At the Table with Cake by Courtney

cake by courtney's gingerbread cookie cake 

Have a seat at our holiday table with Cake by Courtney

You know Cake by Courtney for her signature baking style of ditching boxed mixes in pursuit of from-scratch, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. She has definitely elevated the art of cake-making and we're pleased to present her version of a decadent holiday cake that anyone can make.

“Gingerbread and gingersnap cookies are two of my favorite desserts this time of year. I combined them with my boiled milk frosting and vanilla buttercream to create a Gingerbread Cookie Cake.”  

--Courtney Rich

Find Courtney's cake recipe below and shop Foundation Goods essentials for a cake-ready kitchen.

Gingerbread Cookie Cake

Gingerbread cake layers with boiled milk frosting, gingersnap cookie layers and gingerbread buttercream

The Process 

Because this delicious Christmas cake has four elements, you may want to spread out the baking process. Each element cake be made ahead of time. 

* For the cake and cookie layers, you can wrap each in plastic wrap and freeze. Remember to let them each thaw about 30 to 60 minutes before decorating the cake. 

* For the frostings, you can place each in an airtight container and refrigerate until you’re ready to use them. Just allow enough time to bring them back to room temperature before using. I also like to reheat my frostings before I use them.



3 cups plus 3 tablespoons (382.5 g) all-purpose flour 

2 teaspoons (5.28 g) ground ginger 

2 teaspoons (5.28 g) cinnamon 

1 1/2 teaspoons (8.4 g) salt 

1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder 

1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda 

1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter at room temperature 

1 cup (220 g) brown sugar packed 

1 cup molasses 2 large eggs at room temperature 

1 1/4 cups (300 g) buttermilk at room temperature


1/4 cup (30 g) flour  

1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt  

2 cups (480 g) whole milk  

2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter softened  

2 cups (450 g) castor sugar*  

1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract  

*Can substitute use 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar that you grind to a finer consistency in your blender.  


4 cups (480 g) all-purpose flour  2 teaspoons (8 g) baking soda 

1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt 

2 teaspoons (5.3 g) ground cinnamon  

1 teaspoon (2.64 g) ground cloves  

 1 teaspoon (2.64 g) ground ginger   

1 1/2 cups (339 g) unsalted butter 

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar 

3/4 cup (165 g) brown sugar, packed  

2 large eggs  

1/2 cup (150 g) molasses  


2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold and cut into cubes 

1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla  

6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted 

3 tablespoons (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream  

1 teaspoon (2.6 g) cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon (1.3 g) nutmeg 

1/2 teaspoon (1.3 g) ginger  

Generous pinch of salt  

*This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.



1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment and spray again. Set aside. 

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. 

3. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. 

4. Add in the brown sugar and cream together on medium speed for another couple of minutes, until light and fluffy. 

5.  On medium-low, gradually add in the eggs and molasses until incorporated. Do not worry if the mixture looks curdled at first. Keep beating until it becomes smooth. 

6.  With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. 

7. Once mixed, evenly divide all of the batter into the prepared pans (about 15 to 16 ounces in each 8-inch pan or 12 ounces in each 6-inch pan). 

8. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, checking around 20 minutes. When you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, a few moist crumbs should come out on it. Remember, the cake continues to bake for 5 minutes as it cools in the pans. 

9. Cool on a wire rack before de-panning.


In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high for 3-5 minutes. 

2.  On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, spices, heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Once everything is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. 

3. Remember to mix the frosting by hand with a wooden spoon or large spatula to push out the air to create a silky-smooth frosting. 


1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of the milk until smooth. 

2. Set over medium-high heat and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly hot, stirring frequently. 

3. Whisk in remaining milk and salt. Whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of unset pudding (this can take up to 10 minutes). 

4. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap.  

5. Place in the refrigerator until cool for at least an hour. 

6. When cool, the mixture will be thick like custard. If a film formed on top of the mixture, remove it from the bowl. 

7. In a large bowl (or a bowl of a stand mixer) beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well. Beat in cooled flour mixture one tablespoon at a time on medium-high speed. When all the flour mixture is added, beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. 

8. Rub a little frosting between your fingers. If the sugar granules remain, beat for 4 more minutes, or until granules cannot be detected with fingers. 


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 

2.  Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line the bottom of the pans with parchment and spray again. Set aside. 

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Set aside. 

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. 

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. 

6. Add the molasses and stir until well combined. 

7. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated. Batter will be a little sticky. 

8.  Divide the dough in each of the two 8-inch pans (about 15 ounces of batter in each) and flatten with your hand to create a mostly flat surface. 

9. Bake the cookie layers for 15-17 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookie layers. You don't want to over bake the cookie or it will be too hard to cut with the cake.


1. Place the first vanilla cake layer, top side up, on a cake board. Spread about 1 cup of the boiled milk frosting over the cake layer. Top with one layer of the cookie rounds, followed by about 1 cup of the boiled milk frosting, a cake layer, more boiled milk frosting, another cookie layer, then frosting and finishing with a cake layer. 

2.  Apply a thin coat of the gingersnap buttercream around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for 10 mins. 

3.  After the crumb coat is set, apply the final coat of the buttercream and add decorative store-bought gingerbread cookies if desired.

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