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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
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How to Make a Gingerbread Roll

Inspired by my brown butter 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 with a piece of parchment paper 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!

Make Ahead Tips

The gingerbread cake can be made ahead of time. Once fully cooled, chill the cake (still rolled up in the parchment paper) for up to a day before adding the filling. Bring cake to room temperature before unrolling. The brown butter filling is easiest to spread when it’s freshly made.

How to Freeze

Freeze prepared gingerbread roll flat on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then wrap well in plastic wrap or foil and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw gingerbread roll overnight in the refrigerator (still wrapped to prevent condensation). Dust with powdered sugar before slicing and serving.

Gingerbread Roll

Homemade 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 fresh 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

More gingerbread desserts you’ll love:

Did you try this Gingerbread Roll Recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating below!

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Gingerbread Roll

Gingerbread Roll

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

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


Ingredients

Gingerbread Cake

  • 3/4 cup (105 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (3 g) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (2 g) cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (2 g) ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (80 g) unsulphured molasses, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs (150 g), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp (4 g) vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) powdered sugar, divided (for rolling)

Frosting

  • 2 Tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 Tbsp (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz (168 g) reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp (4 g) vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

  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. Make cake: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together molasses, eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a medium bowl for 1 minute until fully incorporated and smooth. Add molasses mixture to flour mixture and fold in with a spatula just until no flour streaks remain.
  3. Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan and tap pan sharply to reduce air bubbles.
  4. Bake cake for 14 to 15 minutes, until the cake springs back to the touch. While the cake bakes, place a piece of parchment paper 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 parchment. Slowly and carefully peel off the parchment paper from the back of the cake. Dust the cake with remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Starting from the narrow end, carefully and gently roll up the cake with the parchment paper. Transfer rolled up cake to a wire rack and place seam side down; let cool completely.
  6. Brown butter: Cook 2 tablespoons (28 g) cubed 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 (about 15 minutes).
  7. Make frosting: Add remaining 4 tablespoons (56 g) butter and cream cheese to the mixer bowl (with the cooled brown butter) 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.
  8. Assemble cake: 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).
  9. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days.


Notes

Molasses: I use and recommend Grandma’s Original Molasses.

Make ahead: The gingerbread cake can be made ahead of time. Once fully cooled, chill the cake (still rolled up in the parchment paper) for up to a day before adding the filling. Bring cake to room temperature before unrolling. The filling is easiest to spread when it’s freshly made.

Freezing tips: Freeze prepared gingerbread roll flat on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then wrap well in plastic wrap or foil and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw gingerbread roll overnight in the refrigerator (still wrapped to prevent condensation). Dust with powdered sugar before slicing and serving.

Meet Laura

Hi, I'm Laura and I'm so happy you're here! Welcome to Tutti Dolci Baking Recipes, a baking blog celebrating all things sweet! I share approachable baking recipes and elevated classic desserts for every home baker. My goal is to inspire you to bake from scratch with kitchen-tested recipes you can count on.

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14 Comments

  1. Fantastic recipe! It was a huge hit on Christmas Eve. I was a bit scared because I’m not an experienced baker and it was my first time rolling a cake, but it turned out great. I accidentally rolled up the wrong way though so ended up with two skinny logs 😅






    1. Hi Jennifer, use 6 tablespoons butter total for the frosting. Two tablespoons are browned in a saucepan and added to the mixer bowl. Let brown butter cool to room temperature, then add remaining 4 tablespoons butter and cream cheese. Beat until combined, then proceed as directed.

  2. This recipe looks delicious. Is it OK to substitute full-fat cream cheese (for reduced-fat cream cheese) in the frosting?
    Thank you.

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






  4. 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!