Recipe: Gingerbread Latte Cake

Our contributor, Tessa Huff, is back with a new cake recipe perfect for the holidays….

For most people, this time of year is all about tradition and celebration.  From carol singing to cookie decorating, I bet a lot of you have holiday rituals and family customs that are practiced and passed down year after year.  Personally, it’s activities like eating grandma’s cookies and sharing laughs with my cousins in our pajamas that mean the season is upon us.

Gingerbread Latte Cake  |  by Tessa Huff for

One good way to keep traditions alive is through food.  I’m sure there is more than one reason that candy canes and fruit cake have such longevity besides just their flavors.  In our house, we have the same treats and sweets each year, plus a couple new ones.  Since my cooking style revolves around old classics with modern twists, I like to do the same around the holidays.  This year, I sought out to reinvent a traditional molasses gingerbread cake into a new layer cake, and what a treat it turned out to be.

Gingerbread Latte Cake  |  by Tessa Huff for

Using classic and contemporary flavors together, I created this 6-Layer Gingerbread Latte Toffee Crunch Cake.  Inspired by traditional holidays flavors and the ever-so popular coffee drinks that keep popping up this time of year, this sky-high layer cake is certainly something to celebrate.  Six layers of gingerbread cake are stacked with espresso buttercream and bits of toffee.  It is iced with vanilla buttercream to round off the flavorful filling.  Serve at your next holiday gathering or with a bright cup of coffee.

Gingerbread Latte Cake  |  by Tessa Huff for

Gingerbread Latte Cake  |  by Tessa Huff for

a recipe by Tessa Huff

For the Gingerbread Cake:

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 1/4 cups milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare three 6 inch pans and set aside.  Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the brown sugar and cream together on medium speed.
  4. On medium-low, gradually add in the eggs and molasses until incorporated.
  5. Add in the grated ginger.
  6. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  7. Alternating between dry and wet, add in the flour mixture and milk in 3 additions on low speed.
  8. Once mixed, place the batter into the prepared pans.
  9. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until done.
  10. Cool on a wire rack before de-panning.
  11. Once completely cool, carefully slice each cake in half to create 6 rounds.


For the Espresso Buttercream:

6 egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 ounces hot water

  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whisk together slightly.
  2. Create a double boiler by placing the mixing bowl on top of a medium saucepan of water.  Heat on medium-high.
  3. Occasionally whisk the egg mixture until it is hot to the touch.  Remove from stove and set back on the mixer.
  4. Fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on high speed until the egg mixture is cool.
  5. Once the bowl of the mixer feels room temperature, stop the mixer.  Switch out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
  6. With the mixer of medium speed, add in the butter- a few tablespoons at a time.
  7. Add in the vanilla and continue to mix until smooth.
  8. Meanwhile, dissolve the espresso powder into the hot water.
  9. Once the buttercream is done mixing, divide in half.  Reserve half for icing the cake.
  10. Mix in the expresso into the second half of the buttercream.  Feel free to make the espresso flavor stronger by dissolving more powder into the 2 ounces of water.



Layer the gingerbread cake with a thin layer of espresso buttercream.  On every other layer, sprinkle with bits of toffee.  Ice the cake with the remaining half of the vanilla buttercream.

Gingerbread Latte Cake  |  by Tessa Huff for


Tessa Huff is a professional cake designer and lover of all things art and design. She particularly enjoys creating edible decorations, sugar flowers, and unique flavor pairings with fresh, seasonal flavors. Read more about Tessa on her bio page.

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  1. 3


    This looks beautiful! I love elegant, simplistic cakes, and this one looks scrumptious. I love how tall you made it! I’m curious though, what kind of frosting did you use to ice the outside of the cake? The inside is the espresso buttercream, but the outside is a bright white. It is just plain buttercream?

    • 4


      Good question Sara! In step #9, Tessa divides the buttercream in half. Reserving one half for the outside frosting. The other half is then used for the espresso buttercream filling.

      Hope that helps!

  2. 8

    Irene says

    This is really a wonderful alternative to the regular rich fruitcake – and I am considering trying to make this…not sure if I will have such wonderful success as this talented and clever lady has…but thanks for sharing the recipe, Tessa.
    I think I will aim for just a 3 layer cake – not confident at making your 6 layer one.
    Be interesting to see if my tried and true fruit cake will be retiring once your recipe has been tasted.
    Happy Christmas.

  3. 9

    Charli says

    Hi! I just made this cake for a Christmas party! It was a great hit :) However, I only used vanilla SMB as I didn’t have any instant coffee. I think next time I will half the amount of molasses and add a bit more ginger. Very lovely cake, thank you for sharing :)

  4. 13

    Jeanne Winslow says

    Tessa, this is a wonderful recipe and so easy to make. It’s a keeper at my house. Thank you for sharing this!

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