I remember watching mom rolling up, using a damp tea towel, the pan-sheet cake she just took out of the oven. We were too small and could not understand where she had hidden the filling since we only saw her rolling the cake in the towel. It was magic. Just like Santa Claus sneaking in the house through the key-hole. Yes, that’s how Santa comes in Romania since most people live in apartment complex and there’s no chimney.
My mom was a master at roll cakes. She’d wait patiently for it to get cold and most probably for us to get out of the tiny kitchen and fill it with the sweetened heavy cream. She’d surprise everyone with a slice of the most delicious cake roll, once Christmas dinner was over. Sometimes she would make it again on New Year’s Eve.
Molasses was one of the ingredients I got to taste once I came to US. My mom used to make the cake with honey.
This time I made the cake using a quarter of a cup molasses and another quarter of honey. I wanted to keep the dark gingerbread color but without a strong molasses taste so I replaced half of it with honey. If you prefer, you can use only molasses or if you’re looking for a light-colored cake you can use just honey.
I loved the addition of the spices, just for a little winter kick, complementing deliciously with the light airy heavy cream. The cake is best served the next day (or after a couple of hours), allowing the flavors from the gingerbread roll to infuse the cream and also the moisture of the cream is sucked into the moist sponge-like cake making it irresistible with every bite.
Moist gingerbread cake filled with spiced creamy filling. A delicious twist on the traditional Christmas gingerbread cake.
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
- 1 cup (120 grams) all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- powder sugar (for dusting)
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) powder sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Line a 15X10 jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan (and the paper) and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 375F.
- In a mixing bowl beat the egg yolks on high speed until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses, honey and melted butter and mix well.
- In a clean grease free bowl, with a clean whisk, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until firm peaks form.
- Carefully fold into the egg yolks mixture.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices above the egg mixture, slowly folding in making sure you don't lose all the air that was incorporated with the egg whites.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 11 minutes or until top springs back with touched.
- Cool in the pan for about 3 minutes.
- In the meantime heavily sprinkle powder sugar on a damp tea towel.
- Carefully turn the pan allowing the cake to rest now on the prepared tea towel. Remove the pan and gently peel the parchment paper.
- Roll up the cake, starting with the short side. I actually find it easier to roll it with the towel as well, although some advise to peel the towel as you roll. Either way it's fine.
- Cool completely.
- In the meantime make the filling.
- In a clean grease free mixing bowl combine the heavy cream, sugar and cinnamon and start whisking, on low speed first, slowly increasing to medium speed and whisk until firm peaks form.
- Unmold the cake, gently peeling the towel and spread 2/3 of the filling over the cake. Roll it again (this time without the towel). Spread the remaining filling on top of the cake.
- Sprinkle some cinnamon (optional)
- Let sit for a couple of hours before serving.
- Slice and enjoy!
Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home Baking Book
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