This gingerbread Bundt cake is equally welcome at a special occasion party, a holiday dinner, or simply alongside your afternoon cuppa. The juxtaposition of warming spices and a sweetly tart lemon glaze is so spectacularly and resoundingly lovely, we suspect we’ll be making gingerbread all year round.

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

There’s a whole bunch of reasons our recipe testers adored this gingerbread Bundt cake. They loved that it made use of pantry staples, stored well, was easy to make, and “baked perfectly.”

The bright lemon glaze really set this cake apart from others for all of our testers. See for yourself!

What You’ll Need to Make This

  • Ground ginger--Make sure that your spices are fairly fresh, particularly the ground ginger. If you love the flavor of ginger and want a ginger-forward cake, you can add an extra 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground ginger to the batter.
  • Eggs–For best results, use room temperature eggs.
  • Unsulfered molasses–You can use light or dark molasses here, but avoid blackstrap molasses as the flavor is too strong and bitter for this cake.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Coat a 10-cup Bundt pan with baking spray.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the oil, followed by the sugar and molasses, whisking well between each addition. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, then stir in the hot water.
  3. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Make the lemon glaze. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice together until smooth.
  5. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Cool for 5 minutes, then poke holes over the cake and drizzle the glaze over the cake.

FAQs

What’s the difference between fancy and blackstrap molasses?

Molasses is produced by boiling sugarcane juice. The first and second boilings produce light and dark molasses, which is sweet and perfect for baking. Blackstrap molasses comes from the third boiling, and is darker and more bitter than “fancy” molasses.

Can I freeze this cake?

Yes. The gingerbread cake can be frozen, well-wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge or on the countertop before serving.

Do I have to use the lemon glaze?

Our testers loved the unexpected combination of lemon glaze and gingerbread, however, you could serve this cake plain, or simply dusted with confectioners’ sugar. One of our readers served it with Grand Marnier-spiked whipped cream and found that to be a wonderful combination.

Helpful Tips

  • If the cake doesn’t release easily from the Bundt pan, run a flat silicone spatula around the edges to loosen it.
  • The cake can be stored at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 4 days.
  • If the sugar in your glaze settles to the bottom of the bowl before you begin glazing, simply give it a quick stir to incorporate the sugar.
  • The cake is suitable for a dairy-free diet.

More Great Gingerbread Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

I just finished making this and while it was still warm, I cut a small “tasting “ section. Oh my! It’s moist, spicy and wonderful.

I loved that I had all the ingredients in the house. It came together easily and would be a perfect cake for a beginning baker. Now I can’t wait til dessert!!

nancy
A swirled gingerbread Bundt cake with a lemon glaze on top, all on wire rack over a sheet pan.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

4.85 / 13 votes
This gingerbread Bundt cake has all the warm spicy goodness of gingerbread cookies. As if that weren’t enough, it’s gilded with a sassy and sweetly tart lemon glaze.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings12 to 16 slices
Calories489 kcal
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients 

For the gingerbread Bundt cake

  • Nonstick baking spray
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mild vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 cup hot water

For the lemon glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Instructions 

Prepare the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan generously with nonstick baking spray.

Make the gingerbread Bundt cake

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs well. Whisk in the oil, then whisk in the granulated sugar followed by the molasses.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add the hot water and stir well. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake the cake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Make the lemon glaze

  • Whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice until smooth.

Assemble the cake

  • Flip the cake out onto a rack set over a baking sheet. Let the cake cool for another 5 minutes.
  • Using a long skewer, poke deep holes all over the cake. Drizzle the glaze over the cake, trying to get some into each hole and brushing the glaze so it covers the entire surface of the cake. Serve warm or let cool completely.

Notes

  1. Releasing the cake–If the cake doesn’t release easily from the Bundt pan, run a flat silicone spatula around the edges to loosen it.
  2. Storage and freezing–The cake can be stored at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 4 days. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  3. Glaze–If the sugar in your glaze settles to the bottom of the bowl before you begin glazing, simply give it a quick stir to incorporate the sugar.
  4. Dietary–The cake is suitable for a dairy-free diet.
Uncomplicated Cookbook

Adapted From

Uncomplicated

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 489 kcalCarbohydrates: 76 gProtein: 5 gFat: 19 gSaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 27 mgSodium: 496 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 48 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2018 Claire Tansey. Photo © 2018 Suech and Beck. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

What I loved about this gingerbread Bundt cake was that I had all of the ingredients on hand. During the holidays, everyone is extra busy and this is a perfect last-minute cake or make-ahead cake. It tasted as good on day 3 as it did on day 1.

Two photos: one of a gingerbread Bundt cake with a sugar glaze, the other with a dripping icing dotted with cranberries

When I flipped the cake out onto the rack, it didn’t release right away. I used a flat silicone spatula gently around and then it released easily.

Also, once the glaze dried, I could still see the holes on top. I mixed up another cup of thicker glaze and added a few drops of white food coloring for an opaque look. I drizzled it over the top and let it run down the sides. I added red Sixlets on top for a plum pudding look which covered the holes and was very festive.

This gingerbread Bundt cake is very simple to make and bakes perfectly. Make sure you have new and potent dried ginger because the flavors are subtle in relation to the molasses added to the mix.

The icing was a bit thinner than I would have liked. I would add more confectioners’ sugar in future bakings.

I found a lovely addition to my holiday dessert buffet in this gingerbread Bundt cake. It comes together with the ease of a quick bread and can be made ahead. In fact we found that it was even more delicious on day 2 and 3!

The lemon glaze is superb and also intensifies over a couple of days. Served this to a friend who claimed she didn’t like gingerbread, until she tried this!

Finally, a gingerbread Bundt cake for all seasons! This gingerbread Bundt cake perfectly marries my favorite fall gingery flavors with the summery brightness of the lemon glaze. While I preferred it warm, it was delicious room temperature and my colleagues demolished it on the second day.

As far as process, this cake was so easy and the directions were just right as written. I loved the pockets of glaze created by the skewer holes and would probably try even harder to pour glaze into the holes next time.

This is a moist and more-ish type of cake that is super easy to assemble and fits both as a special cake and as a “what can I make with no warning” recipe that belongs in everyone’s toolkit. I love a recipe that uses standard pantry items yet delivers a special result. This hit all that.

It has a lovely moist crumb, like a proper sponge, but with very little work. It is not a pound cake, but rather a moist indulgent gingery yum. The only thing I would change is to add MORE ginger—we would say double it.

I also would caution that even if you hold off spraying the pan until just before you scrape the batter in, if it is a warm day, the spray will run down and pool. I would probably go back to my standard method of generously wiping with cold butter then dusting with either flour or fine sugar, and if need be and stick the Bundt pan in the fridge while you finish mixing.

Although the center of the cake was beautifully moist at 55 minutes, the bottom (or top while baking) was ever-so-slightly overcooked and almost crisp, so I think I would probably pull it at 50 minutes next time.

The glaze is fun, and gives you extra moisture on the top and just enough lemon to be recognizable. We chose to try it warm, giving the glaze a little while to settle in.

I put aside half the cake in the freezer so I have something I can pull out for a slice when we want a little something and have not planned dessert. I like that this is a “real cake” even though it only takes a few minutes more than mixing up a crazy cocoa cake, which is my usual standby “need dessert!” And of course it is dairy free as well which is handy sometimes for guests.

A lovely cake to serve with afternoon coffee. The tart lemon glaze is a perfect match to the spicy gingerbread and something I would not have thought to pair myself.

The recipe comes together in a snap. The cake tasted just as flavorful and moist the next day and will be enjoyed with morning coffee this week.

I really liked several things about this gingerbread Bundt cake. The lemon glaze is completely unexpected and incredibly delicious.

I found this cake was good warm, but it really became something special after a few hours. We had it for breakfast the next morning and it was amazing with coffee. The flavors had become more pronounced, the cake texture more dense, and the cooled icing provided a lovely crispness.

Although the recipe is quite simple and straightforward, if you use a unique Bundt pan, you will have quite a work of art. I would suggest waiting longer than 5 minutes before icing the cake. Most of my icing ended up on the pan below.

Next time, and there will be a next time, I will wait about 20 minutes to see if more icing sticks to the actual cake.

Ginger is reassuring and this cake is a slice of warm memories. The fragrance of spice that fills the kitchen when baking this Bundt cake instantly makes you happy. Incredibly tender, dense and lemon-kissed, this is an all-around pleasure to eat and serve. Tart, sweet, and spicy.

I am not an expert cake baker, but this gingerbread Bundt cake recipe came out beautifully. The peaks and valleys of the Bundt cake are a rich mahogany brown with a shimmer of creamy, crunchy, lemony glaze. It is like eating a sunny winter day any time of the year.

While it is perfectly cravable as is, I served it with a rum raisin jam topped with freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of grated nutmeg. These just add layers of warm, heady, and cool textures and flavors.

Also, I made extra lemon glaze and have to admit I think doubling the amount given in the recipe is my preference. You can’t have too much.

This cake only gets better the next day, and by day three, wrapped up tightly, I think the ginger and lemon are even more pronounced and the texture is as beautifully fresh as it was out of the oven.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. This is a lovely, tender cake with outstanding flavor! I’ve made it three times already this fall and winter, the last one right after a power outage so we’d have something warming, sweet, and delicious in case the power went out again! Used Baker’s Joy spray on the bundt pan, and the cake comes out beautifully. I don’t glaze it, liking the cake just the way it is.

  2. 5 stars
    Lovely cake – especially for the holidays between Thanksgiving and the new year. It can be a bit of a challenge to combine the ingredients once the liquids are added; be gentle and patient. Excellent served plain; “icing” on the cake if served with hard sauce, eggnog ice cream, yogurt, whipped cream, and the like.