Gingerbread village cake

Several weeks back I shared the recipe for Bibby’s Gingerbread Biscuits with the promise of a glorious Gingerbread Village cake to follow. Since posting the step by step reel on Instagram, there’s been a flood of requests for a blog post with the recipe. So here it is then. In collaboration with Foodlover’s Market and their famous Red Bucket Festive Fruit Cake Mix, here’s the Gingerbread Village Cake. There’s little else to say other than the hidden interior surpasses the whimsical biscuit clad exterior. Heavily laced with all the warming spices you’d expect from a traditional Christmas cake but with a lighter sponge texture. It tastes like Christmas should. Special.

Gingerbread village cake

Food Lover’s Market is known for its legendary Festive Fruit Cake Mix, aka “The Red Bucket”. This fruitcake is filled with raisins, sultanas, fruit peel and almond slithers.  It’s available exclusively at Food Lover’s Market stores nationwide and retails for R 79.99.

Gingerbread village cake
Gingerbread Village Cake with Maple Mascarpone Frosting

Serves 12-14

Gingerbread Village Cake – The Sponge
  • 180g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (xl)
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) molasses
  • 125ml (1/2  cup) sour cream
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
  • 320g cake wheat flour
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 20ml (4 teaspoons)  ground ginger
  • 10ml (2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cloves
  • 185g (1  1/4 cup) Food Lover’s Market Festive Food Cake Mix
  • 60g (1/2 cup) pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
Gingerbread Village Cake Maple Frosting
  • 200g butter, at room temperature
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) maple syrup or honey
  • 200g icing sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Butter and line 3 x 20cm round baking tins with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Drizzle in the molasses and whisk to combine. Add the sour cream and buttermilk and mix on a low speed to incorporate. The mixture may appear split, but corrects once the flour is added.
  3. Sift together the flour, raising agents, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on a low speed. Tip in the Festive Food Cake Mix and pecans and fold through.
  4. Divide the batter between the tins and smooth over. Bake for 25-27 minutes until cooked through. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  5. For the maple frosting, whisk until light and pale. Add the cream cheese,  vanilla and maple syrup and whisk to combine.
  6. Sift in the icing sugar and whisk until smooth.
  7. To assemble the Gingerbread Cake, place one layer on a cake stand. Spread with 1/4 cup frosting, then place the second layer on top. Repeat with the third cake layer. Cover the sides and top of the gingerbread cake liberally.
  8. Decorate the sides and top of the gingerbread cake with iced gingerbread biscuits.


For more gingerbread inspired recipes, here are several blog favourites:

Gingerbread Bundt cake

Sticky toffee pudding Christmas cake

Ginger and Oat Shortbread


Launching today on the Bibby’s Kitchen online Store – Bibby’s Cooks Collection. Select your stocking fillers – The Cookbook, Harissa Paste, Smoky Spice Rub or Amber Aperol Marmalade for lazy holiday breakfasts in pyjamas with toast and tea. Orders close Thursday 16th December. Local (SA) delivery only.








8 Comments. Leave new

  • This looks amazing. Just wondering how long the sponge will stay fresh for?

  • Hi Julie. So sorry for the late reply. Unfortunately the comment landed in the spam folder.
    This cake particularly, keeps well for up to a week. The fruit keeps it lovely and moist. You can in future, freeze it ahead of time, for up to a month.

  • Hi, I don’t have access to this specific cake mix. What would I sub that for? Thanks!

  • Hello Ida. You can happily substitute with a combination of raisins, currants, cranberries and sultanas, as long as your dried fruit mixture adds up to the total weight specified. If you can find dried cherries, I’d add those too. Tart, sweet and delicious.

  • Can you make this without the dried fruit? Will it change anything other than taste?

  • Hi Cherie. You can make it without the fruit if you prefer. As you say, it will affect the taste. You may also need to reduce the baking time ever so slightly. Maybe check several minutes before end of baking time. It will have more of a sponge cake texture without the fruit.

  • I’m sorry did I miss the ingredients for the dried fruits and almonds? I reviewed the recipe several times and did not see weight/ quantity or them listed at all in the recipe

  • Hello Linda. Sorry for the confusion. For the recipe, I used a local premixed fruit cake mix (Foodlover’s Market) containing all the dried fruit and slivered almonds. To that, I added walnuts. Below is the weight measurements required. I hope that sorts out the dilemma. Happy baking.
    185g (1 1/4 cup) Food Lover’s Market Festive Food Cake Mix
    60g (1/2 cup) pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

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