This delicious gingerbread sheet cake is topped with a scrumptious light gingerbread buttercream. It’s the perfect Christmas dessert that couldn’t be easier to make! You’re going to love this one!
A gingerbread sheet cake with gingerbread men, topped with a swirl of whipped gingerbread buttercream, mini gingerbread men and festive sprinkles.
‘Sugar and spice, makes all things nice!’ is the ideal saying for this delicious cake!
Christmas and gingerbread – a match made in heaven!
Gingerbread is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the Christmas season and festive flavours! The warming spices are just gorgeous! You can enjoy these amazing festive spices at any time of the year, but theres something about using them in your bakes and desserts at Christmas-time that makes it extra special.
What is Gingerbread?
Gingerbread refers to baked goods typically flavoured with spices such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and molasses.
Gingerbread comes in all forms, most commonly recognised as gingerbread cookies, gingerbread men and gingerbread houses.
I fell in love with gingerbread when I was young. I have many fond memories cutting out all sorts of sized gingerbread men and creating the most decorative gingerbread houses as a child. And, one of my all time favourite drinks is ginger beer- haha!
Ginger spice is so cosy and warming. Every year I treat myself to a gingerbread latte from Costa Coffee or Starbucks. I literally wait until as close to Christmas as possible to have one. It makes it taste even more special! I know its almost Christmas when I take a sip of that warm gingerbread coffee – yum!
What kind of pan should I use for this sheet cake?
This recipe has been developed for a 8 x 8 inch square baking tin. I like to use this tin, which I picked up from Amazon. It has a loose bottom / push up base which makes it extremely easy for removing the cake when baked. It also prevents the cake from breaking, which can happen when you lift the cake up out of the pan with greaseproof paper.
This cake gets its flavour from ground ginger, ground nutmeg and black-strap molasses.
Black-strap molasses is the real showstopper here as it really helps the cake have that classic ‘gingerbread’ flavour and texture.
Black strap molasses is a black treacle which is rich in colour / flavour and gives bakes a chewy and rich flavour!
Looking for more gingerbread recipes? Look no further:
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas.The Chickpea water or brine as its called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, meringue buttercreams etc.
What vegan block butter to use?
As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block.
Preparation: 5 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes
Ingredients for the cake
- 200ml of dairy-free milk
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- 230g of self raising flour
- 80g of caster sugar
- 20g of dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 50ml of sunflower oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of black-strap molasses
Ingredients for the buttercream
- 130g of dairy-free block butter (see notes*)
- 1/2 tablespoon of black-strap molasses
- 150g of icing sugar
- 30ml of chickpea brine (aquafaba) see notes*
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC fan and line a 8 x 8 inch square cake tin with grease-proof paper. Allow the paper to hang over the tin, this makes it easier to remove the cake when baked.
2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.
3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugars, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices.
Mix well to combine.
4. Add the oil and black-strap molasses into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
6. Pour the batter into the lined tin. Use acranked pallet knife to smooth out the batter, making sure to get it into the corners of the tin. Tap the tin on the worktop one or two times to remove any air bubbles.
Optional step: Press mini gingerbread men into the batter before baking.
7. Pop the cake into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes.
You will know it is done when you put a knife or skewer down the middle of the cake and it comes out clean and it’s springy to the touch.
8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before frosting. You can even place the cake in a sealed container once cool then frost the day after. It’s a very light sponge so be careful with it when removing from the tin.
1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and black-strap molasses, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
2. Sift in the icing sugar and ground ginger. Whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.
3. Pour in the aquafaba. Whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don’t over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it’s thick and creamy.
The buttercream should be very light and airy. You can add more chunks of butter to get it to the right consistency.
4. Dollop the buttercream on the sheet cake and use a cranked pallet knife / off set spatula to swirl it around.
Why not decorate the cake with mini gingerbread men and vegan festive sprinkles?!
Slice and enjoy!
Serve fresh or store in a sealed container at room temperature in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature for around 20 minutes before serving.
Best eaten within a few days!
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