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Best Gingerbread Pound Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Glaze

This recipe for gingerbread pound cake makes a rich, dense cake with a tender crumb. The sponge of the cake is a fine texture with a silky finish. It stays moist for several days and is heavy with spice and a surprise hint of warm black pepper.

Gingerbread cake has been famous all over the world for hundreds of years. A form of soft gingerbread called Parkin is popular in northern England. It originated in Yorkshire and is made with oatmeal. In France, a tender gingerbread is called pain d’épices, though initially, this cake didn’t contain any ginger and used honey instead of molasses. This cake is sliced into large chunks in Belgium and the Netherlands and topped with fresh butter. Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine also has a spiced gingerbread cake called honey cake. It is eaten at Rosh Hashanah (New Year). Many Jewish honey cakes closely resemble the Dutch peperkoek or the German Lebkuchen, despite wide regional variations.

In America, this soft gingerbread is called a gingerbread cake. The flavor profile of gingerbread cake is a classic. In this recipe, we top this cake with a browned butter glaze loaded with crisp toasted pecans. It is a heavenly dessert combination. Garnish the finished cake with dried cranberries or fruit of your choice.

Gingerbread Pound Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Glaze

1 ¼ cups butter softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
½ cup molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups Panhandle Milling Organic All-purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream


¼ cup butter
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup half-and-half cream
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-in. fluted tube pan.
  • Cream butter, brown sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  • In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, spices, and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating after each addition until combined.
  • Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze:

  • Brown the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, continually stirring, until butter is light golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Stir in confectioners’ sugar. Add vanilla and enough cream to reach a drizzling consistency.
  • Fold in the toasted pecans.
  • Drizzle glaze over the cake, allowing some to drip down the sides. Garnish with additional whole toasted pecans and dried cranberries if desired. Let stand until set. Wait at least 2 hours before slicing.