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Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake With Orange Buttercream

Make this salted caramel gingerbread cake with orange buttercream as a decadent desert for a special occasion. Perfect for holiday parties or birthdays.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword easy dessert recipe, holiday, party food
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 732 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter 2 sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups unsulphured molasses
  • 1 egg well beaten
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 4 1/2 cups flour substitute with gluten-free blend for sensitivities
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Salted Caramel Topping:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Orange Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened 2 sticks
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch springform pans.
  2. Place the butter and molasses in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, making sure to stir it constantly. Once it is boiling, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Add in the egg, heavy cream, sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest and mix with the fitted paddle attachment.

  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture and mix on low speed until smooth. The batter will be thick and dense. Pour equal amounts into both springform pans, and bake on 350° for about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes clean when inserted in the middle.
  4. While the cakes bake, make the salted caramel topping. In a small saucepan, heat the cup of sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden or heat-resistant spoon. After about 5 minutes, the sugar will begin to melt and turn a golden amber color. Once it is melted, add in the butter and stir until it melts and is well-mixed. Next, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil for about 1 minute. Be careful not to burn it! Remove from heat, add in the salt, and allow the caramel to cool.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven once they are finished baking. Allow them to cool for about 5 minutes, then pop them out of their forms onto a large surface. Let them further cool until no longer warm.
  6. While cakes cool, make the orange buttercream frosting. Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the butter for about 2-3 minutes until fluffy and lightened in color. Slowly add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add in the vanilla, heavy cream, orange juice, and salt. Mix on high for about 30 more seconds to make it light and fluffy.
  7. Place one cake round on a cake stand or plate. Frost the top with 1 cup of the orange buttercream frosting, until about 1/2 inch thick. Place the next cake round on top frost with 1 cup of buttercream. To give the cake a naked frosting look, use your icing spatula to bring the icing down the sides and slowly turn the plate with one hand as you frost all the way around the cake, making it as thin a layer of icing as possible so you can see some of the cake. Return to the top and smooth everything out one last time. (And use a damp cloth to clean any excess frosting from the bottom of the plate or stand to make it clean and presentable.)
  8. Dust the top with any leftover powdered sugar, and decorate with pine twigs and cranberries for a festive look. When ready to serve, cut a hefty slice and drizzle with the salted caramel. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If using a gluten-free flour blend, I recommend the King Arthur Measure for Measure blend. You can generally use the same amount, but gluten-free flour tends to be more dense and the moisture in your cake can vary depending on your altitude. It may require 3 1/2-4 cups depending on where you live and which blend you use. A good rule to determine proper cake batter consistency is to make sure the batter is puffy and thick, not watery or runny. 

Nutrition Facts
Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake With Orange Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 732 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41g63%
Saturated Fat 26g163%
Cholesterol 125mg42%
Sodium 655mg28%
Potassium 539mg15%
Carbohydrates 87g29%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 58g64%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 1405IU28%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 106mg11%
Iron 3.2mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.