Baked Good / Brunch / Cake / Dessert

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Icing


Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Icing

I’ve been experimenting with gingerbread off and on for a couple of years.  Friends and family raved about Dancing Deer Baking Company’s conventional version when they first offered it.  It’s good, but I love this recipe. The only issue is that it makes ¾ cup too much batter, but I fill 2-3 ramekins with the extra to make a couple of individual cakes. The contrast of spice and citrus enhances the flavors, but the cake can be served with cinnamon whipped cream, vanilla ice cream… or rum raisin ice cream….  Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Icing

Click Here For Printable Recipe

Oven: 325 F; generously buttered tube pan (plus 2-3 ramekins for extra batter.)



¾ cup honey (substitute agave syrup or maple syrup if the flavor of honey is too strong.)

¾ cup unsulfured molasses

½ cup vegetable oil (substitute melted unsalted butter, but oil creates a more tender crumb.)

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature

½ cup (4 oz.) dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water.

2 cups GF Flour Mix

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspooons lemon zest (optional.)

1 teaspoon xantham gum

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ cup (3 oz.) finely diced candied ginger.


2 cups confectioner’s sugar

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 Tablespoon packed lemon zest

¼ cup lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F and prepare baking (pans)
  2. Combine the honey, molasses, and oil in a medium sized saucepan, bring to a boil; set aside to cool a bit.
  3. Combine the eggs and sugar in a standing mixer.  Using a paddle attachment, mix until frothy, about a minute.
  4. Combine the flour mix, spices, xantham gum, and salt in a medium sized bowl; whisk to blend.
  5. Add the sour cream and baking soda/water mix to the honey/molasses mixture; stir to blend and add to the egg/sugar mixture.  Beat for 30 seconds on medium speed to blend.
  6. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, mix slowly for 10-15 seconds, then at medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping down as needed.
  7. Fold in the chopped ginger.
  8. Pour all but ¾ – 1 cup of the batter into the prepared tube pan. Pour the rest of the batter into 2-3 prepared individual ramekins.
  9. Bake the cake for 1 hour.  (Bake the ramekins for 25 – 30 minutes depending on their size and how fully they are filled.)
  10. Let the cake cool 30 minutes before removing from the pan.  Either frost immediately so the icing melts into the cake forming a glaze on top, or let the cake cool completely so the icing will be a more distinct layer.
  11. To make the icing: blend the softened butter and confectioners sugar at medium high speed until whipped together.  Add the lemon zest and juice, mixing until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl down as needed.

5 thoughts on “Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Icing

    • Possibly, but I think vegetable oil (light olive oil or even walnut oil) would be healthier. If you experiment with coconut, let me know you like the results. Also, you could substitute a half cup of the GF flour mix with coconut flour. It has a wonderful flavor and texture, and is relatively high in fiber. Good luck!

  1. Thanks for this post. I’m able to tolerate gluten and have only recently started to try gluten-free baking. One of my favorite late fall/winter desserts is gingerbread cake, so I’ll have to try this. Can you tell me what the xantham gum does?

    • I think you’re going to be really pleased with the results of this gingerbread cake recipe. Days after posting it I was sent photographs of the cake just out of the oven, being glazed whilst eager diners looked on with forks at the ready. The verdict: flavorful, moist, excellent! Xantham Gum serves as a binder, something that helps recreate the elasticity that comes from the stretchiness of the gluten molecule in (wheat, rye, barley, and other) flour. It’s expensive and there is probably enough else going on with the ingredients in this cake for you to omit it, but it will add a little structure and body to the finished product. Another option is to use Pamela’s Baking Mix, which already contains xantham gum. If you go this route, omit the salt in the recipe, and reduce the amount of sweetener since Pamela’s contains evaporated cane sugar, molasses, and honey. Good luck and enjoy!

      • Thanks! I have been curious about that ingredient, since it is expensive and I don’t do enough gluten-free baking to really justify the cost…But thanks for the heads up about Pamela’s… 🙂 Looking forward to trying this.

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