Cakes

Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting

4.88 from 8 votes
Indulge in this festive Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting. Celebrate Christmas with joy and flavor!
A Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake is cut into generous squares and ready for serving. The cake is moist and soft, topped with velvety cream cheese frosting. A star-shape gingerbread cookie and a Christmas tree shape gingerbread cookies are served together.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Bake irresistible Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting and your holiday dinner or party dessert is complete!

  • Everyone loves gingerbread, and this version flawlessly elevates the classic with a just-right blend of spices, a delectably moist texture, and a generous layer of deliciously tangy cream cheese frosting.
  • This homey favorite is so simple to throw together and quick to bake! The best part is that this recipe makes a sheet cake big enough to feed a crowd, and the generous size looks impressive and party-ready!

Sheet cakes are a baker’s best friend for large gatherings. Not only are they a snap to make, but they’re also easy to cut and serve. Plus, you have a big canvas to decorate if you want to add holiday sprinkles or gold fondant stars. You’ll also love Red Velvet Sheet Cake, fudgy Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake, and a festive Funfetti Sheet Cake.

For this Holiday recipe I’m proud to partner with Farmer Direct Foods to bring you this post. There are countless baking flour options available but I choose Farmer Direct Foods because they focus on regenerative farming practices, producing genuine stone ground, whole wheat flours that offer benefits for home bakers, farmers, and the environment. These nutrient-rich flours create healthier, more flavorful baked goods while positively impacting sustainability.

If you missed it check out my Ultimate Guide to 10 Types of Flour for Baking which clearly explains wheat flours in a readable, downloadable chart, and it’s FREE. Farmer Direct Foods  joined us to curate this list, offering you the knowledge and insight you need to take your baking skills to the next level. Moreover, Farmer Direct Foods also brings you these Easy Make-Ahead Holiday Breakfast Ideas, to help you start your festive mornings stress-free, so you can craft scrumptious recipes for a relaxed celebration.

Table of Contents

A Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake looks moist and soft, topped with velvety cream cheese frosting. A star-shape gingerbread cookie is next to the cake and a Christmas tree shape gingerbread cookie is on the cake for decoration. A generous square of it is served on a Christmas-themed dessert plate.

What is Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting?

  • Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting is a single-layer spice cake baked in a sheet pan and topped with cream cheese frosting
  • The gingerbread cake is moist and flavorful from the molasses and a blend of traditional holiday spices. They fluffy, piquant frosting is the ideal complement.
  • Sheet cakes became popular in the United States in the 1950s. With the baby boom underway, large, single-layer cakes were an efficient, budget-friendly way to make desserts for a large family or group.
  • Making gingerbread—the quintessential festive dessert—in sheet cake form is a crowd-friendly option for celebrating Christmas with a big group.

Tools You’ll Need

Key Ingredients and Why

  • Farmer Direct Foods All-purpose flour

    • All-purpose flour has 9-11% protein content, which is the perfect amount for giving the cake structure while still having a pleasing light and tender texture.
  • Farmer Direct Foods Heirloom Wheat Flour

    • Heirloom wheat flour has a protein content of 10.5%, much lower than modern wheat does, which makes it easier to digest.
    • Its full, wheaty flavor and fine texture make it not only a great choice here for cookies, but also for sourdough breads, pizza doughs, brownies, and breakfast bakes.
  • Dark brown sugar

    • Dark brown sugar sweetens the gingerbread.
    • With a 10% molasses content compared to light brown sugar’s 3.5% content, dark brown sugar has a bolder taste than light brown sugar.
    • Dark brown sugar adds to the moistness of the gingerbread.
  • Granulated sugar

    • White sugar helps provide structure and also a more delicate, fine texture than a cake made with only dark brown sugar.
  • Baking soda

    • Baking soda is a leavening agent that reacts with acid to create air bubbles to make your baked goods rise and make them fluffy.
    • In this recipe, baking soda reacts with the acid from molasses and eggs.
    • My guide, How to Make Baking Powder and Baking Soda Explained, gives more information, including how to make it home.
  • Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice

    • Each of these four holiday-centric spices has a specific taste and smell that harmonize into a blend that makes this sheet cake the epitome of Christmas.
    • Ginger brings zingy, citrusy heat. Cinnamon provides earthiness and coziness, nutmeg gives earthy sweetness, and allspice adds inviting molasses notes.
    • For the most impactful flavor, make sure your spices are fresh!
  • Eggs

    • Eggs enrich flavors and provide an emulsifier from the egg yolks to homogeneously bind all the ingredients together.
    • Eggs must always be at room temperature in baking unless specified otherwise. Room-temperature eggs will set this recipe on the right track with a smooth and cohesive cake batter.
    • Learn foolproof ways to get your eggs to room temperature quickly.
  • Milk

    • Whole milk moistens the cake, giving it a tender crumb.
  • Molasses

    • The robust, earthy sweetness of molasses gives gingerbread its signature flavor.
    • Molasses gives the cake its moisture and keeps it from drying out. That’s because molasses is hygroscopic, which means it attracts and retains moisture.
  • Vegetable oil

    • Vegetable oil contributes moisture to the cake, giving it a delectable texture.
    • Vegetable oil has more moisture than butter. That makes cakes made with vegetable oil moister and softer than those made with butter.
    • The neutral taste of vegetable oil lets the spice and molasses flavors shine.

How to Make Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Prep for baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9×13-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper
  • Make the cake: 
    • Whisk the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices.
    • Separately, whisk the eggs, milk, molasses, and vegetable oil.
    • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Take care not to overmix.
  • Bake and frost: Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cake cool completely and frost with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting.

A Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake is cut into generous squares and ready for serving. The cake is moist and soft, topped with velvety cream cheese frosting.

Can I Make a Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting in Advance?

Yes, you can make Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting in advance.

  • For the cake: This cake can be made in advance without the frosting. Bake the cake, let it cool, and wrap it well with cling film. It will keep it at room temperature for two days.
    • You can also freeze the cake. Let the cake cool completely, cover it in plastic wrap, and then wrap it in aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn. Defrost at room temperature for several hours before frosting.
  • For the frosting: Store the frosting in an airtight container for up to three days.
    • If necessary, re-whip the frosting to achieve the original fluffy consistency.

How to Store a Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.

FAQs

  • How can I make sure my gingerbread cake isn’t tough?

    • It’s important not to overmix the cake. This can lead to gluten formation, which would make the cake chewy and tough.
    • Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. This ensures that the batter blends thoroughly, which helps aerate the batter, yielding a lighter, fluffier cake.
    • Be careful not to overbake. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Can I make this cake without eggs?

  • How can I make this gingerbread cake vegan?

  • A generous square of Gingerbread Sheet Cake is topped with white frosting and served on a Christmas-themed dessert plate. A bite has been taken.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • Be sure that all ingredients are at room temperature before mixing up this batter.
  • Have questions about brown sugar or are you out of brown sugar? Check out our guide to How to Make Brown Sugar.
  • For an extra gingery kick, you can try adding a ½ cup (2 ½ oz/71 g) of chopped, candied ginger to this recipe.
  • We love the classic pairing of cream cheese frosting with this cake, but it would also stand up to a rich Chocolate Ganache!
  • For an unexpected warming, spicy kick, add ¼-1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to the dry ingredients.

More Holiday Dessert Recipes

Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting

4.88 from 8 votes
Indulge in this festive Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting. Celebrate Christmas with joy and flavor!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Indulge in this festive Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting. Celebrate Christmas with joy and flavor!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter and line with parchment a 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) cake pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, molasses, vegetable oil.
  • Stir the wet into the dry mix until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
  • Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely in the pan before spreading generously with the Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

 

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Brigitte
Brigitte
6 months ago

I should probably not leave a comment but I have too , your cake sounded really good because of the amount of molasses and spices that was in the recipe . I made half the cake to experiment , I replaced the eggs by 1/4 cup of homemade pumpkin I wanted to try silken tofu but I have lots of pumpkin this is for one egg replacement I am doing half the recipe , I also replaced the oil by more pumpkin because , I did all whole wheat only use half the sugar and used palm sugar , it… Read more »

Sharon T
Sharon T
6 months ago

Good morning, I’d love to make this cake but I live in a bit of backwater and I’m not sure what the wheat flour is. Is it wholemeal flour? And can British style black treacle be substituted for molasses

maureen
maureen
6 months ago

Hi Gemma what can I use in place of molasses? Also cos there a difference in sulphured and unsulphered molasses? THank you 🙂

Erin
Erin
6 months ago

Hi Gemma, just wondering if I can just use all purpose flour for this recipe? I live in NZ and am not sure of the substitutes here. Also can I swap golden syrup for molasses?
Cheers.

Terry
Terry
6 months ago

Kudos to you, Gemma, for partnering with a company that promotes, and provides sustainable products.
However, living outside the US, we all don’t have access to these products. Do you have a suggestion on what I can use, in place of the Heirloom Wheat Flour?
Many thanks, & I hope you and yours are having an enjoyable weekend!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook