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Magical Gingerbread Cake

Anyone who’s been to Mystic Water (and if you haven’t, book a flight, a car, a train, and get there immediately!) knows they take their seasons and holidays seriously. Meaning, they love having a good time, celebrating, laughing, and getting together for nearly any reason.

Christmas is one of the most celebrated seasons of the year in Mystic Water. Colorful, sparkling lights are hung on houses and strung through trees, they twinkle in the downtown park and outline North Pole characters and giant gift boxes. Children count down the seconds after sunset until the lights turn on, and then they squeal with delight and run around the displays.

Letters to Santa collect at the post office until they can be delivered to the jolly old man. The whole town smells like baked goods—iced sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, deep rich chocolate truffles, and the warm, cozy scent of gingerbread.

Bea’s Bakery creates a magical gingerbread cake that locals rush in for as soon as December arrives, and then they talk about the delicious slices for the rest of the year. The bakery likes to surprise customers with what gingerbread cookie will be sitting atop the cake for the day. This one was created just for the young at heart and those who still believe in the magic all around.

Magical Gingerbread Cake

Serves 12

Level of Difficulty: as easy as eating a half dozen gingerbread cookies straight out of the oven


For the cake:

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1 cup molasses

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup hot water

For the cream cheese icing:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

8 oz brick-style cream cheese, softened

3–3.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1-2 tablespoons cream or milk, as needed

How to Make

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 8-inch (or smaller) circle pans.

  2. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.

  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.

  4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.

For the cream cheese icing:

  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until evenly combined.

  2. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt.

  3. Beat in the powdered sugar about ¼ cup at a time until the desired sweetness level is reached. Then beat in 1-2 tablespoons of cream as needed. If the mixture is thin, you may not need to add any cream.

  4. Frost the cooled cake. Then optionally decorate with gingerbread cookies and fresh rosemary.

The Baker's Man, Jennifer Moorman, Mystic Water

Recipe inspired by The Baker's Man and the town of Mystic Water.


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