Who doesn’t love a doctored up cake mix to bring together simplicity and deliciousness?
Sometimes you just need a shortcut for the sake of time or mental space, and I am all for it. Plus, when it tastes as good as this gingerbread loaf, no one – and I mean not one person – will suspect this recipe is as easy as it is.
In most cases I feel strongly that there is no replacement for homemade cakes and sweet breads, but this is a notable exception.
Besides, in many circumstances it’s an excellent life hack to know how to fancy up a cake mix for dessert in a pinch.
This recipe calls for a few more ingredients and a few more steps but this is gingerbread we are talking about. This holiday and cold weather classic deserves a little more attention.
This soft, flavorful and aromatic gingerbread is too good to resist eating and too simple to resist baking it! Don’t be afraid to give it a try.
Let us begin!
Adapting Cake Mixes
Many people rely on cake mixes when they don’t know how to bake something – or when they’ve never learned to bake anything at all.
But cake mixes can actually be adapted to a different sort of cheat. If you swap some of the ingredients and/or doctor up the mix, you can make a truly delicious confection without sacrificing a lot of time and effort.
Usually, it can be done as simply as swapping out some of the ingredients that cake mixes call for: water and oil. You can typically replace the oil with butter and replace the water with milk.
Try it sometime, you will be surprised at how it improves both taste and texture!
Making Gingerbread From a Cake Mix
If you’re here because you’re new to baking and want to start off with something a little simple, you’re in the right place.
Let’s go over the basic process so any newbies – as well as any pro bakers in want of a quick overview – can be well prepared!
First Things First
Preheat your oven to 325 Fahrenheit and prepare a loaf pan with butter and parchment paper.
Gather your ingredients. Obviously the star of the show here is the boxed cake mix.
Spiced cake mix should be available at almost any grocery store. I was shopping at the least equipped one near me and even they had it. Almost everything else you will likely have on hand, with the exception of maybe molasses.
Molasses is worth the buy for this recipe alone, but can also be used in lots of baked goods. It provides a deep, sweet flavor that just can not be duplicated.
This can be prepared in many styles of pans to achieve whatever you are going for.
I used a loaf pan but a couple 6-inch or one 9-inch round pan would work well. The batter rises a good bit. So don’t be confused if your pan looks really empty before going into the oven.
I suggest using a loaf pan only. It’s a lot easier to let yourself eat cake for breakfast when it’s in the shape of bread!
Dump the boxed cake mix in the bowl of a stand mixer. Then add all of the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine.
Next, add your ginger.
I opt to use fresh grated ginger because this is GINGERbread we are making! Besides, ginger really adds notes of zest and freshness. In a pinch, dried and ground ginger will do the trick! Use 1 teaspoon if using dried.
Stir again and then add the wet ingredients: milk, yogurt, molasses, and two eggs.
To mix this part, use the stand mixer (or the hand mixer, whatever you have). Mix on medium speed stopping to scrape the bowl with a spatula as needed, for about one minute.
This cake is intended to be dense. Over-mixing is less of a concern than with a classic cake, but going for too long will make it chewy. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye while mixing cakes and sweetbreads.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. It will be thick and a deep caramel color.
Bake for one hour. To check for doneness, the edges should appear toasted and start to pull away from the sides of the pan. The center should spring back with a gentle push and a toothpick come out mostly clean when inserted.
Meanwhile – The Icing
While the gingerbread is baking, prepare the icing. This could not be simpler!
Combine all the ingredients in a glass measuring pitcher and stir until combined with a whisk or fork.
This icing is very forgiving, so adjust the ingredients to achieve your desired texture. More powdered sugar will make it thicker, more milk will thin it out.
Finish and Enjoy
When the cake has cooled enough to touch, remove it from the pan and place on your desired serving dish.
Drizzle the icing over the top, or dump and cover the loaf completely if that’s your style. It will taste great either way. Finish it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Gingerbread is best served slightly warm the day it is made but it will keep at room temperature, if covered, for three days. You can keep it a few more days if it’s stored in the fridge.
How To Make Gingerbread From Cake Mix
Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Prepare a loaf pan with butter and parchment paper.
In the bowl of your mixer combine the boxed cake mix and remaining dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated ginger.
Whisk until thoroughly combined.
Add the remaining ingredients: yogurt, milk, molasses, and eggs.
Mix on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed with a spatula, for about one minute or until completely combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour.
When it is done the side will look toasted and the center will spring back with a gentle touch.
Meanwhile, prepare your icing by combining cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a pourable bowl (such as a liquid measuring cup).
Mix icing thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
When the cake has cooled to the touch, drizzle the desired amount of icing over the top.
Serve warm and enjoy.
For the Cake:
- 1 box Spice Cake Mix
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 eggs
For the Icing:
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Prepare a loaf pan with butter and parchment paper.
- In the bowl of your mixer combine the boxed cake mix and remaining dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated ginger.
- Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients: yogurt, milk, molasses, and eggs.
- Mix on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed with a spatula, for about one minute or until completely combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour.
- When it is done the side will look toasted and the center will spring back with a gentle touch.
- Meanwhile, prepare your icing by combining cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a pourable bowl (such as a liquid measuring cup).
- Mix icing thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
- When the cake has cooled to the touch, drizzle the desired amount of icing over the top.
The gingerbread is best served slightly warm the day of, but will keep at room temperature, covered, for three days. Or store in the fridge for longer.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 468mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 1gSugar: 43gProtein: 5g
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