Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Drip

With Christmas just days away, I’ve got the perfect holiday cake for you to whip up this week. You’ll love this Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake with the most delicious salted caramel drip.

The most delicious gingerbread cake layers with salted caramel buttercream, caramel drip and toffee bits.

Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake

For me, gingerbread is the flavor and smell of Christmastime. I’m so in love with this seasonal favorite, I just can’t stop putting ginger and molasses in everything!

This cake is a spin off my Gingerbread Latte Cake. I love the coffee flavored buttercream in this original version, but I know that’s a polarizing flavor so it was time to pair the gingerbread cake and salted caramel with salted caramel buttercream to create my Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake.

The most delicious gingerbread cake layers with salted caramel buttercream, caramel drip and toffee bits.

Ingredients for the Gingerbread Cake

I love the texture and flavor of this cake. It’s rich in molasses and ginger flavor, but also moist and tender. As for the texture, I’d say this cake is slightly dense (when compared to a light and fluffy white cake or something like that).

To make this cake, grab these ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Unsalted butter
  • Molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk
Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake

Tips for Making Tall, Moist Cake Layers

When making the cake layers, don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
  • Beat the butter, sugar, eggs (and molasses, in this cake) for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed, until nearly double in volume and smooth.
  • Don’t over mix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Swirls of salted caramel buttercream on top of homemade salted caramel.

How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel

Homemade caramel is actually really easy to make. Here’s a quick rundown for making caramel. You can also check out THIS blog post for more details and pictures of the process.

You’ll first combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. After you stir the mixture for a couple minutes to dissolve the sugar, you then just step back and let it do it’s thing. You’re looking for the mixture to boil and turn an amber color. This takes a little while, but don’t walk away. Once the mixture starts to change color, it gets to a gorgeous amber color quick. After the sugar is caramelized, you simply add some cream, vanilla, and salt. Easy peasy!

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
Swirls of caramel buttercream, caramel drip and toffee bits covering tender and moist gingerbread cake layers

How to Make Buttercream Frosting

To get a light and fluffy, silky smooth buttercream, make sure you follow my tips: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM

  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use slightly cold butter
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Beat for 5 minutes
  • Stir by hand

You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step. This will help make your cookie butter buttercream silky smooth and easily spreadable.

For a little added decor, I used the Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Cookies.

Four layer 6-inch gingerbread cake with salted caramel buttercream, salted caramel and toffee bits.

Other Christmas Cakes You’ll Love

The most delicious gingerbread cake layers with salted caramel buttercream, caramel drip and toffee bits.

Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake

5 from 3 votes
Gingerbread cake layers with salted caramel buttercream, salted caramel and toffee bits.
 

Ingredients
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • 3 1/4 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (5.3 g) ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (5.3 g) cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup (220 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 g) buttermilk, room temperature

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured then sifted
  • 1/2 cup caramel, recipe below
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.

FOR THE CARAMEL

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) water
  • 4 teaspoons (75 g) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (115.5 g) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) salt

GARNISH

  • Hershey’s Toffee Bits

Instructions
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray four 6-inch pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add in the brown sugar and beat together on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • On medium-low, gradually add in the eggs and molasses until incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium-high and mix until smooth and nearly double in volume, about 3 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Once mixed, evenly divide all of the batter into the prepared pans (about 12 ounces in each 6-inch pan).
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, checking around 25 minutes. When you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, a few moist crumbs should come out on it. Remember, the cake continues to bake for 5 minutes as it cools in the pans. 
  • Cool on a wire rack before de-panning.

FOR THE CARAMEL

  • Mix sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan.
  • Bring the water and sugar mixture to boil over medium heat, but DO NOT STIR. (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it caramelizes into a golden brown color. It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  • Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Pour in just a tiny bit at a time, especially at the beginning, and mix to combine. You can start adding more and more as you go along.
  • Mix in salt and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Let cool to room temperature before using in buttercream or adding in between layers.
    NOTE: to make the remaining caramel thicker for the drip, heat the caramel with ¼ cup caramel baking chips. Stir to combine and let cool.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter on medium-high for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to medium and gradually add the caramel. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again until the caramel is incorporated.
  • On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Remember to mix the frosting by hand with a wooden spoon or large spatula to push out the air to create a silky-smooth frosting.

ASSEMBLY

  • After leveling each cake layer with a cake leveler or serrated knife, place the first cake layer (top side up) on a cake board. Spread about ½ cup of the buttercream evenly over the cake layer, followed by a drizzle of the salted caramel and handful of the toffee bits. Repeat this step for the second and third cake layers, and then place the final cake layer (top side down) on top of the filling. 
  • Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. This coat of frosting does not need to look pretty, it’s simply to lock in the crumbs so they don’t get into the final coat of frosting. Freeze the cake for 10 minutes. 
  • After the crumb coat is set, continue to frost and decorate the cake with the remaining buttercream, caramel and toffee bits.
    NOTE: The gingerbread cookies I used are from Trader Joes.
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword caramel, caramel buttercream, Gingerbread Cake, Gingersnap

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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