One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake for a Crowd (+ video)

Servings: 18-20 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Gingerbread is best shared with friends. A one-bowl gingerbread cake recipe that makes a good sized cake is the easiest way to have more to go around.

There’s nothing better than a dessert recipe that can feed a crowd.

Not every recipe doubles well and sometimes making two of something is more effort than you have time for. That’s where a big-batch cake comes in handy. One bowl. One pan. One less thing to prep for a gathering.

  • gingerbread for a crowd: Beautifully spiced and with a texture that is just dense enough
    Gingerbread is best shared with friends. A one-bowl gingerbread recipe that makes a good sized cake is the easiest way to have more to go around.

A family favourite recipe…

I was given this recipe last month for a fundraiser that I was helping out with. It’s a family favourite of a woman I volunteer with, and she passed it out to 10 of us to bake for dessert for the fundraiser.

We had to deliver it sliced which meant I was able to taste a little sliver.

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake for a Crowd has everything you love about a classic gingerbread. Beautifully spiced and with a texture that is just dense enough, this is the cake you want to make for your Christmas (or any other festive) gathering. Make it ahead if you have time since it only gets better with age. Serve it warm with cinnamon whipped cream or our Quick Coffee Toffee Sauce or Toasted Pecan Caramel Sauce.

Hard to believe, but in all my years of making gingerbread this is the first classic GB recipe I have ever made that calls for a 9”x 13” pan. This recipe can serve up to 20.

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake Recipe


  • 2 ½ cups flour, spooned in
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9” x 13” pan or line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter with sugar. Beat in eggs then molasses. Beat in water.
  3. Sprinkle over the flour, spices, baking soda and salt and beat until smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.

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29 thoughts on “One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake for a Crowd (+ video)

  1. Since my grandson cannot have sugar – the only sweeteners he is allowed are molasses and stevia – can this be adapted to omit the sugar. I know that changes the texture so I want to make the right substitution.

    1. Hi Yvonne, I’m not sure how to adapt this recipe to suit your grandson. I often reduce the sugar in recipes but have never removed it entirely. You might try Googling “refined sugar free cakes”. That will bring up recipes that use honey, maple syrup and molasses. You can use molasses in place of honey and maple syrup in recipes. Good luck.

  2. Gloria Porter says:

    I am going to try this next week, but I am substituting b water with hot strong coffee.

    1. Alanna says:

      How did it work with the coffee?

  3. Audrey says:

    This is my new favourite cake! I made it around Christmas, and it was so good I’ve made it again since. Nice texture cake with a really great flavour. I will be making this often, thanks for the recipe!

  4. Linda Nimigon says:

    I would love to try this recipe, but I am wheat free. Would this work with GF Flour without any adjustments except the xanathan gum?

    1. Hi Linda, I haven’t tried this recipe with GF flour but it should work just fine with a GF blend and xanthan gum. Please let me know if you end up making a GF version.

  5. Sarah says:

    You mentioned this cake gets better with age…how long will it last?

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      Sarah, If no one eats all of the cake, wrapped or in a container on your counter, the cake would last for 5-6 days. Thanks for the question.

  6. Kim says:

    Just in case anyone REALLY wanted to bake this for a crowd, I thought I’d let you know… I doubled this recipe (I have the medium sized kitchenaid-it was very full!), and baked it in a full sized disposable pan, the kind that fits in the full sized chafing trays, and it baked beautifully. Great recipe!

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      Kim, Thank you for sharing this information. It is a great recipe to serve to a crowd. Happy Holidays.

  7. Natalie says:

    nope nope nope! Athe secret to a true (irish) gingerbread – like nan used to make – can only be made with tea that has been steeped on the wood stove all day just adding more bags and water not with plain old boiling water. Lol

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      Thanks for sharing, Natalie. We all have our found memories of the way our Nan’s use to make our favourite foods.

  8. Kirsty Grant says:

    I just created a Gluten Free version of this cake and it looks amazing. I followed your recipe exactly but substituted Cloud 9 All purpose Gluten Free Baling Mix cup for cup. It rose beautifully and the texture looks perfect. Still too hot to taste but I’m sure looking forward to it

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      Kirsty, That is great. I am sure it tastes even better than it looks. I am sure you will enjoy the gingerbread cake.

  9. Beverly Cutler says:

    Can I add orange zest to this receipe? I have tasted orange ginger bread and loved it. I want to make this for about 25 our 30 people. Should I double it or Judy serve smaller pieces?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Beverly, Yes, orange zest would be delicious in this recipe (we also have an orange gingerbread recipe on the this site: ) Also, I would make two batches to serve that many people.

  10. Beverly Cutler says:

    Auto correct at work again. LOL!

  11. Susan says:

    Does this cake freeze well?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Susan, I haven’t ever frozen this cake, but I believe it should be fin in the freezer (double wrapped) for up to a month.

  12. Duck says:

    Can I half this recipe and bake it in an 8 x 8 pan?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Duck, Yes, you could half the recipe and bake it in an 8″ x 8″ pan. Just watch the cooking time. It should bake a little faster.

  13. Leah says:

    Could I pour the batter into 2 greased loaf pans?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Leah, Yes, you could bake this cake in two large loaf pans, but the baking time will likely be different to keep an eye on them.

  14. C.A. Van Mil says:

    It is unfortunate, that these recipes cannot be printed and be placed in my own recipe book. Over the years, I have printed some of my favourite recipes in a small book for my youngest brother and one for my daughter. The print button always causes the recipe on this site to be covered over with every word written on your page. It becomes a jumbled muddle of logos, advertising, and whatever is written on the right side of the page. I have tried in vain to correct it. I have even used copy and paste but there are certain problems as well. I wish I knew how “to fix” the recipe page.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi there, We have added to new “print recipe” functionality to the website and now I need to format the recipes. Apologies that we don’t have it ready yet. But soon…

  15. Jenny says:

    I love this recipe! It’s so quick to make, deliciously comforting and looks really good too.
    Highly recommended.

  16. Karen Theresa Chartrand says:

    Can you substitute buttermilk for the water?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Karen, I’m not sure how buttermilk would work in this recipe. In a regular recipe it would be a fine substitution but this recipe calls for boiling water and the boiling water melts the butter. The recipe may work just fine with buttermilk — but I’m not sure.

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