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Vanilla orange gingerbread cream cake on a cake stand
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5 from 2 reviews

Vanilla Orange Gingerbread Cream Cake

Vanilla Orange Gingerbread Cream Cake pairs winter citrus with classic holiday spices.  Soft 6-Inch yellow cake layers are studded with orange zest then layered with a silky Gingerbread Pudding - that is also transformed into a mousse to frost the cake!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Total Time52 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 6-Inch Cake, Gingerbread Pudding, Layer Cake, Mini Cake, Vanilla Orange Cake
High Altitude Adjustment: May not require full bake time. Start checking for doneness at minimum bake time if noted.
Servings: 1 6-Inch Layer Cake
Author: Erin Cernich


Classic Yellow Cake

  • 1/4 cup canola oil or any neutral oil
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons milk room temperature, any milk fat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice about half an orange
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest from 1 orange
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Gingerbread Pudding

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons molasses, unsulphured
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk 2% or whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Gingerbread Mousse

  • 1/2 of the Gingerbread Pudding
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar optional


Gingerbread Pudding

  • I recommend making the pudding first so it has time to cool and set up. It can even be made the night before.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the egg yolk, corn starch, and 1/4 cup of the milk. Stir until fully mixed and no lumps of corn starch remain.
  • In a medium heavy bottom saucepan, add the molasses, brown sugar, and water. Heat over medium heat until the sugar starts to dissolve. Don't over heat the mix - we don't want to burn it! Add the cream and remaining milk and heat the mixture until small bubbles form along the edges of the pan.
  • Reduce the heat, then carefully and slowly drizzle about half of the warm mixture into the egg mixture - whisking constantly. This tempers the egg so it doesn't scramble when heated.
  • Transfer the tempered mixture back into the saucepan. Stir in the spices. Return the heat to medium and while stirring constantly, heat the pudding until it starts to thicken and bubble. This will happen fairly quickly - do not step away from the pudding or stop stirring it.
  • Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Transfer the pudding to a bowl. Optional - strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over the bowl to remove any lumps. Cover the pudding with a piece of plastic wrap directly touching the pudding - so a skin does not form. Let the pudding cool slightly before covering the bowl with a lid and refrigerating until cool.

Vanilla Orange Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line the bottom of 2 6-Inch round cake pans with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit. Lightly grease and flour the pans. Note - I like to use the Pam Baking Spray With Flour - makes things easier.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, measure out the milk and orange juice, and stir in the orange zest and sour cream. Note - Zest the entire orange first, then juice about half of it for 2 tablespoons.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the sugar and oil. Mix until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add half of the milk mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  • Sprinkle half of the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and fold into the batter until just incorporated. Add the remaining milk mixture and mix until mostly incorporated. Finish by sprinkling the remaining dry ingredients into the batter and fold just until no dry streaks remain. Do not overmix the batter, and it is ok if there are a few lumps.
  • Pour the batter equally into the prepared cake pans and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the cakes are golden, spongy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Tip - Use a cookie scoop to equally portion the batter into the cake pans.
  • Cool the cakes in the pans set on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then gently invert the cake pans onto the wire rack to release the cakes. Carefully peel away the parchment paper (if it stuck to the bottom of the cakes), and flip the cakes back over to cool on the wire rack completely.

Gingerbread Mousse

  • When ready to assemble the cake, make the Gingerbread Mousse.
  • Set one of the cake layers on your serving plate. Spoon or pipe half of the cooled Gingerbread Pudding onto the middle of the cake - leaving at least 1/2 inch around the edges.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream using a hand held mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Note - You can add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar if you want the mousse to be a little sweeter.
  • Scoop about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the remaining Gingerbread Pudding. Fold in the whipped cream until fully mixed in. Doing this makes mixing the pudding into the whipped cream much easier. Transfer the mix back into the remaining whipped cream and fold until no whipped cream streaks remain. Note - Be careful not to fold too aggressively as you don't want to deflate the whipped cream.
  • Finish assembling the cake - Pipe a ring of the Gingerbread Mousse along the outside of the Gingerbread Pudding you have on the middle of the cake, plus a layer on the top of the pudding. This will help keep the pudding from spilling out of the sides of the cake. Top with the other cake and frost the cake (however you like!) with the remaining mousse. Enjoy!


Check out the blog post for more Tips and FAQ’s!