Christmas Time Sheet Cake


For the cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Coat an 11×17-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick spray.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, the sugar, the baking soda, the salt, the cinnamon, the ginger, the nutmeg, and the cloves.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 of the butter, the cocoa, the molasses, and 1/4 cup of the water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  5. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the remaining water, the buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and the eggs. When adding the eggs, be careful not to add them while the mixture is too hot, otherwise they might end up scrambled.
  6. Beat the batter until it is combined and smooth.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when touched with a fork, about 17-19 minutes.
  8. While the cake is baking, in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining butter and the milk and bring to a boil.
  9. Whisk the powdered sugar into the boiling milk mixture and then transfer the saucepan away from the heat.
  10. Stir the remaining vanilla into the frosting mixture.
  11. Immediately pour the frosting over the warm cake and sprinkle with the pecans.
  12. Slice and serve.

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