Delicious gingerbread cheesecake roll baked with a festive gingerbread men pattern. Perfect for Christmas parties and holiday dinners.
- Why You'll Love this Recipe
- How Does This Cake Differ to Other Rolls?
- How to Prepare Ingredients & Substitutions
- Supplies & Substitutions
- Step By Step
- What are Substitutes for Gingerbread Spice?
- Do I Need to Stabilize the Cheesecake Filling?
- How to Create Other Flavored Fillings
- Gingerbread Men Pattern Template
This inspiration for this gingerbread men pattern cake roll recipe came from my love of pattern rolls and cheesecake. It utilizes techniques from my Fancy Pattern Cake Roll recipe to create beautiful patterns on cake roll that won't crack easily. Flavor-wise it's adapted for the Christmas season with gingerbread spice and cheesecake. It's a really stunning dessert to bring to any winter holiday gathering. Wishing you all a hopeful and happy season.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Stunning Holiday Design - create your own look with the versatile pattern paste
- Festive gingerbread spice flavor
- Flexible cake base prevents cracking
- Japanese-style fluffy cake base - the fluffiest gingerbread cake around!
- Stabilized cheesecake filling is strong and sturdy for presentation on dessert tables
- Versatile frosting can be used to pipe designs or frost cupcakes
- Christmas Buche de Noel base - make it into a cake log for winter holiday dinners.
How Does This Cake Differ to Other Rolls?
This recipe utilizes a combination of these two recipes: Gingerbread Cake Roll and Fancy Pattern Cake Roll. If you're not familiar with the cakes in my cake roll series, here are the distinctive features you'll find in each. For the pattern paste in this cake, I used the one from the Fancy Pattern Cake Roll recipe. Because it is yolk-less, it is ideal for blending colors more accurately. For the cake base, I used the one from my Gingerbread Cake Roll recipe for its taste and texture. It's flavored with festive spices that is perfect for the winter holiday season. The texture is typical of chiffon cakes - light and fluffy!
How to Prepare Ingredients & Substitutions
- Gel colors - this concentrated form of food coloring is ideal for coloring baked goods without adding excess moisture. I like this brand.
Dry Mix for Cake Batter
- Cake flour - a low protein flour which will help make this cake softer than if using AP flour. It usually has a protein content between 6-8% while pastry flour, also a lower protein flour, has a protein content between 8-9%. Grocery stores usually sell a combination of cake and pastry flour at 7-9% protein. It can be substituted with all-purpose flour but the cake will be a little tougher than if using cake flour.
- Gingerbread spice - can be substituted with ``½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
- Fine Sea salt - used to highlight the flavors in the cake.
Wet Mix for Cake Batter
- Milk - adds moisture to the cake
- Neutral vegetable oil - neutral tasting oils like canola, vegetable, grapeseed or avocado are all good choices.
- Granulated sugar - this first set of sugar is added into the wet ingredients to help add moisture and to break up the grains in the dry mix.
- Egg yolks - tenderizes the cake. Use large size.
- Vanilla extract - rounds out the flavors. Since vanilla is not the main flavor, feel free to use an artificial kind to save costs as pure vanilla can be quite pricey.
Meringue for Cake Batter
- Egg whites - from large eggs. Room temperature ones will whip to volume better. Soak cold eggs in warm water to bring to room temperature quickly.
- Cream of tartar - is an acid that helps to stabilize the meringue. It can be substituted with double the amount of lemon juice or vinegar. You can skip it if you're careful with the whipping.
- Granulated sugar - adds sweet taste and structure to the meringue.
Stabilized Cheesecake Filling
- Gelatin powder - use only the unflavored kind. I prefer Knox gelatin.
- Cream cheese - a soft tub-style cream cheese was used here. If using brick-style, decrease the water and gelatin by half. It must be COLD.
- Sour cream - gives this cheesecake filling its traditional tartness
- Heavy cream - is a cream with a minimum milk fat content of 36% and above. Heavy cream produces a very stable cream but can be substituted with whipping cream with a milk fat content between 30-35%. Cream must be chilled for it to whip properly.
- Granulated sugar - adds sweetness.
- Vanilla extract - use either pure or artificial.
- Lemon juice - is a concentrated way to add tang to traditional cheesecake without compromising its structure too much.
Supplies & Substitutions
- Regular kitchen tools PLUS:
- 8x12" Cake Pan - The toaster oven Silpat mat fits perfectly in this pan. If you have a bigger sized pan, you can build a dam inside with aluminum foil to make the pan smaller. Take a look at this post on how to bake this type of cake in different sized pans.
- Toaster silicone mat - If making the pattern paste design, it's best to pipe it on the silicone mat to prevent the paste from shuffling. Parchment paper can be used but it doesn't grip the design as well and isn't substantially weighted to prevent movement inside the pan.
- Piping bags - You can use Ziplock bags with a small cut at the tip but I find piping bags along with piping tips to provide more precise piping performance.
- Round Piping Tip #3 - sizes 3 & 4 are great for piping the pattern paste. The paste can be a little runny and the smaller tips prevents large amounts from flowing out.
- Round Piping Tip #4
Step By Step
With pattern paste, pipe desired design onto silicone mats with templates placed underneath as guide. Discard leftover pattern paste. 5-10 minutes before pouring cake base over design, place it in the freezer to set small details. Place frozen design in cake tray. Transfer some of the gingerbread cake batter into a piping bag and pipe around the frozen pattern paste design to minimize movement of the design when the rest of the batter is added.
Gently pour the rest of the batter into cake pan, spread out the batter evenly with an angled spatula. Very gently, tap the pan on the counter to release large air pockets. Bake for 12-14 min. at 325 F until a skewer pulls out clean and cake springs back in the center. Let cool in pan for 5 min. Place cooling rack over cake pan. Flip cake over onto the rack, gently remove paper/mat. The side facing up will eventually become the top of the cake roll. Let it cool while making the cheesecake filling.
Chill mixing bowl and beaters in refrigerator. Add cool water to heat-proof cup, sprinkle gelatin powder on top to bloom. Wait 5 minutes until granules have swelled. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place cup in boiling water, remove when the gelatin becomes liquid. In a large mixing bowl, whip the cold cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla on medium-low speed until it all comes together. Add the chilled cream into the mixing bowl and whip on high until the beater starts leaving trails in the cream.
Check on the gelatin, it should no longer be hot but still liquid. Pour the liquid gelatin into the bowl while whipping, aim for the area in between the bowl and whisk. Whip until stiff peaks. Optional: add a few drops of lemon juice to taste for a tangier cheesecake flavor. Use cream immediately to assemble cake roll.
Lay plastic wrap on the counter, flip cake onto it. Spread the cheesecake filling onto the cake with a bit of extra on the side that is to be rolled first.
Carefully roll up the cake from the short edge using the plastic wrap to help push the cake onto itself. For a rounder cake, wrap one more time with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to set before cutting (see post for details). Before serving, cut off sides for a cleaner presentation. Gingerbread cake roll can be kept in the fridge in an air tight container for 2-3 days.
What are Substitutes for Gingerbread Spice?
Gingerbread spice blends are readily available online, like this one here. They may be a little harder to find at regular grocery stores. It be substituted with ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg. For an extra spicier version, add a pinch of black pepper. For added dimension, add ¼ teaspoon of all spice. If you're missing either cloves or nutmeg, just add in extra ginger or cinnamon in equal amounts.
Do I Need to Stabilize the Cheesecake Filling?
The cheesecake filling in this cake is similar to the one from pumpkin cream cheese cake roll. That one is easier to prepare and contains only 4 ingredients but will be less sturdy. This one, on the other hand, is stabilized and tastes more like cheesecake. For use in a cake roll, I like stabilizing the cheesecake filling with gelatin because it's more aesthetically pleasing - the roll stays rounder, and the filling won't start pushing out from the ends. It's not necessary to stabilize it if you're not too picky about the way it looks. Once stabilized, you can use it to pipe designs and frost cupcakes!
How to Create Other Flavored Fillings
This cake roll can be paired with other filling flavors or you can experiment and try making your own. Almost all my cake rolls have stabilized fillings that are sturdy to keep the cake roll nice and round. Here are some of my other recipes that you can use to pair with this cake base: chocolate cake roll, carrot spice mascarpone cake roll, strawberry fresh cream cake roll, coffee cake roll, Earl Grey tea cake roll, Matcha cake roll, and cotton candy cake roll. You can also use this cake as a base for Buche de Noel or cake log for Christmas dinner and parties.
Gingerbread Men Pattern Template
You can download this free gingerbread man cake roll template for free when you sign up for my newsletter. It is perfect for use with the toaster sized Silpat mat and 8x12" cake pan. If your pan is bigger, it will still work. You'll need to visualize how the cake will be rolled in order to find the proper placement under the mat.
(Optional) Pattern paste
- 20 grams cake flour
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Gel colors
Dry Mix for Cake Batter
- 45 grams cake flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon gingerbread spice*
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Wet Ingredients for Cake Batter
- 50 ml milk
- 40 ml neutral flavored oil*
- 25 grams granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Meringue for Cake Batter
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 50 grams granulated sugar
Stabilized Cheesecake Filling
- 2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
- 3 tablespoon water
- 130 grams Trestelle cream cheese, cold*
- 45 grams sour cream
- 35 grams granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 ml heavy cream, chilled*
- Optional: lemon juice, to taste
- Regular baking tools PLUS
- 8X12" cake tray
- (Optional) Toaster oven sized Silicone mat*
- (Optional) Piping bags
- (Optional) Fine round piping tips
(Optional) Pattern Paste
- Determine how much pattern paste you need. (For example, you can halve the pattern paste ingredients if you are using 2 colors or less.)
- In a small bowl, combine 1st set of sugar, milk and oil together.
- Sift in flour, stir to combine.
- In a mixing bowl, whip 2nd set of sugar and egg whites together until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold meringue into the wet flour mixture until just incorporated. Don't overdo it as you can fold a bit more later.
- Split the pattern paste into separate bowls and add desired color. Gently fold again to incorporate color.
- Transfer into piping bags and pipe desired design onto silicone mats with templates placed underneath as guide. Discard leftover pattern paste.
- 5-10 minutes before pouring cake base over design, place it in the freezer to set small details.
Gingerbread Cake Base
- Line a 8 X 12" rectangular cake pan with parchment paper/silicone mat. (If using pattern paste, take the frozen design/mat out of the freezer and place in tray at step 11),
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- In a small bowl, combine all the "wet" ingredients together with a whisk and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift in dry mix. Stir to combine.
- Create a well in the center. Inside it, add all the "wet" ingredients.
- Combine until just incorporated, do not over mix as it will result in a tough cake. Set this gingerbread-flour mixture aside.
- In a clean and dry, non-plastic mixing bowl, whip egg whites on slow speed until frothy, add cream of tartar.
- Increase speed to medium, once the whites become opaque and bubble size decreased, add sugar a little bit at a time.
- Increase speed to med-high, whip until stiff peaks (when the whisk is pulled out, the tips of the egg whites will point upwards without drooping on itself.) This is now called the meringue.
- Gently fold ⅓ of the meringue into the gingerbread-flour mixture to get it moving. Once incorporated, fold in the rest of the meringue. Do not stir. Use batter immediately.
- (Optional if using pattern paste) Place frozen design in cake tray. Transfer some of the cake batter into a piping bag and pipe around the frozen pattern paste design to minimize movement of the design when the rest of the batter is added.
- Gently pour the rest of the batter into cake pan, spread out the batter evenly with an angled spatula.
- Very gently, tap the pan on the counter to release large air pockets.
- Bake for 12-14 min. at 325 F until a skewer pulls out clean and cake springs back in the center.
- Let cool in pan for 5 min.
- Place cooling rack over cake pan. Flip cake over onto the rack, gently remove paper/mat.
- The side facing up will eventually become the top of the cake roll. Let it cool while making the cheesecake filling.*
- Chill mixing bowl and beaters in refrigerator.
- Add cool water to heat-proof cup, sprinkle gelatin powder on top to bloom. Wait 5 minutes until granules have swelled.
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Place cup in boiling water, remove when the gelatin becomes liquid.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip the cold cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla on medium-low speed until it all comes together.
- Add the chilled cream into the mixing bowl and whip on high until the beater starts leaving trails in the cream.
- Check on the gelatin, it should no longer be hot but still liquid.
- Pour the liquid gelatin into the bowl while whipping, aim for the area in between the bowl and whisk. Whip until stiff peaks.
- Optional: add a few drops of lemon juice to taste for a tangier cheesecake flavor.
- Use cream immediately to assemble cake roll.
- Lay plastic wrap on the counter, flip cake onto it.
- Spread the cheesecake filling onto the cake with a bit of extra on the side that is to be rolled first.
- Carefully roll up the cake from the short edge using the plastic wrap to help push the cake onto itself.
- For a rounder cake, wrap one more time with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to set before cutting (see post for details).
- Before serving, cut off sides for a cleaner presentation. Gingerbread cake roll can be kept in the fridge in an air tight container for 2-3 days.
- Gingerbread spice can be substituted with ``½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
- Neutral flavored oil choices include: grapeseed, canola, vegetable and avocado.
- Trestelle Original cream cheese was used in this recipe. It is a tub-style cream cheese that is spreadable/softer than block style cream cheeses. If using block style cream cheese, decrease gelatin and water by half.
- Heavy cream is cream with milk fat content of 35%+ (also labelled as 35% M.F.) It can be substituted with whipping cream which has milk fat of 30%+. Heavy cream is preferred for it's stability.
- Cream and cream cheese must be COLD otherwise the mixture will be soupy.
- Silicone mat is preferred for preventing the design from shuffling. Parchment paper can be used but it's not ideal for intricate designs.
- It is not necessary to pre-roll this cake for "muscle memory" to prevent cracking.
- Cheesecake filling is stabilized. It can be used for piping designs or frosting cupcakes.
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Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Cream of Tartar, 5 Ounces
Knox Original Unflavored Gelatin (32 ct Packets)
PME Anodized Aluminum Oblong Cake Pan, 8 x 12 x 3-Inch Deep
Wilton No.4 Decorating Tip, Round
Wilton Decorating Tip, STD
Silpat Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Toaster Oven Size, 7-⅞ x 10-⅞, Tan
AmeriColor Food Coloring - Electric Kit - Soft Gel Paste, 7 .75 Ounce Bottles
Amount Per Serving Calories 390Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 131mgSodium 200mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 0gSugar 22gProtein 7g
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although indulgewithmimi.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.