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Healthier Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 18 1x


This classic tasting, rich and moist gingerbread sheet cake gets a healthier make-over with applesauce (in place of some of the fat), whole grain flour and it is sweetened naturally with pure maple syrup and molasses. The cream cheese frosting is made with reduced-fat cream cheese! It serves a crowd (18 servings) so it is perfect for a Christmas party!


Units Scale
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably dark
  • 1/2 cup cool coffee, decaf if desired
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk eggs, applesauce and oil together in a large bowl. Whisk maple syrup, coffee, molasses and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves in a medium bowl bowl.
  3. Whisk about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture until smooth. Add about 1/3 of the maple syrup mixture to the applesauce mixture and whisk until smooth. Continue alternating and whisking in two more additions of each mixture until the batter is smooth.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 33 to 35 minutes. Let cool, at least 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Beat butter in a medium bowl with paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. Scrape sides of the bowl and beat again. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Scrape sides and beat again. Add powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated. Scrape sides and beat on high until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Can be made 1 day ahead. Store covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for one day. Refrigerate left-overs after 1 day.


Storing Tip: Cover the sheet cake lightly with foil or plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. 

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 33 minutes
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/18th cake
  • Calories: 317
  • Fat: 15
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Fiber: 1
  • Protein: 4
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