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Cake on a cake stand.
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4.85 from 13 votes

Gingerbread Latte Cake

Gingerbread cake layers with a latte frosting, salted caramel and toffee bits.
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Coffee, Coffee Buttercream, Gingerbread Cake, Gingersnap, Latte Buttercream
Servings: 1 3-layer, 6-inch cake

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
  • 2 tablespoons (24 g) instant coffee granules* or other coffee substitute
  • 1 tablespoon (14.75 g) water
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured then sifted
  • 3 tablespoons (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • *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 1/2 batch.

FOR THE CARAMEL

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (59 g) water
  • 2 teaspoons (37.5 g) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (115.5 g) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt

GARNISH

  • Hershey's Toffee Bits

Instructions

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift 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 cream together on medium speed for another minute.
  • On medium-low, gradually add in the eggs and molasses until incorporated.
  • 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 16 ounces in each 8-inch pan or 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 BUTTERCREAM

  • Dissolve the instant coffee granules in the water. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter on medium-high for 3-5 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to medium and gradually add in the coffee (or coffee flavoring) and the vanilla and beat for another two minutes.
  • On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and salt. Once the everything is incorporated, 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.
  • *I use the decaf instant coffee in individual packets.  You can also use imitation coffee flavoring, and omit the water.

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 completely before pouring on top of the cake.

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 3/4 cup of the frosting 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 cake layer, 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 frosting, caramel and toffee bits.