This Gingerbread Cookie Cake Recipe is sponsored by Bahlsen USA. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Buuck Farms Bakery possible.
Gingerbread and salted caramel. Is there even a better combo for the holidays? This Gingerbread Cookie Cake has Bahlsen Grandessa Gingerbread Cakes baked right into the batter and it is oh, sooo good! Top that with some salted caramel buttercream, caramel drip, and extra Grandessa cookies and we’re good to go.
How to Make Gingerbread Cookie Cake
Bake the Cake Layers
Preheat the oven and prepare 4 6″ cake pans with parchment paper, nonstick spray, and a dusting of flour. *This recipe will also make 3 8″ layers if you don’t have 6″ pans.*
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter alone for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all the butter is getting mixed. Add the brown sugar and cream together for an additional 3 minutes.
With the mixer on low, slowly add in the molasses until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. The egg whites have a tendency to settle at the bottom of the bowl without getting mixed in, so use a rubber spatula to make sure everything is getting combined.
Stir the vanilla extract into the buttermilk. This just makes it so there’s one less thing to incorporate and ensure that the vanilla is dispersed evenly throughout the batter.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter and sugar starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Start by adding 1/3 of the flour mixture and then 1/2 of the buttermilk. Continue until everything is incorporated. Turn off the mixer when there are a few flour streaks remaining. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula. This helps to make sure you don’t over mix and end up with a dense cake!
Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Sprinkle the tops with the chopped up Bahlsen Grandessa Gingerbread Cakes. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely.
Make the Salted Caramel Sauce
Making caramel can seem challenging, but as long as you read the recipe and have all your ingredients ready to go, it’s a breeze. Measure out all of your ingredients before you start. Don’t walk away from the pan at any point during the process.
To make the caramel sauce, add the sugar, water, and corn syrup into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir it around gently with a wooden spoon to make sure that all of the sugar is coated with water. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and it starts to bubble around the edges.
Put a lid on the pot for three minutes. The steam will help any sugar on the sides of the pot fall down into the caramel and will prevent crystallization. Crystallization = hard chunks in your caramel sauce. After the three minutes, remove the lid and do not stir the caramel any more. You can swirl the pan around very gently if necessary.
Continue to cook the caramel over medium heat until it reaches a dark amber color. Then, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the heat for 30 seconds before continuing. After 30 seconds, slowly pour in the heavy cream while stirring with a wooden spoon. Be very careful because it is extremely hot. Once the cream is incorporated, stir in the butter and salt. Allow to cool completely.
Make the Salted Caramel Buttercream
Once the caramel is completely cooled, you can make the salted caramel buttercream. For all of my American Buttercream recipes like this one, I use semi-cold butter. Meaning that I only set the butter on the counter for 30 minutes before starting the buttercream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter alone on medium high for 7-10 minutes. The butter will stick to the paddle at first, but just give it some time and it will begin to become smooth and lighten in color.
While the butter is going in the mixer, sift the powdered sugar. I know, sifting is the worst, and I avoid it when I can, but I ALWAYS sift the powdered sugar when making buttercream. It’s not optional, just trust me.
After the butter is suuuper smooth and has lightened in color, add the salt and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Then add the powdered sugar in two batches, mixing for three minutes at each addition. Add the caramel sauce and mix. Finally, slowly pour in the heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. I like my buttercream pretty fluffy so I’m a little heavy on the cream!
Assembling the Cake
There’s really no rules when it comes to assembly, but I’ll walk you through how I do it!
I use a lazy susan similar to this one when frosting cakes. It really does help to be able to turn the cake easily and get those smooth sides. But, by no means do you have to spend a ton of money on a fancy turntable. I actually found mine at Ikea and I use them all over my house, not just for cakes! Just make sure you find one without a lip around the edges.
Place a small amount of buttercream on the plate/cakeboard/cakestand. This helps the cake stay put while you’re decorating it. Place the first layer down and then spread about 1/3 C of frosting in an even layer using an offset spatula. It’s okay it some frosting pushes out past the edge of the cake, in fact I encourage it! Add another layer and repeat until all three layers are stacked. Get down to the level of the cake to make sure you’re stacking them straight up! (You can totally use all four layers for an extra tall cake, but I stopped at three)
Use the spatula to spread the excess frosting on the sides of the cake. If you’re going for the semi-naked look like I did, just add extra frosting where it seems to bare and spread smooth. Once you have enough frosting, use an icing smoother to get smooth sides. Then use your spatula to even off the top. Chill the cake for 30 minutes before adding the caramel drip.
To drip the caramel, I like to use a small spoon and add a small amount of caramel on the top edge of the cake, then gently nudge it over the side. Once all of the drips are in place, I add more caramel to the top and spread it around.
To finish, I piped some buttercream around half of the cake and added some Grandessa Gingerbread Cakes that I sliced in half. I meannnnn, so pretty right!? You’re definitely going to want to make this Gingerbread Cookie Cake for your holiday parties!
I suggest chilling the cake in the fridge until about an hour or two before you want to serve it. Caramel drips are notoriously temperamental and if the room is too warm, it will just continue running down the sides of the cake, because caramel doesn’t set up like a chocolate drip would.Print
Spiced gingerbread cake layers with gingerbread cookies baked right in, salted caramel buttercream, and a caramel drip!
For the Cake Layers
- 3 C AP Flour
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 2 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 C (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 1 C Light Brown Sugar
- 1 C Molasses
- 2 Lg Eggs
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/4 C Buttermilk
- 1 Sleeve Bahlsen Grandessa Gingerbread Cakes (7 Cookies) + more for decorating
For the Salted Caramel
- 1 C Granulated Sugar
- 4 TBSP Water
- 2 TBSP Light Corn Syrup
- 1/2 C Heavy Cream, at room temperature
- 2 TBSP Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. Salt
For the Salted Caramel Buttercream
- 1 1/2 C (3 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 6 C Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 C Salted Caramel
- 3–6 TBSP Heavy Cream
For Cake Layers
- Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare 4 6″ cake pans (or 3 8″ pans) with parchment paper, nonstick spray, and a dusting of flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter alone for 3 minutes. Then add the brown sugar and cream together for an additional 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the molasses and mix until combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is getting mixed in.
- Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the mixer starting and ending with dry ingredients. (EX – add 1/3 of dry ingredients, then 1/2 buttermilk, etc.)
- Stop the mixer when a few flour streaks remain and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, then sprinkle the tops of each with the chopped Grandessa Gingerbread Cakes.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool completely.
For the Salted Caramel
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, water, and corn syrup.
- Cook until the sugar has dissolved and it starts to bubble around the edges.
- Cover with a lid for three minutes, then remove the lid.
- Continue cooking until the caramel reaches a dark amber color.
- Remove from heat fro 30 seconds, then stir in the heavy cream.
- Stir in the butter and salt.
- Cool completely.
For the Salted Caramel Buttercream.
- Beat the butter alone in a stand mixer on medium high for 7-10 minutes, until very smooth and lightened in color.
- In the meantime, sift the powdered sugar and set aside.
- After 7-10 minutes, add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add the powdered sugar in two additions, mixing for 3 minutes each time.
- Add the salted caramel, mix to incorporate.
- Add the heavy cream slowly until you reach your desired consistency.
- Keep the cake cooled in the fridge until 1-2 hours before you’re ready to serve!