If your holiday season officially starts with a gingerbread latte, this is the cake of your coffee-loving dreams. Three layers of spicy gingerbread are brushed with Espresso Simple Syrup and then covered in fluffy Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting.

Pam Lolley


Credit: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
2 hrs
Serves 16


Cake Layers
Espresso Simple Syrup
Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
Additional Ingredients


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Process flour, crystallized ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg in a food processor until crystallized ginger is finely ground, about 1 minute. Set aside.

  • Beat salted butter with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add light brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir together coffee and molasses in a glass measuring cup. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with coffee mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition.

  • Place egg whites in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites, in thirds, into batter, folding just until incorporated after each addition.

  • Spoon batter into 3 greased (with vegetable shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 19 to 22 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the Espresso Simple Syrup: Bring coffee and granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1⁄2 cup, 5 to 6 minutes.

  • Remove cakes from oven, and cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Transfer from pans to wire racks; brush evenly with warm Espresso Simple Syrup. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

  • Prepare the Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting: While Cake Layers cool, beat cream and vanilla bean paste with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. (Do not overbeat.)

  • Assemble the cake: Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Gently press crushed ginger cookies around the bottom of the cake to make a 1 1/2-inch band.