Gingerbread Cake is a stunning Christmas cake recipe topped with a homemade mascarpone whipped frosting and decorated with sugared rosemary and rose hips.
This beautiful layered cake will dazzle and amaze, and it tastes SO good! This cake is the perfect centerpiece for any holiday dessert table.
Please note that when making this recipe you have to let the cake sit overnight before frosting it, so you have to make it ahead! If you are looking for an easier cake, try my Gingerbread Bundt Cake.
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Gingerbread Cake Ingredients
To make this this amazing Christmas cake recipe, you will need the following ingredients (see the recipe card below for exact amounts):
- Unsalted butter
- Maple syrup
- Light brown sugar
- All purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Lemon juice
- Spices: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger
- Heavy whipping cream
- Powdered sugar
- Rosemary sprigs
- Rose hips (or cranberries)
How to Make Gingerbread Cake
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Make butter mixture. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the maple syrup and whisk to combine. Add the light brown sugar, mix well and set aside for about 15 minutes.
- Mix egg and milk. In a bowl, mix the egg and the milk. Add this mixture to the melted butter. Whisk.
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking soda and baking powder. Mix.
- Make the cake batter. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients, then mix until everything is well incorporated. Add the lemon juice and gently stir.
- Bake the cake. Line an 8 inch round cake pan. Pour the cake batter into the pan. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake overnight. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then gently remove the cake onto cooling racks. Let cool completely before storing. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
- Make the frosting. Place a large mixing bowl, whisk attachment, mascarpone and the heavy whipping cream in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to chill. Add the cold mascarpone, cold heavy cream and powdered sugar in your cold large mixing bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. It takes 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble the Cake. Cut the cake layer in half. Use a cake leveler to cut even layers. Add half of the frosting in the center. With a spatula, spread the frosting out and a bit over the edges of the cake. Replace the 2nd layer and use remaining frosting to spread all over the top of the cake. Dot the bare sides of the cake in random places. It doesn’t have to be perfect as this gives it a rustic cake look.
How to Decorate This Cake
It is easy to make a snowy scene atop this beautiful cake. Add a little bit of powdered sugar to create snow, for instance. You could also use shaved white chocolate.
I also used sugared rose hips and sugared fresh rosemary. (No rose hips? Use cranberries.) Make a simple syrup by adding 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and bring to a boil. Let it cool. Dip the rose hips and rosemary into the syrup. Then, roll them in sugar. Gently shake off excess sugar. Arrange your sugared decorations as you like. Just remember to remove them before serving!
Why Does the Cake Need to Rest Overnight?
Letting a cake rest ensures the cake is completely cooled before frosting. As a result, it will be easier to cut the layers. The longer the cake sits, the more the flavors will settle.
Cover the cake tightly and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Do not freeze this cake.