Go Back
+ servings
The most delicious gingerbread cake layers with salted caramel buttercream, caramel drip and toffee bits.
Print Recipe
5 from 18 votes

Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread cake layers with salted caramel buttercream, salted caramel and toffee bits.
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: caramel, caramel buttercream, Gingerbread Cake, Gingersnap
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
  • 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 1/2 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 1/4 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 1/2 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.