Gingerbread Cake and Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

What is Christmas without gingerbread, right? Ah gingerbread…gingerbread cake. Molassesey and gingery cake in a cozy warm room while looking out the window watching the snow dust everything white. Laughing at dogs trying to walk in snow shoes. It’s the perfect December cake.

Paleo Gingerbread Cake

It took me a while to get this one right. Several iterations to get the sweetness and the spice level perfect. I thought I wouldn’t have any trouble developing this one. Heh. I was so wrong. Definitely took more batches than I planned. Of course nothing ever goes to plan especially during the busy holiday season! Batch after batch, it was something. Too bitter, no ginger notes. Would it be better with coconut oil? Can I get away without coconut sugar (Nope. Coconut sugar is magical.)

I started doubting myself and wondered if my unhappiness with these trials is because I’m unreasonably picky. That’s crazy isn’t it? About halfway through started to get really frustrated and almost scrapped the entire thing. But then not post any cake for December? Absurd. It’s been too long since I posted a cake recipe. So I had to get this right.

Paleo Gingerbread Cake

I like to believe that I’m just pickier with some foods more than others. This is especially true for fall and winter desserts. For gingerbread, my “window of taste appeal” is far less narrow than other cakes. So, the slightest off-balance of spice and sweet would be enough to make me very sad.

Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses, are such strong flavors that is a challenge to get them all to mesh. Imagine a room full of very loud and vocal people, and your job is to get them all to sing a beautiful chorus. One spice off balance is just like the off key singer.

Paleo Gingerbread Cake

I had to get help from my best girl. She was kind enough to test out my recipe and offer a suggestion on the spice ratio. And it’s incredible. Funny how just half a teaspoon more of ginger and cinnamon made it wonderful! The spice and sweet are all singing harmoniously.

Paleo Gingerbread Cake

Can’t forget the crowning glory: the frosting! Yes, cream cheese! Such a perfect pair. You may wonder why butter must be added to cream cheese to make it into “cream cheese frosting.” Keyword there, frosting. Frosting is light and fluffy and makes elves sing happy tunes. To get that light and fluff, you need a good amount of saturated fat from butter to hold in those air pockets during whipping. Without extra butter, the cream cheese is just a spread. Flat, very tasty though, but flat.

All that is worth it. :)

Gingerbread Cake and Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
yield: One 8"x4" Loaf Pan
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Holiday
Serves: 8
For the Gingerbread Cake
  • ½ cup (80g) of packed Coconut Flour
  • ½ cup (64g) of Arrowroot Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • 1½ teaspoon of Ginger Powder
  • 1½ teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Cloves
  • ½ cup of Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup of Molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (100g) of Coconut Oil (softened solid)
  • ¼ cup of Fine Coconut Sugar
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 4 oz of Softened Butter or Palm Shortening
  • 4 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup of Arrowroot Flour
For the Gingerbread Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8"x4" loaf pan.
  2. Sift together the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl to form the dry mixture.
  3. Combine the maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla extract in another bowl to form the liquid mixture.
  4. Separate the eggs whites from the egg yolks.
  5. Beat the egg whites at high speed in a mixer bowl with a whisk attachment until a meringue forms. Remove the whites from the mixer bowl and set aside.
  6. Add the coconut oil and coconut sugar to the mixing bowl and beat on medium high for about a minute until uniform.
  7. Add the egg yolks one at a time to the mixing bowl and beat on medium until combined. Scrape the sides if necessary.
  8. Add half of the dry mixture to the mixing bowl and beat until combined.
  9. Add half of the liquid mixture to the mixing bowl and beat.
  10. Repeat the previous two steps until all mixed.
  11. Portion a heaping of the egg whites and add to the mixing bowl and mix.
  12. Fold in the rest of the egg whites until uniform.
  13. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake, centered rack, at 350F for 35-40 minutes.
For the Frosting
  1. Whip the butter/shortening and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add the arrowroot flour and maple syrup.
  3. Whip on low until the flour is absorbed into the butter, then whip on high for a few minutes until light and fluffy.


Sharon’s Notes

  • I used regular molasses for this recipe, not blackstrap. Blackstrap has a stronger molasses flavor and slightly more bitter. However, you may use blackstrap if you have it handy. Probably want to add a teaspoon more of sugar though if you don’t want the extra bitterness.
  • Use a blender or food processor to make fine coconut sugar from regular coconut sugar.

Paleo Gingerbread Cake


    • Sharon says

      I can’t say if an egg replacer would work, unfortunately. I’ve used organ brand egg replacer for recipes requiring only a few eggs, but this one needs quite a bit. I think it would still taste great but won’t be as fluffy.

  1. Amy says

    I’ve been looking for something like this for Christmas dinner! Is this a moist cake and could it be made (at least the cake part) a day ahead and perhaps assembled the day of?

  2. Becky says

    Wow!!! I found this recipe on Pinterest. Wasn’t sure about it at first because my husband’s diabetic and I knew I’d have to tweak the sugar content quite a bit to get it to levels that we’re comfortable with. I was determined to try though because I’ve tried soooo many Gingerbread recipes that were disappointing and this one looked so delicious. So, I set my mind to it and WOW!!! I’m so glad I took the time to make this cake! With the tweaks I made to the sugar ingredients, I was able to get the Carb Count down to 30 carbs per slice (10 slices instead of 8). That’s the top limit for carb counts for a dessert and I normally try to keep them in the range of the low 20’s. Because of that, this will have to be a treat for the holidays only. But, that’s OK. Just makes it more special. If my sugar tweaks changed the texture or taste at all, it didn’t matter. It was still Fantastic!!! The only other changes I made was that I did 3 layers instead of 2 and I used Black Strap Molasses. Thanks so much for this recipe!!! This is going to be my go-to dessert for Xmas this year and probably many more to come. (I’ve started following you on Pinterest and can’t wait to see all the new recipes you come up with :-)

    • Sharon says

      Thank you so much for the comments, Becky! I’m curious about the modifications to get the sugar count down. :) I’m glad it worked out! 😉

      • Becky says

        Hi Sharon, For the cake I only used 3/8 cup Maple Syrup, 3 Tbsp Molasses and 3 Tbsp Coconut Sugar. For the frosting I used 2 Tbsp of Maple Syrup and 2 Tbsp of Arrowroot Flour. It may not seem like much but by doing that and slicing it into 10 servings instead of 8, the carb count was much better. Instead of 37.2 carbs per slice (10 slices, recipe unchanged) it was only 28.5 carbs per slice. Enough of a change so that I was willing to give it a try. If I can’t get a dessert recipe under 30 carbs per serving, I won’t make it. Staying pretty strict to that rule and eating a Paleo/Primal diet has allowed my husband to still have his occassional treats and at the same time keep him in the non-diabetic range with his A1c. He’s been able to also reduce his meds from 2 meds, 3x a day to 1 med, 2x per day. I’ve modified so many recipes over the last few years, that I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out just how much I can tweak without ruining the overall integrity of the recipe. I think this one worked really well, at least it did for us, because I’ll definitely be making it again :-)

  3. Alice says

    Thank you for working so hard to make this recipe! I would love to make it for Christmas morning. Do you think it would freeze well if I made it ahead of time? Thanks for your help!

    • Sharon says

      I froze my desserts in the past and they came out..”okay.” Not as great as freshly baked of course, but decent enough. If you do want to freeze them, wrap the unfrosted cake very tightly with plastic wrap, then a few layers of paper towel, and a layer of aluminum foil. :) Might be overkill but it works for me. Defrost in the fridge unwrapped the day before frosting :)

  4. Chris says

    Hi. Just came acrosss this delicious looking recipe. No cocnut sugar locally. Too late for online ordering. ( Holiday rush at post ofice and all) Could you suggest another sugar that would be fine for this recipe? Thanks

  5. Jade says


    I want to know if one could substitute the Arrow Root flour for regular cornstarch? If not, then what would you suggest as a good substitute? I’m asking in case I can’t find Arrow Root flour in the store. This recipe seems lovely and I definitely want to try it as I’m a big ginger fan.

    Thank you :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *