Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

December is here and that means GINGERBREAD.

Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 (16 tablespoons) Salted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups molasses
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups warm milk or water
  • gingerbread men/women and rosemary, for decorating (optional)

Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 (20 tablespoons) Salted Butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and butter or frying spray to prevent sticking. Alternatively, divide the mixture evenly among 32-36 paper-lined cupcake pans, filling them halfway.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a medium mixing basin.
  3. Cream the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Combine the vanilla and molasses in a mixing bowl. 1 at a time, beat in the eggs until well mixed. Alternate adding the water/milk and the flour mixture until everything is incorporated.
  4. Evenly distribute the batter among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs attached. Allow 15 minutes for the cakes to cool in the pans before turning them out onto wire racks to cool fully before icing. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.
  5. Make the buttercream in the meantime. Cook the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently with a heat-resistant rubber spatula, until it has melted and turned a golden caramel, about 8 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in 4 tablespoons butter until smooth. Continue swirling while the caramel bubbles and begins to solidify. Slowly drizzle in the cream, whisking constantly until smooth. Return the saucepan to the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until the caramel has thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  6. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese with the remaining 2 sticks butter until light and creamy. Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of the cooled caramel sauce in a mixing bowl. For a light and fluffy frosting, beat for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. To assemble, place one layer on a plate or cake stand, flat side up. Spread buttercream over the top with a knife or an offset spatula. Spread the remaining buttercream on top of the second layer, rounded side up. Cover the top and edges of the cake with the leftover buttercream before adding the third cake layer. Spread the buttercream evenly over the tops of the cupcakes if you’re preparing cupcakes. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with gingerbread men and rosemary, if preferred. Allow 30 minutes for the dish to come to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

Source: Half-baked Harvest

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