Christmas Gingerbread Cake

A moist and mild Christmas Gingerbread Cake which is easy to make and looks fabulous! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

christmas gingerbread cake on metal tray

Christmas Tree Bundt Pan

I had been holding off on buying a Christmas tree bundt pan for many years, especially after first seeing it on one of Nigella Lawson’s Christmas shows.

Why would you buy something which you could only use once a year? Well … why not?!

Why This Recipe Works

  • This gingerbread cake recipe requires mostly pantry ingredients.
  • It takes only about 15 minutes to prepare this cake!
  • The bundt pan does all of the work to transform this cake into a stunning centrepiece.
christmas gingerbread cake on wooden board

Favourite Christmas Recipes

Something I love about Christmas is being able to revert to tried and true favourites which become part of the family’s food traditions at this time of the year.

Every Christmas, I love making my childrens’ favourite Gingerbread Sablé cookies, as well as many batches of Swiss Walnut Chrimas Cookies for the neighbours and Fruit Mince Pies for myself (no one in my family really likes them, which is more than fine by me!).

These are all recipes which are made once a year and which have become special in our home for this very reason, so I finally convinced myself of a bundt pan which might become part of our annual Christmas ritual.

Nordic Ware Bundt Pan

And what a beauty it is! Like any bundt pan, this Christmas tree bundt pan will make any plain cake look suddenly merry and festive.

The popular Nordic Ware Holiday Bundt Tree Pan (or Nordic Ware Christmas Tree Pan) is not always so easy to find online. In fact, I think it might have been replaced by the very similar Nordic Ware Pine Forest Bundt Pan. The former has trees of the same size, whereas the latter has different-sized trees.

But when a local Swiss company advertised a very similar cake tin in its catalogue, I promptly ordered one online (and at a fraction of the cost!).

christmas gingerbread cake with icing sugar

Gingerbread Cake

To christen my new bundt pan, I made a simple gingerbread cake, knowing that plain cakes work best in fancy cake tins like this one.

I absolutely adore gingerbread spices and, if I could, I would use them throughout the year. There are many different types of gingerbread cakes which I love to eat, especially Nigella Lawson’s Gingerbread with Lemon Icing.

But the children often prefer something more familiar and this is a simple and moist cake with mild gingerbread spices.

They have been happily devouring a slice of this cake for their afternoon tea, and my son even helped himself to a large slice for breakfast the other day! (That was after eating his yoghurt and cereal, of course!)

albert menes pain d'épices

Gingerbread Spice Mix

This gingerbread cake is even easier to make if you are able to get your hands on a ready-made gingerbread spice mix.

I found a nice gingerbread spice mix on a recent trip to France; it is commonly sold in most French supermarkets to make French gingerbread (or pain d’épices), so I figured that it would be a reliable blend.

But I imagine that most ready-made gingerbread spice mixes would work well in this recipe, particularly those intended for use in making German Lebkuchen and Speculoos cookies.

If you can’t find any ready-made gingerbread spices, my recipe below has a suggestion for making your own.

christmas gingerbread cake with gold measuring spoons

How to Make Gingerbread Cake

Step 1

When using a bundt pan, even if it is non-stick, I like to grease it generously with a non-stick baking spray, followed by a light dusting of flour. Tap the pan over the kitchen sink to remove any excess flour.

For bundt pans which are extra-intricate, I like to give the pan a second coating of flour.

christmas bundt pan which has been buttered and floured

Step 2

Make the batter by creaming together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by a tablespoon of the dry ingredients to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the milk and vanilla.

Continue beating until you have a thick and smooth batter.

cake batter for gingerbread cake in white mixing bowl

Step 3

Fill the bundt pan with the cake batter. Tap the pan on the kitchen counter a few times to allow the batter to settle into all of the grooves of the cake mould.

Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the thick part of the cake comes out clean.

bundt pan filled with gingerbread cake batter

Step 4

Let the cake cool in the bundt pan, on a wire rack, for about 10 minutes. This is important to allow the cake to settle and to firm up slightly. Otherwise, if you attempt to unmould the cake too quickly, the cake will fall apart.

Carefully unmould the cake. I use my fingers to gently loosen the cake from the edges of pan, as well as from the centre funnel. Then place a wire rack on top of the bundt pan, invert the pan, and your cake should easily slide out onto the wire rack.

gingerbread cake cooling on wire rack

Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake

For a chocolate version, please see my recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake.

chocolate gingerbread bundt cake
{Recipe for Chocolate Gingberbread Bundt Cake}

More Christmas Recipes

If you are looking for more Christmas recipes, you might also like:

Chocolate Pavlova with Chestnut Purée

Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)

Print

Christmas Gingerbread Cake

4.4 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-12
  • Category: Christmas
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: French

A moist and mild Christmas Gingerbread Cake which is easy to make and looks fabulous! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (without fan).
  2. Generously grease a bundt cake pan with at least 2 litre (8 cup) capacity with vegetable oil or non-stick baking spray.
  3. Lightly flour the bundt cake pan and shake out the excess flour over the kitchen sink.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You can do this with a bowl and wooden spoon, but it is easiest and quickest with a handheld electric beater, or with a stand mixer and flat paddle attachment, on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  5. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt, and gingerbread spices into a bowl.
  6. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar, one a time, followed by a tablespoon of the flour mixture to prevent the batter from curdling.
  7. Once all of the eggs have been incorporated into the batter, lightly mix through the remaining flour mixture, together with the vanilla extract and milk.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan, and give it a few taps on the kitchen counter to make sure the batter has settled into all of the grooves of the cake tin.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the thick part of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, on a wire rack, for about 10 minutes before carefully inverting the cake onto another wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Dust with icing sugar (powdered sugar) before serving.

Kitchen Notes

CAKE PAN SIZE
The cake pan I have used in the accompanying photos has a capacity of 2.25 litres/9 cups. If you are using the Nordic Ware Holiday Bundt Tree Pan or Nordic Ware Pine Forest Bundt Pan, they also have a 2.25 litre/9 cup capacity.

INGREDIENTS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
As for all cakes, make sure all of your ingredients, including the eggs and milk, are at room temperature before using.

GINGERBREAD SPICE MIX
I use a French gingerbread spice mix for pain d’épices which contains cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, and ginger. A German gingerbread spice mix for Lebkuchen, or even a Speculoos spice mix, would also work well in this recipe.

HOMEMADE GINGERBREAD SPICE MIX
If you can’t find any ready-made gingerbread spice mix, I would suggest using the following homemade gingerbread spice mix for this recipe:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 308
  • Sugar: 19.2g
  • Sodium: 29.3mg
  • Fat: 16.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.8g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Protein: 4.6g
  • Cholesterol: 101.5mg

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram and using #eatlittlebird

Update

This recipe was first published on 17 December 2017. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.

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13 comments

  1. Iman Kobeissi 18 December 2017

    First of the all, this cake is gorgeous!! And sounds delish, perfect for holiday parties!

    Reply
  2. Brandi 18 December 2017

    This is so festive! Gingerbread is my fav. Love it!

    Reply
  3. Sandi 18 December 2017

    What an adorable bundt pan. I love the festive vibe!

    Reply
  4. Ginny 18 December 2017

    What a wonderful bundt pan. I would love to have that. Your cake sounds just like the kind I like too.

    Reply
  5. lisa 19 December 2017

    This is a beautiful bundt cake — so if I could turn out a special dessert for the holidays — I think I WOULD invest in it!

    Reply
  6. Lorraine Parente 9 January 2018

    What is the bundt pan (in cups) that you are using? Also, can this cake be made in a loaf and if so what size?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 19 January 2018

      Hi Lorraine,
      I have noted in my recipe that my bundt pan has a capacity of 4 cups. If you wish to use this recipe in a loaf tin, you will have to adjust the baking time depending on the size of the loaf tin. Also, unless you are using a very long loaf tin, this recipe might require at least 2 regular loaf tins.

      Reply
  7. Julia 16 April 2018

    Mmm, this sounds so good!!! Its fantastic! One of my favs!

    Reply
  8. Kaz 28 November 2019

    Have just made this as a practice run for Xmas. Fabulous
    Would like to know if it would freeze

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 4 December 2019

      Hi Kaz,
      I don’t freeze my cakes, but I imagine that it should be fine to freeze this cake. Enjoy!

      Reply
  9. Anita 20 December 2019

    Do you think I could use a pumpkin pie spice mix instead of the gingerbread mix? It has cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

    Reply
  10. Mary 25 December 2020

    I’m not sure why I have had a different result. My ingredients were fresh and I used large eggs but the batter baked cake did not fill in the bottom rim of the pan and the entire railroad track was missing. All that was left was a ring of floating trees that just looked odd. I was very dissatisfied since I know what it is supposed to look like. I’m not sure what went wrong. It’s Christmas morning and this is now the dessert I’m stuck with. I’m not pleased.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 25 December 2020

      Hi Mary,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your cake. My guess is that you maybe you did not cream the butter and sugar for long enough to create air in the batter, which would help the cake to rise and fill more of the cake pan during baking. Another guess is that maybe your baking powder has expired, or maybe all of your ingredients were not at room temperature?

      But I can only make guesses as to why your cake did not rise to fill the pan. In baking, there are so many variables. But I hope you and your family can still enjoy this cake.

      May I suggest decorating around the bottom of the cake, for example with chocolates or nuts?

      I wish you and your family a happy Christmas.

      Reply