Gingerbread Sheet Cake

Serve up this delicious molasses-rich gingerbread sheet cake for your next holiday party. It is 100% homemade, easy and serves a crowd.

There’s one flavor that my family craves as soon as cold weather hits. Gingerbread. We’ve made gingerbread houses with friends for the past 15 years and it’s the main way we indulge our gingerbread craving.

Lately we’ve turned to making this Gingerbread Sheet Cake. It’s a rich molasses cake that is soft and tender. And the molasses cream cheese frosting on top will melt in your mouth.

overhead view of gingerbread sheet cake on a table with a bite on a fork

About this Gingerbread Sheet Cake:

  • Flavor: If you don’t love molasses, stay away from this cake. With ¾ cup of molasses, that rich, dark flavor definitely takes center stage. It is warmed with the spices of cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  • Texture: There is buttermilk and sour cream in the cake batter, which helps to yield a very tender, moist cake.
  • Method: This bakes in a 10×15″ sheet cake pan with at least 1″ sides. You can bake it in an 11×17″ pan as well, it will just be slightly thinner.
frosted gingerbread sheet cake cut into squares

What is molasses?

Molasses is one of the key flavors of this cake, but what exactly is molasses and what does it taste like?

Molasses is a byproduct of sugar production and can be from sugar cane, sugar beets or grapes. It can come in several different colors from lighter brown to very dark, and that color difference comes from how many times it is boiled. The more it is boiled, the darker it becomes. (source)

The darker molasses products, such as blackstrap molasses, is bitter in flavor. I purchase unsulphured molasses. Grandma’s molasses is my favorite brand.

baked gingerbread sheet cake without frosting

Baking Tips

  • Bake in a 10×15″ sheet cake pan with 1″ sides. Please note that this is the size I used and the pan was very full. The cake rose slightly but did not overflow the edges of the pan. Use an 11×17″ sheet cake pan if you are concerned about the cake overflowing. It will be slightly thinner this way and may cook a few minutes faster.
  • Line the bottom of the sheet cake pan with parchment paper if you’d like to remove it easily.
  • The ingredients will mix together best if they are at room temperature. This is especially important for the butter and the eggs.
  • Once all of the ingredients are in the bowl, don’t overmix the cake batter. This will ensure the cake stays tender and soft.
  • The frosting makes enough to put a thin layer of frosting all over the top of the cake. If you’d like a thicker layer of frosting, double the recipe.
frosted molasses sheet cake

Storage Instructions

  • Room temperature: Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 24 hours.
  • Refrigerator: Store this cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.
  • Freezer: Freeze the cake whole or sliced in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before eating.
gingerbread sheet cake with frosting
gingerbread sheet cake with frosting

Gingerbread Sheet Cake

4.70 from 13 votes
Serve up this delicious molasses-rich gingerbread sheet cake for your next holiday party. It is 100% homemade, easy and serves a crowd.
Servings 24
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup salted butter softened, 4 ounces
  • 1 cup light brown sugar lightly packed, 220 grams
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream 70 grams
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 260 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ cup molasses 191 grams
  • 1 cup buttermilk 8 ounces

For the frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup salted butter softened, 2 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons molasses 42 grams
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 260 grams

Instructions
 

Make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray an 10×115” baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  • Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl add in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
  • In another bowl whisk together molasses and buttermilk until completely incorporated.
  • Mix half of the dry ingredients into the batter, alternating with half of the molasses, mixing after each addition until all the ingredients are incorporated together. Do not overmix.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the cake springs back when you touch the center. (Or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.)
  • Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack.

Make the frosting:

  • In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and molasses. Mix well.
  • Add in 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar and mix well until combined. Then add the remaining ½ cup of powdered sugar until the frosting is a good spreading consistency.
  • Spread the frosting using an offset spatula over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
  • Slice into 24 squares and serve.
  • Store any extra cake in an airtight container at room temperature. The cake freezes well also.

Notes

Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 24 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 233
Keyword easy christmas cake, gingerbread cake, molasses cake

Molasses Cake Recipes

About Julie Clark

We are Julie, Maddie, and Kinslee – a mother and daughter team sharing with you the best cakes to satisfy any need or sweet craving that you may have. Welcome to our family’s kitchen!

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