Sour Cream Gingerbread

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It’s true that this cake isn’t the loveliest Christmas cake in the world. But what she lacks in appearance, she makes up for in her rich, spicy flavor. We eat this often in the colder months, for breakfast usually, but for dessert as well. I love the way it fills my home with the most comforting aroma of ginger and molasses. It’s a cozy cake, for a cozy time of year.

The recipe is adapted to be gluten-free from my Fannie Farmer cookbook, given to me by my lovely Nana, as an Christmas gift many moons ago. She passed away last year after a long and wonderful life. I think of her often, but especially at Christmas. She made the holidays so special for everyone in our family, we were so excited for her and my papa to come and visit us.

You-hoo! She always called out, as she came through the door…I can still hear her voice in my head.

And I can still read the inscription she wrote in my book:

Christmas 1991

To Alison-

The happy cooker.



Happy cooker? Most definitely. Especially when I am cooking something as simple and satisfying as this gluten-free gingerbread cake. Yum.

Sour Cream Gingerbread Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This gingerbread cake is light, fluffy and has a tender crumb. We eat it often in winter for breakfast with warmed applesauce, but it also makes a nice dessert when served with whipped cream.
Serves: serves 8-9
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups gluten free all purpose flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 inch square baking pan with gluten free cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and add the sugar, molasses, sour cream and eggs. Beat until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and spices. Beat until smooth.
  3. Pour into the pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool. Serve dusted with powdered sugar, or with whipped cream or warmed applesauce.

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  1. What a lovely way to remember your Nana at Christmastime, Ali…by sharing a cozy, spicy GF teacake recipe for the Christmas holiday adapted from a baking cookbook she gave you. (I love my Fannie Farmer Cookbook!) Looks scrumptious! I’ve missed your posts and now you’ve made up for it by posting 3 today. Yay! MERRY CHRISTMAS! xoxo

    1. She was a special lady. And Fannie Farmer is a must. <3

  2. I am so happy that I found this recipe. I am going to make it for Christmas. I make your GF Zucchini Bread all the time and love it. I cut it into slices and freeze it so it’s there when I want some. In the morning warmed up with a scrambled egg and a little egg nog makes a wonderful breakfast. Merry Christmas!!

  3. I made it for my family’s Hannukah celebration. I am the only one in my family who is gluten free. They all loved it. I thought I would have a lot leftover to bring home, but there was very little left. I served it with fresh whipped cream. I am going to have to make another one today and put it in the freezer.

  4. I was wondering if I could substitute canola oil for butter in the gingerbread cake or any of your pastries?

  5. Hi,

    I just made your gingerbread cake and it’s wonderful. If you’ve got time I’d love if you could tell me why the consistency of mine is different from the way you describe yours. Rather than being light and crumbly it’s more fudgy / brownie like which is also yummy and it is cooked all the way through. Also mine was higher around the edges and about 1cm lower (evenly) in the centre, yet I see in your picture it’s the opposite way around. I used a rectangular baking tray which would hold roughly the same as the square one you used, that’s the only difference I can think of. I will definitely be making it again!

  6. I absolutely love this recipe! I like to make it right around the holidays, but I’ve run into some issues… I’m in Denver, but I can’t ever figure out how to adjust this recipe for high altitude. The gingerbread is still delicious, but it always falls flat in the middle. I’ve cut the baking powder and added in more flour, but that didn’t help. Any suggestions to keep this from happening?!

    1. Perhaps add an additional egg and increase the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Confession–I have zero experience in altitude baking either. Good luck! 😉

  7. Susan Racanelli says:

    I made this for a holiday dinner party last week. It is Delicious and fabulously tender! I baked it in a Bundt pan and cooked it for about 5-10 minutes less. I served it with salted caramel sauce and whipped cream. People were actually moaning when they tucked into it. My friend who is a recent gluten free convert was astounded the cake had no wheat. High praise for your GF Gingerbread! Thank You for your lovely recipes.

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