You want to turn my dad to putty?  Make him this.  He’ll give you whatever you want.  But you didn’t hear it from me.

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Prep Time:  25 min

Cook Time:  20 min


  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 cup molasses

  • 3 eggs

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • Maple Cream Jars, recipe follows


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 by 17-inch sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.

  3. In another bowl, with a hand mixer beat together the butter, and sugar until well combined and slightly fluffy. Add the molasses, and eggs, 1 at a time until well incorporated. Add the sifted dry ingredients into the butter and eggs in thirds, alternating with the milk. Mix, only until combined, but do not over beat. Spread the mixture in an even layer into the prepared sheet pan and smooth the top with an off set spatula.

  4. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before inverting the pan onto a cooling rack to unmold. Peel off the parchment paper and cool completely. Turn the cake onto a cutting board, and using a gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out shapes from the cake.

  5. Display the gingercake men, standing up on a cake pedestal, with a jar of the maple cream in the center to be sure they remain standing.

Maple Cream Jars:

  • 7 cups marshmallow cream

  • 1 cup maple syrup

Special Equipment/Decor:

  • 8 (8-ounce) jam jars, with lids

  • 8 pieces burlap cut into 4-inch circles

  • Twine or natural-colored raffia

In a large bowl, with a hand mixer beat together the marshmallow cream, and maple syrup until well combined. Divide the mixture among the jars. Lay a piece of burlap over the top of each jar and secure with piece of twine or raffia. If using for a place marker, write the guest’s name on a tag and thread it through the twine before tying off.