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+ servings
5 from 2 votes
Gingerbread Man Cake
Gingerbread Man Cake
Prep Time
3 hrs
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 30 mins
Spiced gingerbread cake is iced with tangy cream cheese frosting and decorated with gingerbread man cookies for two festive desserts in one!
Course: Cakes/Cookies
Servings: 8 -10 servings
  • Gingerbread Cake
  • 8 oz unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cups boiling water

  • Cream Cheese Icing
  • 16 oz cream cheese softened
  • 8 oz unsalted butter 2 sticks, softened
  • 2 lbs confectioners sugar 2 boxes
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

  • Gingerbread Man Cookies
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 oz 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses

  • Royal Icing
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar - SIFTED
  • ¼ cup meringue powder
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla
  • Red gel food coloring

  • *special equipment: 3 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter
  • **The cookie recipe makes about 24 cookies but you will only need half the recipe for the cake.
  1. Gingerbread Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 - 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Cream butter and sugar on med/high speed with an electric mixer.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
  4. Add molasses, mixing to combine.
  5. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  6. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with boiling water.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pans (mixture will be runny).
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, rotating the pans once during baking.
  9. Cream Cheese Icing: Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes on med/high speed with an electric mixer.
  10. Gradually add in confectioners sugar, mixing well to combine.
  11. Stir in vanilla extract until incorporated.
  12. Gingerbread Man Cookies: Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.
  13. In another bowl, cream the the butter and sugars together with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 mins.
  14. Add the egg and molasses and mix until well blended.
  15. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until combined.
  16. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap them in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  17. Roll out the dough between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper and cut out cookies using a 3 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter.
  18. Place the cookies on baking trays lined with parchment paper and put in freezer for about 10 minutes before baking.
  19. Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are set, about 10 minutes (depending on the shape/size of the cookie). Cool on wire racks before icing.
  20. Royal Icing: Combine confectioners sugar, meringue powder and cream of tarter in large mixing bowl. Add water and clear vanilla and beat on high speed with paddle attachment until stiff peaks form, but the mixture is not dry. Add water to reach desired piping consistency (tsp or two at a time), mixing after each addition of water.
  21. Separate the icing into two bowls and add drops of red gel food coloring to one bowl to reach the desired color, but keep in mind the color will deepen and darken as the icing dries.
  22. Fill piping bags fitted with round metal #2 tips and ice the cookies.
  23. Let completed cookies dry for several hours before attaching to the cake and store the remaining cookies in an air tight container.
  24. Cookies will keep for several days stored at room temperature.
  25. Putting it all together: Slice the top off of each cake to create a nice, flat surface.
  26. Divide each cake in half to create four layers.
  27. Place one cake layer (save your best for the top) on a cake plate and spread on some cream cheese icing.
  28. Repeat two more times and finally top with the last cake layer.
  29. Ice the top and sides of the cake with a very thin layer of icing (crumb coat) and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to set. Remove and finish icing the cake, carefully smoothing the top and sides.
  30. If desired, you can tint a small amount of icing red and pipe a border around the top and bottom of the cake.
  31. Place the gingerbread man cookies around the sides of the cake (the icing will act as the "glue") and place one on top (I bake one cookie on lollipop sticks so the gingerbread man can stand on the cake).
  32. Slice and enjoy!