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5 from 22 votes

Lemon Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread cake layers with lemon curd and whipped lemon mascarpone frosting.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Gingerbread Cake, Lemon curd, Lemon Gingerbread Cake, Mascarpone Frosting
Servings: 1 6-layer, 8-inch round cake



  • 3 1/4 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (5.3 g) ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (5.3 g) cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (250 g) molasses
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 g) buttermilk, room temperature


  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (6.25 g) grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 cup (121 g) lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons (56.5 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  • 1 cup (231 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. mascarpone
  • 2 cups (250 g) powdered sugar, measured then sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.1 g) lemon extract


For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round pans with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper and spray again.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy,.
  • Add in the brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed for another 2 minutes.
  • On medium-low, gradually add in the eggs and molasses until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat again for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and nearly double in volume.
  • Alternating between dry and wet, add in the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three additions on low speed.
  • Once mixed, place the batter into the prepared pans, about 15-16 ounces of batter in each pan.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Cool cakes in pans for about 10 minutes and then invert onto wire cooling racks to cool completely.

For the Lemon Curd

  • Whisk the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the whole eggs and yolks in a small bowl and then whisk them into the lemon mixture.
  • Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it's thick like pudding, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time until incorporated.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pushing it through with a rubber spatula. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely set, at least 4 hours and up to 5 days. 

For the Mascarpone Frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  • In the same bowl for the electric mixer, combine the mascarpone, powdered sugar and lemon extract. Mix on medium speed until incorporated.
  • Gradually fold in the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture. 
  • Use right away.


  • Once the cake layers are completely cool, use a cake leveler to divide each of the three cake layers to create six thin cake layers. (You can use a cake lifter to help lift and move each layer to the cake).
  • On a cake board, spread a small dollop of frosting to hold the cake in place. Place your first of the six cake layers on the board. 
  • Pipe a rim of frosting around the edge of the cake and spread about 1/4 cup of the lemon curd inside the rim of frosting.
  • Repeat step 3 for the next four cake layers. For the final cake layer, place it top side down, so the smoothest side of the cake (the bottom) is facing up.
  • Chill the cake for 15 minutes before applying any crumb coat. (This will help set the filling so the cake doesn't move around when you're decorating. It also helps to keep the crumbs locked to the cake if you're doing a semi-naked cake and won't be doing a final coat of frosting).
  • Once the cake is chilled, frost the cake with the whipped frosting to create a semi-naked cake layer. This recipe doesn't make enough frosting to completely cover the cake. Double the frosting recipe if you want to get more coverage with your frosting.