One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

You guys something crazy has happened and somehow I am 34 weeks pregnant today. How did this go by so fast?  To be honest, I always had a hunch that October through the end of December would fly as it’s my favorite time of the year, but still I’m caught by surprise. I feel equal parts ready and excited to meet my little babe, but also glad that I have another 4-8 weeks to go so I can finish up preparing things and get mentally ready.

I also need the next few weeks to continue to make lots of great things in the kitchen so that when he does come I will still have recipes to share with you. I really have no idea what my life will be like come February, but I hope you’ll stick with me as I figure it out! :)

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

After making  Easy One-bowl Pumpkin Bread, I had a yearning to figure out something similar for a dark, spicy Gingerbread, (which happens to be one of my favorite things ever.) The plan was for this to be in a loaf pan and be a slice-able bread/cake that I could make for gifts/guests. Well- I tried that with this recipe and if you saw the lava flow of batter spilling over the pan into the bottom of the oven you’d understand why that just didn’t work. (Too much batter for a loaf pan- darn!) So- I started over and decided a beautiful bundt would work just as well if not better. I rested easy as the batter barely filled the half-way mark, and it baked up just perfectly.

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

This gingerbread certainly doesn’t need any frosting or icing and would be perfect as is or even with a drizzle of powdered sugar, but I can’t resist the look of a bundt with gooey icing dripping down. (Evidence- Caramel Latte Bundt Cake and Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake…I also seem to really like shooting these on pewter trays) So- I made a lemon cream cheese icing and topped the whole thing with some chopped candied ginger. The end result- so super good you guys. And the best part? It gets even better on the second and third days. I brought this one to my birth class but kept the botched up over-flowed one (which was ugly but tasted great) and we are still absolutely loving it 5 days later. Somehow the spices and flavors get better and stronger, and the texture becomes even more soft and moist if possible. This one is a keeper for sure!


One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Yield: 1 - 9 inch cake


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2T vegetable oil, I used coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water

For the glaze:

  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • milk for thinning
  • Candied ginger for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 inch bundt pan (or a 9-inch square pan) and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil. Add in the egg, and mix in the molasses, whisking until smooth.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the sugar/oil mixture and then follow by sprinkling the spices, baking soda and salt over the flour.
  4. Stir, starting with gently combining the dry ingredients, then working the wet into the dry until almost completely incorporated.
  5. Add the hot water and gently whisk until mixture is smooth and well combined- (though a few small lumps are fine.)
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For glaze:

  1. Soften the cream cheese. (I like to melt it for about 45 seconds in the microwave.) and whisk in 2 cups of powdered sugar. Add in the lemon zest and juice and continue to whisk. To thin the glaze out- add a teaspoon of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency. (If you thin it out too much you can add more powdered sugar it's as thick as you like.)
  2. Drizzle over cooled cake and top with candied ginger if desired.


Recipe adapted from: All Recipes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. I’ve been seeing the gingerbread + lemon cream cheese combo a lot lately, and I am so intrigued by it. I love gingerbread but I never would’ve thought to pair it with lemon!

    This cake looks beautiful AND delicious!

  2. Yum, this looks perfect for the holidays! And I love that you used coconut oil, which is one of my favorite kitchen ingredients ever. I’ve never made gingerbread desserts before, but this looks so gorgeous that I may just have to try it!

    1. If you’ve never made gingerbread desserts before you’re in for a treat! They are so good! :) And yes- I love baking with coconut oil too!

  3. audra! i don’t think i can find molasses! what can i use instead?! maple syrup? or maybe make it myself? (btw im from lima – Peru) :)

    1. Hi Fiorella! You could use maple syrup. The cake would have a different flavor/color- but it would still taste delicious! :)

  4. This looks delish, and lemon and gingerbread go so well together! I have to tell you that I made your gingerbread blondies for a book signing with some very powerful and talented writers. At the end of the eve I had people (including men) hand me their business cards to send them the recipe, so funny! I added macadamias to them, oh so good! Can’t wait to try this cake!

  5. I get increasingly excited for you with each passing week!!! It is crazy how time has flown. :P I always love your frosted bundt cakes. They are showstoppers!

  6. I can’t believe October & November have come and gone and we are halfway through december! I can only imagine how fast it must feel being pregnant! My best friend is 8 months now and she says the same thing! The lemon cream cheese glaze looks gorgeous with this gingerbread cake! My mom would adore this cake!

  7. Audra, I made this cake yesterday as soon as I saw it and brought it to a holiday party where it was a hit! I actually went to your site yesterday specifically to make the chocolate peppermint cookies to bring to the party, but changed my mind when I saw this, especially since I happened to have all the ingredients and am a molasses fiend! I added a few shakes of nutmeg and allspice as well as a couple tablespoons of cocoa. It’s very molasses-y and not very sweet which I love, but the best part is that it’s a one-bowl recipe : ) Everyone was asking what the specks of ginger were on the top – it’s such a nice touch. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so very much for letting me know! Honestly nothing makes my day like knowing someone made and liked a recipe I post. I loved this cake too so I’m glad you did as well!

  8. This cake is the BEST! I’ve already made it twice! I hope the second one comes out just as good though. I had to substitute honey for part of the molasses. Taking it to our holiday party tomorrow and hoping some is left over to bring back home! First time I made it using two loaf pans and it worked out perfectly.

    1. Thank you so much Deauna! I am glad to know it works out well in two loaf pans. I should have known it was way too much for one- I blame pregnancy brain! :)

    2. Also- I made this once other time where I was 1/4 cup short of molasses and used maple syrup and it still worked out well!

  9. I am a novice when it comes to baking with coconut oil. Please help me understand consistency. Is it supposed to come out like shortening from the jar? What about best ways to measure the amount needed accurately?

    Thanks for all your great ideas!

      1. Well, shucks! That makes sense. Thanks so much for the prompt reply.

        Looking forward to my next baking adventure!

  10. Just wanted to thank you for this wonderful recipe. I’ve made it several times replacing half the flour with whole wheat flour and 1/2 the molasses with apple sauce; I also don’t usually frost it, and we love it as an after dinner treat or for breakfast! Last week I went ahead and frosted it and oh boy!

  11. I adore this recipe!
    When I made it, I cut the recipe in half, but still used the whole egg (lazy!) and to “fiber it up”, I replaced all the flour with King Arthur’s white wheat flour.
    I’m trying to train myself to not crave super sweet stuff (so hard!), so I made the cream cheese icing with double the cream cheese, but only a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar and found that it was still plenty sweet with the cake.

    I’m new to your blog, and I LOVE it! Can’t wait to try some more of your great recipes.

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