Have you ever had a gingerbread sheet cake? My Aunt has made a chocolate sheet cake as well as vanilla. So when I found this recipe, I knew it had to be good. I always think of Gingerbread houses and the aroma that flows throughout the house when it is made.
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Gingerbread Sheet Cake and its History
No pastry symbolizes the holidays as gingerbread in the different ways you can make it, from gingerbread houses to fancy studded gingerbread men to spiced loaves of cake-like bread.
In Medieval England, this term meant preserved ginger and wasn’t applied to the desserts we are familiar with until the 15th century. This term is now broadly used to describe any sweet treat that combines ginger with honey, treacle, or molasses.
In Ancient China, the Ginger Root was First for Treatment in the Medical Field.
From there ginger root, it traveled to Europe via the Silk Road. During the Middle Ages, it was a spice to disguise preserved meats’ taste. Henry VIII possibly said it was used as a mixture to build an immunity to the disease. Now, we use ginger as an effective remedy for nausea and other stomach ailments. In Sanskrit, srigavera is the root name, which translates to root shaped like a horn, a fitting name for ginger’s unusual appearance.
Where Did the First Gingerbread Originate?
The first recipe for this delicious cake originated in Greece in 2400 BC. Chinese recipes came about during the 10th century, and by the late Middle Ages, Europeans had their own kind of gingerbread. The hard cookies, that probably could have broken your teeth. Sometimes they had a gold leaf and shaped like kings, queens, and little animals. They were a common staple at Medieval fairs in England, France, Holland, and Germany.
The shapes changed with the season, including flowers in the spring birds in the fall. Elaborately decorated gingerbread became synonymous with all things fancy and elegant in England. The gold leaf used to decorate these cookies led to the popular expression to take the gilt off of gingerbread. The carved, white architectural details found on many colonial American seaside homes are also attributed to this work.
Easy Homemade Gingerbread Sheet Cake Recipe
- Preheat Oven to 350° and spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
- Using a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, baking soda, kosher salt, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and light brown sugar.
- Using a large saucepan, combine the butter, water and molasses over medium heat until the butter is melted.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients into the saucepan.
- Remove from the stove and allow to cool for a few minutes
- Whisk in the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until combined
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and place onto a cookie sheet
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Allow to cool
- Using a standing mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, heavy whipping cream and 1 tbsp ground cinnamon until combined and smooth
- Spread evenly over the top of the cake and sprinkle some more cinnamon on top