Your place will instantly smell like Christmas when you bake this gingerbread bundt cake recipe! Perfectly sized for a 12-cup bundt pan, this gingerbread cake is tender and filled with classic gingerbread flavor.
Ever since a friend asked me to make a gingerbread loaf cake a few years ago, I’ve been low-key obsessed with gingerbread cakes! In fact, the only kind of gingerbread I’ve baked over the past few years has been cake, so I’m pretty excited to be sharing another recipe with you today!
This gingerbread bundt is pretty strongly adapted from the King Arthur Baking gingerbread recipe. I started with theirs and then evolved the recipe over time to create something that suits our preferences.
There are so many special things about this gingerbread bundt cake recipe.
First, there’s the smell during baking. The scent of ginger, cinnamon and molasses wafting through the air feels like a hug. It just instantly brings up all the warm and fuzzy feelings.
Second, this cake is the perfect reason to break out your big bundt pan! You know, the 12-cup pan that makes the most stunning cakes. Because when I think Christmas bundt cake, I want enough to feed everybody!
Since this cake also keeps well for a few days, there’s plenty for dessert one day, coffee at breakfast the next day, and afternoon tea the day after.
Actually, this cake is best if you bake 1-2 days before you intend to serve it! That way, the flavors in the cake will have enough time to develop. If you try the cake the same day you bake it, the gingerbread flavor won’t be quite as strong.
What size bundt pan do I need?
This recipe has been scaled to perfectly fit a 12-cup bundt pan. It will fill the entire pan during baking.
You may split it evenly between two 6-cup bundt cake pans, or use a 10-cup bundt cake pan and make some mini bundt cakes or bake a few gingerbread bites in a mini-cupcake tin.
If you don’t have a bundt cake pan at all, no worries!
How can I bake this recipe without a bundt pan?
Yes, you can! I haven’t baked it in loaf tins yet since I have a gingerbread loaf recipe (linked above). But if you’d like to, you’ll need 3 full-size loaf tins (8×4-inches) as each fits 4 cups of batter. The baking time will be about 30 minutes.
You can also bake this as a sheet cake in a 9×13-inch casserole dish. The bake time will be approximately 35-40 minutes.
This is a fabulous option if you are taking the cake to a potluck or traveling with it. Most casserole pans have lids, so you don’t need to look for a cake carrier or box.
A few gingerbread bundt cake recipe notes…
I used a classic molasses for this cake and got a lighter molasses flavor and lighter color. If you want a super bold molasses flavor, reach for the blackstrap or robust molasses. The flavor packs a punch!
Second, don’t skip the coffee! You can make this recipe with water, but coffee takes it over the top! If you don’t drink coffee, use a strong black tea.
I haven’t tried this yet, but I think this would also taste really good with the gingerbread tea blend you find in stores this time of year! I have some, but haven’t tried it yet because I want to drink it all, haha.
Instant espresso will also work. Add two teaspoons of instant espresso to your water so you don’t have to brew coffee if you don’t want to. The coffee (or tea) really deepens the rich flavors in this cake.
I also recommend adding the candied ginger for extra ginger goodness! The exact amount is flexible, but about a 1/2 cup is our sweet spot. I have not tried adding other candied fruits because I’m a classic gingerbread gal.
Finally, let’s talk glaze! I’ve tried a few glaze recipes for this. Namely, a classic white glaze, an orange glaze, and a cinnamon glaze.
The cinnamon glaze was everyone’s favorite! The cinnamon flavor is light and compliments the gingerbread flavor perfectly!
Speaking of cinnamon, if you want to use a homemade cinnamon extract in place of vanilla extract in the recipe, it’s fabulous!
How long can I store the gingerbread bundt cake?
This cake stays nice and moist for a few days, so it’s great for baking and enjoying over a holiday weekend. As in, bake on Thursday night and enjoy through Sunday.
You can store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container.
If you’d like to make the cake even further ahead of time, or portion some out for later, it also freezes well. Just don’t glaze the portion you intend to freeze. The glaze cracks in the freezer and won’t look as pretty with the wrapping and unwrapping of the cake.
I hope you enjoy this recipe darlings and it brings you much holiday cheer! Happy baking!
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil
- 2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 molasses
- 1 1/4 cup strong coffee or tea
- 1/3 cup diced candied ginger
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or cinnamon extract
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and set a rack in the center of the oven.
- Sift together the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or another large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, oil, and sugar until fluffy and well combined.
- Stir in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Stir in the molasses.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour in half the coffee or tea. Repeat, finishing by adding the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.
- Stir in the candied ginger.
- Liberally grease your bundt cake pan with a brush of oil or nonstick spray. Dust with flour or almond meal to prevent sticking. Don't forget the center column of the pan!
- Pour the batter into your prepared bundt cake pan and place it on the center rack of your oven. Bake for 60-65 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Watch carefully towards the end so you don't over-bake the cake.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cover with a clean dishtowel. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan (see notes) and then carefully invert onto a cake plate to cool completely. You can also invert it onto a rack, but then you'll have to move the cake again.
- Once the cake is cool, prepare the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and ground cinnamon. Stir in the extract then add 2 tablespoons of water or milk. Add more 1 teaspoon at a time until you have a thick but pourable consistency. Pour over the cake and allow to set.
- The cake's flavor is best after it's had a little time to rest, so plan to make this cake a day in advance if possible. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. The unglazed cake can also be wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer for up to a month.
- You can cut down the amount of cinnamon in the glaze to a 1/2 teaspoon for a milder cinnamon flavor. If you aren't sure how you'll like it, start with a 1/2 teaspoon, taste, then add more if you'd like.
- To make measuring the molasses easy, measure out your oil first, then use the same measuring cup to measure the molasses. Because you greased the cup with the oil, the molasses will slide right out!
- Tips for successful bundt cake release: Don't skip greasing the pan. I have the best luck using one of two methods: brushed melted shortening or oil and a dusting of either almond meal, flour, or cocoa powder (tap out excess), or a pan release spray with flour like Baker's Joy. If you have another method that works well for you, please use it!
The other important step to pay attention to is when to remove the cake from the pan. The best time to do this is when the cake is still warm, but not super hot. Cakes are very tender when they first come out of the oven and will break very easily. By waiting 10 minutes, you allow the cake crust to set a bit and improve your chances for an easy release. Place your cake plate or board directly on top of your inverted bundt cake pan and flip together, using two hands. You should be able to jiggle the bundt pan a little, then lift carefully to reveal your cake.
- If your cake doesn't turn out (happens to all of us at some point!), make some pudding, a little whipped cream, and turn it into a trifle!
- Timing tip: I often bake this cake in the evening, then, after inverting, cover it with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture. I let it rest overnight at room temperature in my cake carrier or a covered cake plate to let the flavors develop. I glaze the next day and serve once the glaze is set (about 5-10 minutes).
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