This super moist Pumpkin Gingersnap Cake is as flavorful as it sounds!
Gingersnap-speckled Pumpkin Spice cake layers are filled with spiced cream cheese frosting and a smattering of crushed gingersnaps in this delicious fall dessert.
Pumpkin and Ginger
Pumpkin and ginger are such a fantastic flavor combination. We have a Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake already, and thought that it would be fun to add a Pumpkin Gingersnap cake as well.
Much like a Cookies & Cream cake, the crushed gingersnaps do not stay crunchy inside of the cake, but they add wonderful flavor and interest.
I just love seeing the bits of gingersnaps in every slice!
Our recipe calls for a cup of crushed gingersnaps in the cake batter, as well as additional crushed gingersnaps between the cake layers.
You can crush yours in the food processor if you'd like, but I put my cookies in a sealed ziplock bag and hammered them with a rolling pin.
How to Make Pumpkin Gingersnap Cake
You can find the full, printable recipe card for this delicious cake further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps!
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour three 8 inch cake pans. We like to line these with circles of parchment paper.
- Flour Mixture: In a medium size bowl, add the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and salt. Whisk at least 30 seconds to blend. Set aside.
- Pumpkin and Milk Mixture: In another bowl, combine the pumpkin and milk and stir to blend. Set aside.
- Butter: In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), mix the softened butter until smooth.
- Sugar: Add the sugar and mix on medium speed 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Oil Mixture: Add the vanilla extract and vegetable oil and mix just until blended.
- Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each until the yolk is blended.
- Add Dry and Wet Ingredients (Alternately) With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and the pumpkin/milk mixture alternately. Begin and end with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet). Mix just until blended.
- Gingersnaps: Fold in one cup crushed ginger snaps.
- Fill Pans and Bake: Divide the cake layer between the three prepared cake pans. Bake at 325 for 25 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
- Cool: Allow the cake layers to cool in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning them out.
For the Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
We love cream cheese frostings with our spice cakes or pumpkin cakes and this recipe is so easy and delicious!
It is based on our go-to Cream Cheese Frosting, but with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg added to it. You can play around the the amount of spices to fit your preferences, but we love this combination!
This spiced cream cheese frosting is a simple combination of unsalted butter, cream cheese frosting, confectioners sugar, spices, a pinch of salt, and vanilla.
Cream cheese frostings are on the softer side. Pop it in the refrigerator as needed to thicken it to a consistency that is easier to work with.
Assembling the Cake
This is a very simple cake to put together.
- Place the first pumpkin gingersnap cake layer on your cake plate or pedestal. Spread with a layer of spiced cream cheese frosting, and sprinkle with crushed gingersnaps.
- Use whatever amount you like- we probably sprinkled maybe 2-3 tablespoons of gingersnaps over the filling.
- Next, add the second cake layer and repeat. Top with the third cake layer and frost the cake with a crumb coat (thin coat) of spiced cream cheese frosting.
- *At this point, I usually chill my cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes (or longer in the refrigerator) to firm everything up before adding the second layer of frosting.
- This will prevent the layers from sliding around as you work. You can chill your bowl of frosting in the refrigerator during this time if the frosting is becoming soft.
- Next, I applied the final coat of frosting, smoothed around the sides and top with my bench scraper & offset spatula.
- I decided to go with a textured look which couldn't be easier (or more forgiving). I used my offset spatula to create small horizontal markings all the way around as well as on top of the cake.
- Finally, I added gingersnaps to the top! I used a serrated knife to vary the height of the cookies before placing them onto the cake.
Should this Cake be Refrigerated?
Yes, this cake does need to be refrigerated because of the spiced cream cheese frosting.
Keep the cake refrigerated and covered in an airtight cake carrier or cake box.
For best flavor and texture, remove the cake from the refrigerator a few hours before serving so that the cake and frosting will have a chance to soften.
More Pumpkin Cakes!
If you love pumpkin cakes, you must put these other favorite pumpkin recipes on your must-bake list as well! (Also, if you love ginger cakes- you'll love our Gingerbread Cake too!)
Enjoy the Recipe!
Thanks so much for stopping by today! We hope that you will keep this Pumpkin Gingersnap Cake in mind for your special occasion cakes, from birthdays to holidays and more!
If you give this recipe a try, we would love for you to leave a comment and photo below. Enjoy! ;0)
- 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 cups (400g) sugar
- ⅓ (70g) cup vegetable oil ( I use Canola oil)
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (6g) vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups (360g) all purpose flour (plain in the UK)
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
- 2 teaspoons (6g) cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (2g) nutmeg
- 2 (4g) teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 can (15oz) (425g) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)- Libby's is a popular brand
- ½ cup (121g) milk
- 1 cup (87g) Crushed Gingersnaps (For me, this was about 14 smallish ginger snaps- I used MI-Del brand). We also used additional crushed gingersnaps in between cake layers.
Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 8oz-packages cream cheese (full fat) (total weight 452g), softened
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar. Measure then sift
- 1 teaspoon (3g) cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (1g) ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon (.25g) nutmeg
- *adjust the spices to your liking.
For the filling and topping
- We crushed (approximately 5) gingersnaps to scatter on top of the frosting between the cake layers, and used 4 more on top as decoration.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
- Grease and flour three 8 x 2 inch round cake pans - In addition, we like to line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper.
- In a medium size bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Whisk at least 30 seconds to blend. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add the pumpkin and milk. Stir to blend and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), mix the softened butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix on medium speed 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and oil and mix just until blended.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each until the yolk is blended.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and the pumpkin/milk mixture alternately. Begin and end with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet). After the last addition of dry ingredients, mix just until blended.
- Fold in crushed ginger snaps.
- Divide the cake layer between the three prepared cake pans.
- Bake at 325 for 25 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
- Allow the cake layers to cool in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning them out.
For the Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
- Cut the softened cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer..
- Add the vanilla, salt, and spices. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a dish towel as needed to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
- Increase mixing speed and mix until fluffy. Don't over mix or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
- This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
- Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.
Assembling the Cake
Place the first cake layer on the cake plate or pedestal. Spread with a layer of cream cheese frosting, then sprinkle with crushed gingersnaps. (Whatever your preferred amount- we sprinkled about 2-3 Tablespoons over each layer of filling). Repeat for the second cake layer. Add the third cake layer and frost the cake.
I like to apply a thin layer (crumb coat) of frosting first, then chill for 15 minutes in the freezer to firm everything up. Then, apply the second layer of frosting.
Decorate the cake however you like! I smoothed the sides and top with a bench scraper and spatula, then added texture with a small offset spatula using short horizontal strokes and topped with gingersnaps! (I shortened some of the cookies with a serrated knife before turning them upright on top of the cake.)