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Gingerbread Orange Layer Cake. Three layers of orangey rum glazed gingerbread cake coated in an orangey cream cheese buttercream!! | gingerbread, cake

Gingerbread Orange Layer Cake

Stacey - The Sugar Coated Cottage
Gingerbread Orange Layer Cake. Three layers of orangey rum glazed gingerbread cake coated in an orangey cream cheese buttercream!!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Cake
Cuisine American
Servings 7 inch cake


  • CAKE:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs room temp
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/3 cup rum or water if you don't want to use rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lb of cream cheese room temp
  • 1 cup butter room temp
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 lb powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Lightly grease and flour 3 x 7” pans and place parchment on the bottoms. This is a sticky cake so please do not omit the parchment paper on the bottom of the pans.
  • In a large bowl add the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir with whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In bowl of mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Add in the orange zest, vanilla and molasses. Mix well to combine.
  • With mixer on low speed add the flour mixture in by spoonfuls alternately with the water, starting and ending with the flour.
  • Mix just until well combined and smooth.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.
  • GLAZE:
  • Add all ingredients into small pan and bring to a simmer only until sugar is dissolved. Let cool 5 minutes.
  • Cut any humps off top of cake layers, take a skewer or toothpick and poke random holes on the tops of each cake (this will allow for glaze to seep into cake. Brush the cake layers with the glaze.
  • BUTTERCREAM: * (see notes regarding quanity)
  • Cream the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the vanilla, orange juice and orange zest, mix well to combine.
  • With mixer on low speed add in powdered sugar one spoonful at a time until well combined and completely mixed and creamy, about 3-5 minutes of mixing after all powdered sugar is added. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  • Note: This is a soft frosting because of the cream cheese, it does not pipe designs due to its soft nature.
  • Place dab of frosting on cake board/cake plate to keep cake in place.
  • Place the first cake layer on the cake board/plate.
  • Spread a large dollop of buttercream on top and spread evenly to the edges of the cake.
  • Place next cake layer on top and spread with buttercream.
  • Repeat with with remaining cake layer until all are stacked.
  • Once all the layers are in place apply a crumb coat ** (see notes) of buttercream around the top and sides of cake. Refrigerate at least 45 min. (Crumb coat gives a nice smooth base to work with when ready to apply final coat of buttercream and decorate).
  • Apply final coat of buttercream, I chose a semi-naked cake design for this but I still used a crumb coat to keep the final coat clean.
  • Decorate with fruit, nuts, sugared cranberries and any holiday cookies and greenery you may have on hand.


*The quantity of buttercream will provide enough to crumb coat and completely coat this cake. I chose to do a semi-naked cake so I had frosting left over. But there is enough buttercream to completely coat this cake if you don't like the semi-naked look.
**Highly recommend crumb coating and refrigerating this cake before the final coat. Due to the softer nature of this frosting chilling it before the final coat will make for a smoother coating.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!