Is there anything that says holiday dessert more than this gingerbread bundt cake with vanilla glaze? I don't think that there is. This is one of the most festive holiday cake recipes you can make and it also happens to be delicious, with a tender crumb and lots of warm spices.
I've made a lot of gingerbread cakes, they are one of my most popular dessert offerings for my private dinner catering, my gingerbread cake soaked in simple syrup. But this gingerbread bundt cake recipe is easier to make, is still full of those warm spices we all love, moist (worst. word. ever.) and oh so tender. It is the perfect cake recipe to adorn your festive holiday dessert table.
And I don't know about your family holiday parties, but at mine, we are all about the maximum amount of desserts on our dessert tables. I always have a cheesecake, like my salted caramel mocha cheesecake or peanut butter cheesecake on the table, and for those who don't love ginger, I make a chocolate peppermint bundt cake that is also a huge holiday hit.
What is the difference between gingerbread cake and ginger cake?
Really nothing. To pretty much everybody nowadays gingerbread can be either cake or cookie. Sometimes this can be confusing to people, so many call a gingerbread cake a ginger cake, but they are both considered to be the same thing. Personally, I always say gingerbread cookie or gingerbread cake as to differentiate.
What does gingerbread cake taste like?
It tastes just like a gingerbread cookie, but a little more amped up. This gingerbread bundt cake recipe calls for two kinds of ginger plus so many other warm spices, so it is full of flavor.
The vanilla glaze adds the perfect blanket of sweetness to the spices in this tender bundt cake, creating a perfectly balanced holiday dessert.
This recipe calls for the usual suspects you would find in gingerbread...
- a ton of spices - ginger (obvs), nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice
- actual ginger (not the dried spice - I am lazy and use this, but of course, if you are not lazy or cannot find this where you live, by all means buy fresh ginger root and simply grate it.
- molasses - use unsulphured regular molasses NOT blackstrap; Well, unless you really love an overwhelming and slightly bitter flavor, cause that's what you'll get with blackstrap molasses.
- brown sugar - I use both light and dark, but you can use all of either one
- sour cream or greek yogurt - I use this in place of typical buttermilk or hot water; I like the texture and added moisture it gives to this cake, which is tall and thick, so it needs it
The rest is the usual suspects of a cake recipe - flour, leavening, a bit of salt, eggs, oil.
Ingredients for the vanilla glaze
Making the vanilla glaze for this gingerbread bundt cake couldn't be easier, and couldn't require less ingredients if I tried. A lot of ginger cake recipes like this call for a maple glaze or a lemon glaze, which are of course, delicious. But to keep this a simple holiday cake with broad appeal, I go with a classic vanilla glaze. Perfectly sweet enough to balance out all those warm spices.
What kind of bundt pan should I use?
I used the nordicware pine forest bundt pan, and I got it here, and I think it adds a little extra touch of festive holiday feel to this gingerbread bundt cake. But use whatever you have or want to buy.
How do you keep the cake from sticking in the bundt pan?
This is an excellent question and a super subjective one. I can tell you I have screwed this up plenty in the past. For me baking spray works the absolute best. NOTE – this is NOT the same as cooking spray. Baking spray is oil mixed with some flour. When I have this on hand and use it for any baking, I have never ever had a cake stick – bundt pan or any pan.
When I don’t have baking spray (which would be the time I made the cake in the photos), I use cooking spray and it works like a charm.
If you don’t believe me or are unsure, and want to read up on what method you think will be best for you check this article out.
Tips for success
I've only got one for this cake...
- Don't be shy with the vanilla glaze! It is a holiday cake and meant to extravagant! Pour that glaze on!
Bottom line, this gingerbread bundt cake is simple to put together, looks awesome (especially if you use the fancy AF holiday bundt pan) and it's festive holiday spices bake up into a real treat.
- Stand mixer
- bundt pan
For the gingerbread bundt cake
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoon of minced ginger
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup oil I use vegetable
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup molasses NOT blackstrap molasses
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
For the vanilla glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoon heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350, and spray your bundt pan real good with baking or cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
- In another large bowl, preferably of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the oil, brown sugar and molasses. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
- With the mixer at low speed, beat in about ⅓ of the sour cream followed by about ½ of the flour mixture. Repeat with ⅓ of the sour cream and the other ½ of the flour mixture and end with the last ⅓ of the sour cream. Mix gently until fully incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for an hour, at about 55 minutes, check for doneness with a toothpick, inserted that comes out clean and the top of the cake feels is firm and bounces back when you gently push on it.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit in the pan for FIVE minutes. After those five minutes, turn the cake onto a cooling BUT don't remove the pan for FIVE more minutes - let it sit essentially upside in the pan for those five minutes and THEN gently pull the pan up and away. Let it cool completely and make the glaze.
To make the glaze
- Whisk all the ingredients together. Start slow, so you don't end up with a powdered sugar snowstorm in your kitchen. Once fully combined, if you want it thinner, add more cream by the TEASPOON full until it reaches the consistency you like.