Intensely flavorful and super moist, Sticky Ginger Cake isn’t your typical gingerbread – and it’s super easy to prepare, too. I love the warm, earthy flavor of ginger, and this scrumptious cake has it in spades, calling for both fresh and ground. Molasses, maple syrup, cinnamon and allspice provide even more intensity to the taste. A two-ingredient tangy lemon glaze is the perfect finish!

Who doesn’t love gingerbread? Cookies, cakes, muffins, I think it’s wonderful in all its forms, but my favorite is this Sticky Ginger Cake. It comes from my cousin Beth Kidwell, wife of Jim and mother of Becca and Sarah — all fabulous cooks. Dark, spicy, and surprisingly moist, it’s the perfect warm and cozy winter dessert.

Gingerbread Cake Recipe – A Perfect Holiday Dessert

In fact, Sticky Ginger Cake is the perfect dessert to serve during the busy holiday season, for two reasons: first, it’s versatile; you can make it either as one cake to serve at a sit down dinner, or 32 mini muffin-size cakes to pass as part of a buffet. Second, you can prepare it ahead!

Square white plate showing a slice of Sticky Ginger Cake

Decorating This Ginger Cake Recipe

The cake is topped with a tangy lemon-sugar glaze that pairs perfectly with the spiced ginger flavor. I like to drizzle it in the style of the abstract painter Jackson Pollock. I’ve also put the glaze in a squeeze bottle and drawn a Christmas tree in the middle, surrounded by branches. At Valentine’s Day, I draw a heart in the middle. Use your imagination! Some examples of more sophisticated decorations are in this Pastry Arts Magazine article about Lebkuchen, or honey cake – a cousin to ginger cake.

Two square plates holding slices of Sticky Ginger Cake, with cake in the background
Is it better to eat this cake heated or at room temperature?

This Ginger Cake needs to be eaten at room temperature. The cake needs to be cooled for the the glaze to adhere. If it’s warm or hot, the glaze will side off.

How long will this Gingercake recipe last?

Well wrapped, it will keep for 4 to 5 days. No need to refrigerate.

Can Ginger Spiced Cake be frozen?

Yes, definitely. Wrap it first in plastic wrap, then in foil to seal. It will last for up to 1 month.

Can this recipe be used to make a layered cake?

Yes, definitely! I think it would be delicious with this Lemon Frosting.

What do I do with any leftover fresh ginger?

To store ginger, peel it and put it in a jar with a fitted lid. Then pour in vodka to cover, screw on the lid and refrigerate. It will keep for weeks in your frig – and you will have ginger infused vodka to drink in a yummy cocktail! If you don’t have vodka, you can use sherry or white wine, too. Find more of my tips on fresh ginger here:

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Other delicious fall and winter desserts:

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Light blue cake stand holding a Sticky Ginger Cake

Sticky Gingerbread Cake

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5 from 2 reviews

Intensely flavorful and super moist, Sticky Ginger Cake isn’t your typical gingerbread – and it’s super easy to prepare, too. The warm, earthy flavor of ginger is combined with molasses, cinnamon and allspice, resulting in a deeply spiced, scrumptious cake. A two-ingredient lemon-sugar glaze is the perfect finish!

  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian



Ginger Cake

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses (can use sorghum according to taste)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (or grated, for even more ginger flavor)

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 4 to 6 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Ginger Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9- by 9-inch nonstick pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, molasses and maple syrup and cook, stirring, just until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and fresh ginger. Make a well in the middle and whisk in the milk mixture. Add the cooled butter mixture and stir just until incorporated.
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 5 to 10 minutes, then remove from pan (and remove parchment paper) and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Lemon Glaze

  1. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons lemon juice until well blended. Mixture should be fairly thick, yet thin enough to drizzle. If too thick, add more lemon juice.
  2. Drizzle over the top of the cake (I like to put it in a squeeze bottle and drizzle it in lines).


High altitude: No adjustments necessary.

Make ahead: Cake can be prepared, well wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 5 days. Can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.

Variation for mini cakes: Pour the batter into 32 greased mini-muffin cups (nonstick works best) and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Double the glaze.

  • Author: From “Fresh Tastes” by Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Dessert, make ahead
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British

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  1. OMG this is such a good cake and so easy to make. Once it cooled and the frosting was on, we couldn’t stop eating it. So flavorful and moist this one is definitely a keeper and will be made often. Gingerbread is such a favorite of ours. Will be checking out more of your website. Thank you.

  2. LOVE this Sticky Ginger Cake! I substituted GF all-purpose flour and it turned out excellent. My friends couldn’t believe it was GF and my husband never noticed… The molasses comes through in a delightful, not-too sweet way.

Light blue cake stand holding a Sticky Ginger Cake

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

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