For a quick fix of holiday flavor, this simple gingerbread sheet cake topped with easy cream cheese frosting is the perfect snack for any time of the day!

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Side view of a single square slice of gingerbread snack cake, pictured on a decorative Christmas plate with more squares of cake in the background.

About Gingerbread Snack Cake

When you’re craving a quick fix of holiday flavor, look no further than this simple gingerbread sheet cake with homemade cream cheese frosting.

And as the name implies, this cake exists with one goal in mind: being a delicious snack. You have full permission to enjoy this snack anytime, anywhere, because ’tis the season to find unapologetic joy in delicious comfort food.

What is a snack cake?

There’s a surprising amount of debate about what exactly is a “snack cake” (or “snacking cake”) but to keep things simple, I like to think of it like this:

A snack cake is a simple and easy cake that can be enjoyed as a snack. This can mean anything from a small-sized dessert to having leftover birthday cake for breakfast. Snack cakes also tend to be basic sheet cakes – with a square or rectangle shape as opposed to being baked in round cake pans – and are topped with simple frosting and limited decoration.

So, in other words, think easy and simple, both in preparation and serving. It’s a no fuss, no muss, have-it-whenever kind of cake.

If you’d like to read a more thorough debate on what makes constitutes a snack cake, check out this article: What’s the Difference Between Snack Cake and Snacking Cake? (Please, Tell Us)

What’s in gingerbread snack cake?

To make this delicious gingerbread sheet cake, you’ll need to round up the following ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salted butter, light brown sugar, and egg – Core staples for many baking recipes.
  • Sour cream – A high-fat ingredient for creating ultra-soft cake. You can also substitute this for an equal amount of greek or regular yogurt.
  • Molasses and hot water – One of the classic flavors used in gingerbread, the unsulphured molasses adds a deep sweetness. For this recipe, the molasses is mixed with hot water to thin it out and make it easier to incorporate into the batter. In a pinch, you can substitute the molasses for dark corn syrup.
  • Ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground ginger – More classic seasonings for creating gingerbread.
  • Cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar – Used for making the simple (yet delicious!) cream cheese frosting.
Top down view of a serving plate covered in rows of gingerbread snack cake, cut into squares and topped with cream cheese frosting.

What does sour cream do for cake?

This is not just a recipe for gingerbread cake, but a sour cream gingerbread cake, which means that all the qualities you love about cakes (dense, crumbly, and delicious) are kicked up another level thanks to the sour cream.

Sour cream is one of the dairy products with the highest fat, and in baking, the amount of fat will shorten the gluten strands. This process is what makes baked goods softer and more “tender.”

If you’re out of sour cream, an equal portion of greek or regular plain yogurt can be used as a substitute.

Can you make this cake in advance?

Certainly!

This cake can be completely baked and decorated per the recipe instructions up to 24 hours in advance. Just store in a sealed container until ready to serve.

How should you store this cake?

Refrigeration is best but not required. This cake can safely be stored in a sealed container at room temperature.

How long is gingerbread snack cake good for?

Once prepared and decorated, this cake can be stored in a sealed container on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Can you freeze this cake?

Yes, you totally can!

Once prepared and cooled, gingerbread snack cake can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to three months.

Notes & tips for gingerbread snack cake

  • The cream cheese frosting for this cake is made from a “small batch recipe” and it’s the perfect amount for a cake in a 8×8 baking dish. However, feel free to increase the yield of the frosting if you’d prefer a thicker layer of sweetness.
  • You can also substitute the homemade frosting in this recipe for store-bought frosting (or a different homemade recipe) for other fun flavor combinations.
  • If frosting is not your thing, that’s okay, too! This cake would be delicious on its own or served with a dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip.
Close up top down view of a single since of gingerbread snack cake, showing off the creamy frosting and the fluffy texture of the cake.

More delicious recipes with gingerbread

Other great recipes for Christmas

How to make gingerbread snack cake

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Set this bowl aside for now.

Step 2 – In a small bowl, whisk together the molasses and hot water, Set this bowl aside, too.

Step 3 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the following ingredients until fluffy: salted butter and light brown sugar.

Step 4 – Drop the mixer speed and blend in the egg and sour cream until smooth.

Step 5 – Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and the molasses mixture with the rest of the batter, alternating between the two and adding a little bit each time.

Step 6 – Spray an 8×8 baking dish with baking spray, then pour the cake batter in. Use a spatula to smooth out the top into an even layer.

Step 7 – Bake!

Step 8 – While the cake bakes and cools, prepare the frosting by whipping together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar until fluffy.

Step 9 – When the cake is cool, spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake into an even layer.

Step 10 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Side view of a single square slice of gingerbread snack cake, pictured on a decorative Christmas plate with more squares of cake in the background.
5 from 1 vote

Gingerbread Snack Cake

20 mins prep + 35 mins cook + 30 mins Cooling Time
420 kcal
Yields: 9 servings
For a quick fix of holiday flavor, this simple gingerbread sheet cake topped with easy cream cheese frosting is the perfect snack for any time of the day!

Ingredients 

Gingerbread Snack Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions

For the Gingerbread Snack Cake
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with baking spray, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Set bowl aside.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • In a small bowl, whisk together molasses and hot water until incorporated, then set aside.
    1/2 cup unsulphured molasses, 1/2 cup hot water
  • Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), whip butter and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
    1/2 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Drop mixer speed to low and blend in egg and sour cream until combined, about another 1-2 minutes.
    1 large egg, 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Keeping mixer speed on low, add half of dry ingredients to batter, then mix for 10-20 seconds. Pour in half of molasses mixture, then mix for 10-20 seconds more. Add another half of dry ingredients, mix for another 10-20 seconds, then blend in remaining molasses mixture.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish. If needed, use a spatula to smooth out top into an even layer.
  • Bake cake for 30-35 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out clean.
  • Place baking dish on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip butter, cream cheese, and vanilla on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
    4 tablespoons salted butter, 2 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Drop mixer speed to low and blend in powdered sugar until incorporated, about 3-5 minutes.
    3/4 cup powdered sugar
Putting it All Together
  • Once cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread cream cheese frosting evenly on top.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 375mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 622IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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1 comment

    • Dilojiny

    Enna price