If cream cheese frosting isn’t your favorite, try adding a simple lemon glaze to the cake. Whisk together 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for a citrus flavor. For a maple cinnamon glaze, whisk together 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1 Tablespoon milk.
You can also follow this recipe and bake the cake in a 9×13 pan. Baking time will be shorter, about 25 to 35 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs.
How to make gingerbread bundt cake
- Preheat oven to 350° F: Start by greasing a 10-cup bundt cake pan then add flour and set aside for later. You can also use a Magic Cake Pan Release. It is a great option because it helps the cake to be released from the pan with ease.
- Combine dry ingredients: Add flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, allspice, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients: Cream butter and brown sugar in a separate bowl, then add molasses and whisk again. Next, add eggs and mix until combined.
- Add flour and buttermilk: Add one third of flour to the mixture then add one third of buttermilk and mix. Repeat this step with the remaining flour and buttermilk then transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
- Bake cake: Place the cake in the preheated oven. Then, bake it for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. To test the doneness insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. Once it is done leave it to cool completely.
- Make the cream cheese frosting: Grab a medium-sized bowl and beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until fluffy. Next, add confectioners’ sugar and mix until combined. Then, spread frosting over the cooled cake and garnish with sugared cranberries.
Use a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients. Whenever I bake a cake, I use a kitchen scale to weigh my ingredients because it is very accurate and always guarantees the best results.
To achieve the best cake texture make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature and do not overmix the cake batter as this will resort in a tough dense cake texture.
To avoid a runny cream cheese frosting the ingredients must be at 65 F or room temperature. Make sure the butter and cream cheese are firm and not too soft to achieve a silky creamy texture. In addition, do not over-mix the frosting as this can also loosen the texture of the frosting. If the frosting is runny then refrigerate it for 15 minutes, mix again for 5 seconds and use as desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, this cake can be frozen but it should not be frozen with cream cheese frosting. Let the cake cool completely then wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Freeze it for up to 1 month and when you are ready to serve the cake, defrost it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Bring it to room temperature, frost it with cream cheese frosting and serve.
The pan in which the cake is baked is what differentiates the two. Regular cake pans are usually circular while bundt cake pans have fluted edges and a hole in the middle which gives the cake its distinctive doughnut-like shape.
Flip the bundt cake after cooling it in the pan for at least 10 minutes. This will prevent the cake from cracking and falling apart. Once you remove the cake from the pan invert it and let it cool on a wire rack.
Give these recipes a try if you have more ginger to hand.
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Easy Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- 1 cup (220 g) sugar, divided
- ½ cup (120 mL) water
- 6 ounces fresh cranberries
- 2 ¾ cups (345 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
- 1 ¼ cups (250 g) packed dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (180 mL) unsulfered molasses
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (240 mL) buttermilk, room temperature
Cream cheese frosting
- ½ cup (113 or 4 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk, if necessary for consistency
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup sugar and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add cranberries to pot and stir until cranberries are fully coated. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cranberries to a wire rack to dry for 1 hour. Once dry and sticky, roll cranberries in remaining sugar. Let dry for another hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt cake pan (or use my magic cake pan release). Set pan aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add molasses and mix until combined. With the mixer running, add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to the bowl. Add a third of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix just until combined. Repeat again, then end with remaining flour mixture.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan. Tap the pan on the countertop to remove any bubbles. Bake cake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting it on a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream cheese frosting
- For the frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined. Add milk if necessary for thinner consistency to pour on cake.
- Pour frosting on cake and garnish with sugared cranberries. Slice and serve.