Gingerbread Layer Cake With Brown-Butter Icing



45 min


1 h 15 min



* PLUS 1 hour chilling and cooling time
Gingerbread Layer Cake With Brown-Butter Icing

Photo, Erik Putz.

Molasses and ginger (as well as nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves) impart this gingerbread layer cake with loads of comforting holiday flavours.


  • 1 cup fancy molasses
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Brown butter icing

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 125 g cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger


  • MELT butter in a medium saucepan over medium, stirring until nutty brown, 4 to 5 min. Pour into a medium bowl, leaving brown bits in pan. Let cool 10 min. Refrigerate until butter is cold and firm, about 1 hour.
  • PREHEAT oven to 350 F. Spray 2 9-in. round cake pans with oil and line bottoms with parchment.
  • WHISK molasses with hot water in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in baking soda. Let stand for 10 min.
  • WHISK flour, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  • WHISK eggs, oil, both sugars and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in molasses mixture. Gradually whisk in flour mixture just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans, smoothing tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, about 35 min. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 min. Run a knife around edge of pans and turn out onto rack. Remove parchment and cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • BEAT cold brown butter with an electric mixer on medium-high, until light and creamy, about 3 min. Beat in cream cheese until smooth, about
    4 min. Reduce speed to medium-low. Gradually add icing sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until combined, 5 more min.
  • PLACE 1 cake layer on serving plate. Spread half of the icing overtop. Add second cake layer. Spread remaining icing overtop. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger. Tip: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap. Make brown butter icing up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate in an airtight container.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 605,
  • Protein
  • 5 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 85 g,
  • Fat
  • 28 g,
  • Fibre
  • 1 g,
  • Sodium
  • 437 mg.
  • Excellent source of
  • iron

Want more cake? Here are more of our most-requested recipes, including Strawberry-Chocolate Sheet Cake and Double-Chocolate Espresso Cake.