gingerbread roll

A snowy spiced gingerbread roll is the perfect Christmas dessert! Perfectly spiced and filled with brown butter cream cheese frosting, sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs make a festive topping for holiday entertaining.

Gingerbread Roll

How to make a gingerbread roll

Inspired by my pumpkin roll, my tips for a successful roll cake remain the same:

  • Remove the cake from the pan as soon as it comes out of the oven and immediately roll up the cake in a clean towel dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack before unrolling and frosting.
  • Re-roll the cake, wrap in plastic, and chill before slicing and serving.

With a generous dusting of snowy powdered sugar, this cake is ready to shine at your holiday table!

Gingerbread Roll

Sugared Cranberries

  • Place a wire rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Add cranberries to the saucepan and coat completely in the simple syrup. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cranberries to the wire rack. 
  • Separate the cranberries into a single layer, spaced 1-inch apart. Let dry for 1 hour, then roll the cranberries in sugar to coat.
  • Transfer sugared cranberries to a clean baking sheet and let dry for 1 hour before using.
Gingerbread Roll
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Gingerbread Roll

Gingerbread Roll

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Spiced gingerbread roll cake is a holiday favorite! Perfectly spiced and filled with brown butter cream cheese frosting, this cake is perfect for Christmas.


Gingerbread Cake

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup molasses, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided (for rolling)


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick spray; line pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Place eggs in a large mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment and whip on medium-high speed, gradually adding white sugar. Add brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses; whip until thick and voluminous, about 3 minutes. Add flour mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula just until combined.
  4. Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan and tap pan sharply to reduce air bubbles. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until the cake springs back to the touch. While the cake bakes, place a clean thin kitchen towel flat on the kitchen counter, and dust with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
  5. Remove cake from the oven and immediately turn out onto prepared kitchen towel. Slowly and carefully peel off the parchment paper, and dust the cake with remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Starting from the narrow end, carefully and gently roll up the cake with the towel. Transfer rolled up cake to a wire rack and place seam side down; let cool completely.
  6. For the frosting, cook 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown. Pour brown butter into a mixer bowl and let cool to room temperature. Add butter and cream cheese, and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla and salt. Beat in powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated, then on medium speed until soft and creamy.
  7. Gently unroll the cooled cake, and use an offset spatula to spread frosting over the cake. Carefully re-roll the cake, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before slicing and serving (trim any uneven edges before cutting into slices).


Sugared cranberries and rosemary: recipe here.

Keywords: Gingerbread, Brown Butter, Cream Cheese Frosting, Holiday Dessert

More holiday desserts you’ll love:

Chocolate Truffle Tart
Pumpkin Roll
Cranberry White Chocolate Cakes

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  1. So pretty, Laura! This truly is the perfect dessert for the Christmas holiday. Ideal for little ones as well as adults, too. Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. I can just tell how moist and delicious this gingerbread roll is just by looking at your gorgeous photos Laura! What a perfect Christmas dessert!

  3. I can’t decide which image I love more–they’re all beautiful and I bet the roll itself is as tasty as it is gorgeous!!

  4. Oh how pretty. I must try making a roll cake again, I had bad luck with it cracking the last time I tried. I hope Christmas was everything you wanted it to be.

  5. I made this for Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit. Would definitely make it again. I did play with the filling though, thinking it would be too much. I took out half the butter and cream cheese and only used 1 c. of confectioners sugar. Then I added whipping cream and whipped it until it was light and airy. It was delicious!

  6. Really yummy! I used OliveNation’s molasses powder and cinnamon and mine which made it really tasty and easier to make! Highly recommend!