Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Maple Icing: This sweet spiced bundt cake has a delicious and adorable surprise baked right inside…gingerbread men! The gingerbread men are made with brown sugar, molasses, and a touch of vanilla extract and are baked inside a cake spiced with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. It’s delicious yet not overly spiced which makes it a hit for everyone! This soft, moist cake is finished with a delicious maple icing!
PERFECT HOLIDAY CAKE
I fall in love with this cake whenever I look at it. There’s something special about a treat within a treat and who can deny how cute gingerbread men are! When you see and taste this delicious Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Maple Icing, I’m pretty sure you’re going to fall in love too!
From gingerbread houses to gingerbread men, I love it when gingerbread season rolls around every December! The warm spices, molasses flavor and rich brown color just tastes like the holidays.
ABOUT THIS GINGERBREAD CAKE
As you can see, this cake is more like two cakes in one and all topped with a delicious maple icing! Here’s more about each of the three components:
- Gingerbread Cake: The recipe for the gingerbread men cake cut outs comes from my great grandmother. I tweaked it a little bit by adding a little more molasses and by decreasing the amount of spices slightly. They still have the signature gingerbread taste. Decreasing the spice a little just means that even people who are not big fans of gingerbread will enjoy it!
- Spiced Bundt Cake: This recipe also comes from my great grandmother. The flavor and the size of the cake made the perfect cake to bake these surprise gingerbread men in!
- Maple Glaze: For the icing, I wanted something warm, sweet and delicious but nothing spicy. Maple glaze was the obvious answer. It also had to be easy because this dessert essentially already involves making two cakes. This icing is just a matter of stirring a few ingredients together.
HOW DO YOU BAKE A CAKE WITHIN A CAKE?
Baking an unexpected treat inside a cake is the best! It’s fun seeing what cool things you can create and awesome watching people’s reactions when they discover the surprise inside! I first did this with my Cupcakes with Hearts in the Middle recipe.
MORE ABOUT BAKING A CAKE WITHIN A CAKE:
- WILL THE GINGERBREAD MEN OVERBAKE? No, but it’s important not to overbake the gingerbread cake. You want it fully baked but not overly baked.
- HOW DO YOU GET THE SHAPE IN THE CAKE? You will end up with gingerbread men in every slice. You’ll first spoon some spiced cake batter at the bottom, then add a big row of the gingerbread men back to back around the pan. All the gingerbread men then get covered with the rest of the batter.
- HOW DO YOU KEEP THE GINGERBREAD MEN FROM FALLING OVER? First of all you’ll stick their heads in about a half an inch in the spiced cake batter. Also, you’ll be placing them up against each other so they don’t have far to fall. If they start to lean sideways, just try to hold them in place with one hand as you go.
STEPS FOR BAKING THIS RECIPE
As mentioned, this recipe involves making two cakes. Luckily they are both easy to make. Since you need to add the gingerbread men to the spice cake, you’ll want to follow the overall recipe in the following order:
- Make the gingerbread cake.
- Allow cake to cool.
- Cut out the gingerbread men.
- Make the spiced bundt cake.
- Spread 2 cups of the spiced cake batter into the bundt pan.
- Stick the gingerbread men in the bundt pan.
- Pour/spread the remainder of the spiced bundt batter over the gingerbread men.
- Bake, cool, and invert the cake. Cool completely.
- Glaze. Cut in to reveal the gingerbread men and enjoy!
HOW TO CUT OUT THE GINGERBREAD MEN?
You’ll need a gingerbread cookie cutter for this recipe. Mine is 3 inches high and 1 inch deep. I found it to be a good size. I wouldn’t use a cookie cutter that is taller than 3 inches because they may them stick out of the bottom of the cake.
You have to be a little delicate when pushing the cake out of the cookie cutter. That said, it was pretty easy and only broke one of the gingerbread men’s arms!
ABOUT THE MAPLE ICING
Normally I like to incorporate a flavor from my cake into my icing. This time, however, I wanted something with warmth that would enhance the gingerbread flavor. I didn’t want it to have much spice, however, so that it was complimenting and not competing with the spice cake and gingerbread. This maple icing was the perfect choice!
The icing also has hints of vanilla and is super easy to mix up! Drizzle on as much or as little as you like!
The amount of powdered sugar you add is up to you. I know some people prefer thinner icing so that it drips down the sides of the cake, while others prefer a thicker icing. This icing recipe is very easy and forgiving. If you want it a little thinner, add more milk. To thicken it up, add more powdered sugar!
I can’t wait for you to make this treat of a dessert! It seriously made my day when I saw how cute it turned out. Bonus! It was just as amazing to me when I tasted it. So much molasses and brown sugar and all the holiday deliciousness in this perfectly spiced Gingerbread Bundt Cake!Print
This Gingerbread Bundt Cake is both perfectly sweetened and spiced and filled with the cutest gingerbread cut outs. Topped with an easy maple icing, this cake is delicious, adorable and fun!
FOR THE GINGERBREAD CAKE
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup very hot water
FOR THE SPICE CAKE
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)*
FOR THE MAPLE POWDERED SUGAR ICING
- 1–1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, add more to achieve desired thickness
- 3 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon 3 teaspoons milk (add milk gradually til desired thickness achieved)
FOR THE GINGERBREAD CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the egg followed by the molasses and mix until combined.
Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Slowly pour in the hot water and stir until smooth. Batter will be thin.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes come out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a cooling rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out and allow them to cool completely on the rack.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the cooled cakes in half lengthwise. Use a gingerbread man shaped cookie cutter to cut out as many gingerbread men as possible. (I cut 8 gingerbread men out of each of the 4 parts of bread which gave me 32 gingerbread men. Set the gingerbread men aside until ready to assemble the cake.
FOR THE SPICE BUNDT CAKE
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Very generously butter and flour a 10 cup bundt pan.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer or the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, and sugar until fluffy. Blend the beaten eggs into the mixture slowly. Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately beating until smooth after each addition.
- Spoon two cups of the batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan and spread it around with a spatula.
- Carefully place the gingerbread men into the pan head first by about 1/2 inch into the batter. Place them back to back so they are all touching and go around the bundt pan until it’s full of a layer of upside down gingerbread men. Spoon the rest of the batter over top and spread it evenly to cover the gingerbread men. Give the pan a sharp tap to reduce any air bubbles.
- Bake for 38-45 minutes** or until a toothpick comes out clean or only with a few crumbs when inserted in the center or until cake springs back to the touch. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes then carefully invert onto rack and allow to cool completely.
FOR THE MAPLE POWDERED SUGAR ICING
- In a medium sized bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Add the milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Use a whisk or spoon to combine. Drizzle generously over the cooled cake.
*For a stronger spice flavor, make it 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.
Keywords: bundt, gingerbread, Christmas, maple glaze, maple icing, cake, spice cake