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The holiday season is here, and I’m dreaming of snow topped mountains with this delicious Gingerbread Cake recipe. A moist single-layered gingerbread sheet cake topped with maple buttercream and soft gingerbread cookies. A fun baking project while you’re home for the holidays!
For many years, I lived in a little mountain town and always loved watching the snow fall on the big pines reaching up to the stars. Its so peaceful in the winter on a dark snow lit night. You can always smell smoke from houses with roaring fireplaces, making it a magical winter experience. I chose to to adorn my sheet cake with that beloved memory. Would love to know how you will decorate your cake!
I’m a big fan of fall spices, especially ginger with cinnamon so when ALDI asked to partner on a holiday recipe using their new baking tools, I immediately thought gingerbread. Most of the time I make round layer cakes, but I decided to go a new route and try a large sheet cake with a decorative winter scene. This way I could incorporate a spice cake with cookies and really let the creativity flow.
ALDI has a huge selection of quality baking tools, gift sets for the home baker, and all the tasty ingredients you will need for the holidays! I love their affordable prices and trendy Finds. There’s always something unique to discover each time I explore the store.
A classic gingerbread cake is a soft crumb flavored of rich ginger and molasses. The kind of cake that makes you want to snuggle under a warm blanket while the cold air whips around outside.
Often topped with a cream cheese frosting, I chose to use a buttercream for stabilizing my cookie decor. The result is so fun, extra delicious, and ticks several texture boxes.
I always think of making gingerbread houses during the holidays, though they can be very messy and you really don’t eat them. The activity of decorating and licking frosting off your fingers is really the best part. So, why not make a cake to display, that you can slice and eat? Glad you agree.
Sheet Cake Recipe
To make a snowy mountain scene using cookies, you need a large sheet cake. ALDI offers the Crofton Mega Bakeware on sale Dec. 2, which includes a 12×18 inch sheet cake and cookie pans that are perfect for making a holiday gathering dessert. Just one large pan for a single layer of cake batter and so many cookies in the oven at once for a low stress baking project.
Decorate your cake in the pan for easy transport and storage or line with overhanging parchment paper before baking for easy removal.
Is it really the holiday’s without gingerbread cookies? Of course not, which is why I baked a double batch of them. One for decorating my cake and one for snacking while I was working so hard!
I prefer a soft gingerbread cookie in contrast to a firm cookie dough recipe used for making gingerbread houses. These cookies are full of flavor and just melt in your mouth. A little bit of homemade royal icing to create snowy designs or you can pipe some of the buttercream on top. I prefer the royal icing since it dries firm and won’t smear when the cookies are stacked.
Check out this all in one Crofton Giant Cookie Cutter, available at ALDI, that will give you 21 cutouts with just one press!
Maple Buttercream Frosting
Maple Buttercream Frosting is my go to topping for fall and winter spiced cakes. Its subtle maple flavor is a perfect compliment to the warm notes of molasses, cinnamon, and ginger exploding from the cake and cookies. It will hold its shape at room temperature while your cake is on display, plus its easy to pipe consistency makes for more decorating options.
Holiday Gingerbread Cake Tips
- Check out the Crofton Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl from ALDI with a counter gripping rubber bottom, perfect for mixing cake batter and frosting using a hand held electric mixer.
- Make your cookies ahead of time. So they are ready for decorating once the cake is cool.
- Keep your cookie dough cold to prevent extra spreading in the oven. I like to use super cold cookie dough, cut out my shapes, place them on the cookie sheet, then chill again for a few minutes before popping them in the oven.
- Spray the cake pan with non-stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent sticking if you plan on removing cake from pan prior to serving.
- Allow sheet cake to completely cool before removing from pan.
- Use an offset spatula to spread maple buttercream onto cake before placing your cookies.
- A light dusting of powdered sugar will resemble snow falling.
How to Store Gingerbread Cake
If you kept the decorated cake in the pan, simply cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 4-5 days. Otherwise place in an air tight container. Unfrosted cake can be sliced and wrapped with plastic wrap, then placed in freezer in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Same storage for gingerbread cookies.
The holidays are time to be together, so grab some ingredients at ALDI , swing by the ALDI Finds aisle for some baking tools and invite over your loved ones for this interactive cake recipe! I would love to see your cake designs!
More Gingerbread and Spice Recipes to Try
- Poached Pear Cardamom Cakes
- Snowflake Maple Cookies
- Eggnog Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies
- Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
- 4 ¼ cups (532 g) cake flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground ginger
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground all spice
- 1 ½ cups (340 g) unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ cups (330 g) light brown sugar packed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ⅓ cups (449 g) unsulphered molasses
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ⅔ cups (400 g) buttermilk room temperature
- 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (165 g) dark brown sugar packed
- 6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 3 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- ⅓ cup (113 g) unsulphered molasses
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 F (170 C) and prepare 12x18x2 inch sheet cake pan with non-stick baking spray and line with overhanging parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, hand whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Set aside.
- Using stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or large mixing bowl with hand mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and sugar until smooth.
- Scrape bottom and sides of bowl as needed with rubber spatula. Mix in eggs one at a time. Then blend in molasses and vanilla until mixed.
- Then spoon in a third of the flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, continuing on medium speed until all mixed in.
- Place pan on the middle rack and bake for 45-48 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with crumbs.
- Set pan on cooling rack to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) and a large two cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment or large mixing bowl using electric hand mixer, beat softened butter, brown sugar, and egg until well blended.
- Mix in maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla.
- Gradually spoon in dry ingredients, continuing on medium high until blended and smooth.
- Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for an hour to firm.
- Sprinkle rolling surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out cookies using cookie cutter lightly dusted in flour. Chill cookies again if they are getting to soft in order to prevent too much spreading in oven.
- Place cookies on cookie sheet two inches apart and bake 8-10 minutes until edges start to brown.
- Place pan on rack to cool for 10min before removing cookies. Use homemade easy royal icing or store bought royal cookie icing to decorate.
- Make Maple Buttercream Frosting while cake is cooling.
- Place cooled cake on desired serving tray. Spread frosting onto cake in desired area, top with cookies. Use powdered sugar for snowfall effect.