Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce was meant for Christmas! An easy-to-make holiday cake with just the right amount of ginger and spice to make it festive but not overpowering. The lemon-butter sauce adds a bit of tart and sweet citrus glaze to keep this ginger cake super moist!

Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce

What is Christmas without gingerbread? If you are a gingerbread fan, you’ll love this cake. It’s a one bowl, one pan cake. The glaze can be poured on while the cake is hot, so no need to wait for the cake to cool before glazing!

Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce

Gingerbread, ginger cake. What is the difference? Ginger cake as we now know it in the U.S. is usually a cake or cake-like dessert served with frosting or a glaze and eaten with a fork. Gingerbread is usually in the form of a cookie, rolled and then shaped like our Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing. I know our friends of German ancestry have a whole different take on gingerbread! If you are in the know about the history of gingerbread, please leave a comment below and tell us more about gingerbread!

9x13 easy ginger cake

Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce is the perfect party cake. It mixes up in minutes and is so simple to bake. If you are making cake for a crowd, you can buy disposable pans for easy cleanup! I like to make sure to have fresh whipped cream on hand for this cake to top it off. I’ve made this several times for large gatherings and it is always a hit with young kids and more mature party goers! See recipe notes for make-ahead directions.

If you are in the market for new baking pans, I HIGHLY recommend USA Bakeware pans. I love the 9×13 USA pan used to bake this cake.

Fresh Cream with Ginger Cake

This easy cake is my go-to dessert when I need something homemade and festive for a holiday dinner. The simplicity of this cake puts it at the top of my list for baking at this extra busy time of year. In forty minutes, your house can smell like Mrs. Claus’ kitchen! If you prefer, our Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce can be frosted with cream cheese frosting instead of topped with lemon glaze.

Homemade Ginger Cake with cream and warm  lemon sauce

Ingredients needed to make Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses (I like Grandma’s brand)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • dash of salt
Cake with lemon and cream

Tips for making Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce

  • Gather all ingredients before starting recipe.
  • Preheat oven for at least 15 minutes before baking.
  • Do not overmix the batter. This is a dense cake and should not be mixed on high speed.
  • Check the cake after 25 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Bake time will vary depending on oven.
Fresh Cream on warm Christmas Ginger Cake

Ginger Cake with Lemon (Butter) Sauce, first posted in 2008, updated in 2016, and updated again in 2021 with new photos and recipe alterations.

Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce
Author: Si Foster
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
glaze: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16



  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses, I like Grandma’s brand
  • 1 cup sour cream, regular or light – I like regular
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed will make the very best glaze
  • dash of salt


  • fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


For Cake:

  • In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs, oil, molasses, and sour cream. Mix until ingredients are smooth. If a few lumps of sour cream remain, they will be blended in when the dry ingredients are added.
  • Add the sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, soda, and salt into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix all at once, just until wet and dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Spoon batter into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Do not overbake!
  • A few minutes before the cake is done, prepare the sauce.


  • Mix butter, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Let the sauce come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for about one minute.
  • Pour sauce over the warm cake immediately after removing from oven. If serving later, make the sauce and warm it up before serving, then spoon over the cake or over each individual piece just before serving.
  • Cake is best served when warm, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top.


  • Pour the oil into the measuring cup first and then into the mixing bowl. Then use the same cup to measure the molasses. The molasses will slide out easily after the oil has coated the cup! 
  • Make sure to check after baking 25 minutes. This cake bakes quickly and will dry out if overbaked.
  • If the cake has cooled before serving, heat up individual pieces for about 15 seconds in the microwave, then top with whipped cream.
  • This cake is best served within 8 hours of baking.
  • Make your own pumpkin pie spice for a fraction of the cost of pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice. Recipe here.
  • This cake freezes well. Let cool and wrap pan with plastic wrap. Freeze until ready to use. On day of serving, remove from freezer and let sit at room temp for 2-3 hours. Prepare glaze and pour over each slice as served. 

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to leave a comment and give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. I’d love to see a photo, tag @abountifulkitchen on Instagram!