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Chocolate Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream

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Chocolate Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream

Baking with my family during the holidays is one of my favorite times of the year. Baking with family really brings everyone together. If you need an easy but elegant holiday treat this year, this Chocolate Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream is the treat for you. It’s made with a doctored up Cake Mix.

Here’s why I love doctored-up cake mix cakes (and why all my cakes start with a cake mix) – The best cakes begin with perfectly moist batter. I’ve tried dozens of professional chef cakes over the years and they are good but still not as moist as a mix. And when you doctor it up, it takes on a completely unique and delicious flavor. When making anything gingerbread, like my favorite Easy Gingerbread Loaves, I like to use this brand of Molasses. It’s deep and rich without being bitter.

The ingredients in this Chocolate Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream are so simple – start with a perfectly moist cake mix, just add some spices and molasses to your cake mix and you’ll have a sticky, delicious, gingerbread-y chocolate cake. Perfect for the Holidays.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream

Author Shannon Lyon | Plum Street Collective


Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

  • 1 box Devils Food or Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. molasses

Cinnamon Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted (softened) (1 stick)
  • 1 block cream cheese, softened (8 oz.)
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6-8 tablespoons milk


  • fresh cranberries
  • fresh evergreen or pine greenery
  • white sugar


Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two or three cake pans (depending on how many layers you'd like) with parchment paper. To measure the parchment paper correctly, place the cake pans on top of the parchment, and using a pencil trace around the cake pan. This will give you a guide to cut out a circle to cover the bottom of the pan edge to edge with parchment – this cake is sticky from the molasses so you want to make sure the whole bottom is covered with parchment. Spray on top of parchment generously with cooking spray – making sure to get the sides and bottom fully covered.
  • Combine cake mix, spices, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  • Add oil and water, mix well with large spoon.
  • Then incorporate eggs, one at a time, mixing well.
  • Slowly add molasses while mixing.
  • Once ingredients are fully incorporated, pour batter evenly into pans. I used 3 nine inch cake pans, but you could also use 2. Just make sure it's evenly divided.
  • Bake at 350 for about 25-27 minutes. If you make only two layers, cakes will take longer so keep an eye on them. Cakes are done when they bounce back in center to slight touch (or when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
  • Cool in pans for 30 minutes before turning out. Chill before frosting.
  • For best frosting results, turn out cakes onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and set in freezer until cold. Remove when ready to frost.

Cinnamon Buttercream

  • Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese on high speed until soft and whipped. Then add butter and mix until well incorporated.
  • Once incorporated and smooth, then add in cinnamon and vanilla extract. Then slowly add in powdered sugar, alternating with 1 tablespoon of milk. Continue whipping until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Frost cake once cake has cooled, or store frosting in the fridge until ready to frost. If you store it in the fridge, bring it back to room temp before frosting so it softens up a little.

Sugared Toppings

  • To make sugared cranberries, you don't need to make any syrups or anything complicated! This method is easy and I've used it for years – simply get out a small cookie sheet and cover it with a layer of white sugar.
  • Place 1 c. of fresh cranberries in a strainer in the sink. Run cold water over the cranberries until they are all wet.
  • Strain off water and add cranberries to cookie sheet with sugar. Toss to coat. Let dry for 10-15 minutes until sugar hardens.
  • Repeat the same process with fresh greenery. Get it wet, shake it off, then toss in white sugar. Let dry and keep covering with more sugar until it is covered. Wait for it to harden. Use to decorate your cake.

I am certain you will love this Chocolate Gingerbread Cake!

Let me know if you make this cake and tag me @plumstreetcollective on Instagram. Thanks for reading!


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