Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful festive break and thoroughly stuffed yourself with mince pies, ham, cold turkey and cheese – I know I did! Oh wait … I forgot one thing, delicious gingerbread cake of course.
Three layers of deliciously moist gingerbread cake smothered with salted caramel buttercream, topped with even more golden caramel and then some festive gingerbread to finish it off. As you can probably tell, I have been dreaming this one up for a while. I wanted to bake something special to take home for Christmas, and this one was so adventurous, I even booked a day off work to make it. As you can see from below, it was a busy day!
Throughout December I was adding to my Christmas Pinterest board everyday, there are just so many lovely Christmas bakes to try. But the ones I really liked, and where I got my inspiration for this bake from were Top With Cinnamon and supergolden bakes. Both made delicious, festive, gingerbread cakes with simple and classy decoration.
This cake was by far the most challenging thing I have ever baked. Less than 12 months ago I would never of dreamed of attempting something like this. However, since starting my blog, I have seen so many beautiful cakes on social media, they have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone. I watch a lot of ‘how to videos’ on Instagram and YouTube and I have slowly been buying a few more baking bits and bobs. If you are slightly unsure of how to cover a cake like this, a great video to watch is How to decorate a layer cake with smooth buttercream from Cupcake Jemma. The difference a little bit of knowledge and the right tools have made it amazing. This was the first time I had used my turntable and cake smoother tool ( which I got in Poundland by they way, 3 for £1!). The point I am making …anyone can attempt this cake. It may look intimidating but if I can do it, so can you!
I really enjoyed baking this cake and the response I got from family and friends was fantastic. The cake was so moist and the combination of ginger and salted caramel worked perfectly. This baking experience has really boosted my confidence and I am definitely going to be baking more drip cakes/ naked cakes very soon and I hope you do too.
Note: Please see my salted caramel cupcakes post for directions for making your own caramel and salted caramel buttercream.
- 225 g unsalted butter
- 110 g black treacle
- 110 g golden syrup
- 225 g soft dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 300 ml milk
- 350 g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 150 ml water
- 250 g caster sugar
- 250 ml double cream
- 200 g unsalted butter soft
- 2 tsp salt
- 320 g icing sugar sifted
- 1/3 batch of the caramel
- 175 g plain flour
- 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 88 g unsalted butter
- 75 g soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tbsp treacle
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Prepare 3x 8 inch sandwich cake tins by greasing and lining the base with baking paper.
Heat the butter, treacle and golden syrup in a large saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted. Beat in the sugar with a wooden spoon and set aside to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and milk together with a fork. Slowly beat into the butter and sugar mixture with the wooden spoon. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt into the saucepan and beat until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared tins and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.While the cakes are cooling, prepare the caramel and buttercream.
To see how to make the caramel and salted caramel buttercream, please see my salted caramel cupcakes post.
It's also a good idea to make the gingerbread biscuits now so everything is ready to assemble together. This recipe will make more biscuits than you need .. not that that's a bad thing. I need something to nibble on while I bake.
Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
Put the butter, sugar, golden syrup and treacle into a saucepan. Set over a low heat and stir gently until everything is completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat and then mix together with the flour mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon to make a firm dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gentle knead into a ball. Cover with cling film and leave to cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough to approx. 3mm thick and cut out your shapes. I used a mixture of Christmas trees, big stars and little stars but its totally up to you.
Heat the oven to 160 degrees C. Bake for 10 minutes until golden and slightly firm to touch. This recipe sets very hard so I always take them out a few minutes before I think they are done so they are slightly softer. Leave to cool completely. I decorated my biscuits with a white water icing but you can do as little or as much as you want.
Level the cakes by cutting off the domed tops. I used a serrated knife for this. Place the first layer on cake on a cake board ( I got this one from... you guessed it, Poundland). Then if you have one, place the cake board on the turntable. If you don't have one, don't worry, you can move the cake board by hand.
Spread the first layer with about 1/4 of the buttercream. I filled a piping bag with buttercream and pipped it on so I got a nice thick, even layer. Place the second cake on top and add 1/4 buttercream as before. Then place the third and final layer on top. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of the buttercream (this is called crumb coating). This is where the cake smoother comes in handy. Use this to get an even layer all around the cake. You only need the crumb coat on this cake.
Chill the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes, then pour over the caramel (you will need to warm the caramel a little to make it a pouring consistency). To get the drip effect, you need to gently nudge the sauce down the sides with a pallet knife or teaspoon.
I used some of the left over buttercream to make little bases for my gingerbread trees to stand up in. I then added some of the little stars to the side of the cake and dusted with glitter. The beauty of this cake is that you can decorate however you want to and it will still taste delicious!
Pin my salted caramel drip cakefor later …