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Gingerbread Sweater Cake with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours plus chilling time
  • Yield: One 6" layer cake - serves 8 1x


A one bowl soft gingerbread layer cake is stacked with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, then finished with some sweater inspired piping and silver sprinkles.



Gingerbread Layer Cake

  • 320g All-Purpose Flour
  • 200g Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 300g whole milk
  • 170g unsulphured molasses
  • 90g Canola oil
  • 2 large eggs

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 190g egg whites
  • 300g sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 700g unsalted butter, cut into cubes



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease and line 3 6” cake pans with parchment paper rounds.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.
  3. Add milk, molasses, oil, and eggs and whisk well to combine. Divide the batter between the three prepared pans (I prefer to do this by weight). Tap pan on counter to release air bubbles.
  4. Bake the cake layers for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the centre springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.


  1. Place the egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl.
  2. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  3. Once the buttercream is smooth and silky, switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air.


  1. Level off the cake layers. Secure one of the layers of cake to a cake turntable using a little buttercream. Add about 3/4 cup (I use a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop to measure) of buttercream onto the first layer of cake, and smooth using an offset spatula. Place the second layer of cake onto the first, pressing very lightly to secure, and sealing the joins with a thin layer of buttercream.
  2. Repeat the layering process - I like to put the last one upside down to ensure that the top of the cake is flat.
  3. Crumb coat the cake - to do this, apply a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of the cake, and smooth with a bench scraper or icing smoother. Refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes, until the crumb coat has set.
  4. Cover the cake with a second layer of buttercream, smoothing off the top and the sides. Chill for 15 minutes.
  5. Fill piping bags fitted with the tips of your choice with the remaining buttercream (see notes)
  6. Pipe a ‘sweater’ design onto the cake - I did a range of blobs and then ‘cable’ inspired piping (using the french star tip and the open star tip). I found it easiest to use a cake scraper to give me a vertical line to follow to help stop things from getting too wonky. I also added in some lines of silver sprinkles.
  7. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before eating.
  8. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Keywords: Gingerbread Cake, Layer Cake, Sweater Cake