Gingerbread Caramel Ruffle Cake

Gingerbread Caramel Ruffle Cake

Editor's Note: If gingerbread cookies aren't your style, how about a gingerbread cake? This recipe is perfect for the holiday season! Gingerbread spices are balanced out by the sweet caramel frosting for a cake that tastes as good as it looks. Prepare for this to become your family's new favorite holiday dessert!

Cooking MethodBaking


Total TimeUnder 3 Hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Recipe CourseDessert


  • For the Cake:
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray, for greasing
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups demerara sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ cup strong tea, lukewarm
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom or ¼ teaspoon ground allspice or a pinch ground cloves
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • For the Caramel Frosting:
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Few drops lemon juice, optional
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons whipping cream


  1. Prepare the gingerbread cake: Preheat oven to 350◦F and lightly grease two round 7-inch baking pans. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition. Mix in the honey, molasses, tea, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom until evenly incorporated.

  2. Separately, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing just until the ingredients start to blend.

  3. Distribute the batter evenly between the two baking pans, and bake for 35 minutes, or until the cakes are golden and the surfaces are stable. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

  4. Prepare the caramel frosting. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice over medium heat, stirring gently until the sugar melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Once the mixture boils, continue cooking, now without stirring, until an amber caramel forms. Brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming, and swirl the saucepan gently so that the caramel cooks evenly.

  5. Carefully pour in the whipping cream, mixing until a thick sauce forms. (Be careful because the mixture will splatter due to the difference in temperature between the cold cream and the hot caramel.) Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

  6. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the flat beater, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Mix in the caramel until evenly combined and then mix in the cream cheese.

  7. Assemble the cake: Place one cake on a cardboard cake base and spread a layer of frosting on top using a small offset spatula. Place the other cake on top and then spread frosting in a thin layer on top and sides of the cake. This is called a crumb coat—a coating of icing that seals in cake crumbs. Transfer the cake to the freezer for about 1 hour.

  8. Place the remaining frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a #104 Wilton tip. Hold the bag vertically so that the slot of the tip is perpendicular to the cake. Start at the bottom of the cake and pipe upwards, using a quick back-and-forth motion, until you reach the top of the cake. Pipe the frosting in 1-inch wide ribbons to make a ruffle. When the circumference of the cake has been covered, move to the top of the cake and pip the icing in ruffled strips that start at the edge and move towards the middle. Serve immediately. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer.


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