Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake with Orange Buttercream

Time to hit the sweet spot! Serve this decadent cake as the stunning centerpiece to your holiday dessert spread.

Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake with Orange Buttercream on black cake stand
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
1 hrs
Bake Time:
35 mins
Cool Time:
10 mins


  • 3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • ¾ cup molasses

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. buttermilk

  • 1 recipe Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 recipe Orange Buttercream Frosting

  • Orange zest (optional)

  • Sugared cranberries (optional)

  • Chopped candied ginger (optional)

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ¼ cup water

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, chopped

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Orange Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 2 teaspoon orange zest

  • 4 cup powdered sugar

  • 3 tablespoon heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Dash salt

  • ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper; grease pans. In a medium bowl stir together first seven ingredients (through baking soda).

  2. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add molasses and sugars; beat until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beating on low after each addition just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans.

  3. Bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans 10 minutes. Remove layers from pans; peel off parchment. Cool on wire racks. Meanwhile, prepare Salted Caramel Sauce and Orange Buttercream Frosting.

  4. To assemble, place one cake layer on a pedestal or cake plate. Spread 1/4 cup of the Salted Caramel Sauce over top, then 1/3 cup of the Orange Buttercream Frosting, spreading to 1/4 inch of the edge. Repeat. Add remaining cake layer; spread 1/4 cup of the sauce on top. Generously spread remaining frosting on top and around layers. Angle a long, clean spatula vertically against the cake to scrape excess frosting off the outside edges. If you like, arrange orange zest, sugared cranberries, and chopped candied ginger on top. Drizzle remaining caramel sauce on individual slices.

Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. In a heavy 3-qt. saucepan combine sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat about 10 minutes or until mixture is amber, gently stirring until sugar is dissolved, then stop stirring. Meanwhile, in a 1-cup measure heat cream in the microwave until warm. Slowly whisk cream into sugar mixture. Whisk in butter and salt. Let cool 30 minutes.

Orange Buttercream Frosting

  1. In an extra-large bowl beat butter and orange zest with a mixer on medium 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy. Beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add 2 Tbsp. of the cream, the vanilla, and salt; beat on low until combined. Gradually beat in remaining 3 cups powdered sugar just until combined. Beat on medium 5 minutes or until fluffy, scraping bowl occasionally. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. cream; beat on high 1 minute more. Stir in candied ginger.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

877 Calories
39g Fat
128g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 877
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 24g 120%
Cholesterol 149mg 50%
Sodium 774mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 128g 47%
Total Sugars 99g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1.1mg 6%
Calcium 166mg 13%
Iron 3.5mg 19%
Potassium 491mg 10%
Fatty acids, total trans 1g
Folate, total 68.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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