Ginger Mama Cake

Get the kids in the kitchen to make a sweet treat. This ginger mama cake recipe is perfect fun for little hands: it’s not supposed to be perfect, so all the glitches and random things that happen when you put it together are part of the picture!

Ginger Mama Cake Recipe


2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups butter or margarine, softened
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract
4 eggs


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms and sides of 3 (9-inch) round cake pans. In a small bowl, all the dry ingredients except for sugar; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups butter and the granulated sugar with an electric mixer on high speed, scraping the bowl occasionally until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat til smooth. Add milk, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Beat until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients a cup at a time with the mixer on medium speed, and beat until blended. Pour evenly into the pans.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Turn out onto large plates.
  5. Trim the side crust off of the cake using a small, round plate. Irregularities are welcome?


8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons orange marmalade


  1. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, thoroughly mix together cream cheese, sugar, and butter.
  2. Add cherry juice and orange extract and beat until fluffy.
  3. Hold the orange marmalade aside for assembly!


  1. Spoon less than 1/3 of the frosting directly on top of the first layer; using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the top and just past the edges of the first layer. Spread orange marmalade on top.
  2. Place the second cake layer on top of the first layer and top with the frosting that’s left.
  3. Use berries, as well as flowers from the garden, to decorate. Don’t eat the flowers when you serve the cake unless you are sure they are edible!
  4. Alternatively, let the kids pile on sprinkles and surround the cake with their favorite cookies! Let them have fun with this!

Story, Recipe, and Styling by Keith Recker

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