{Today I’m partnering with Land O’Lakes to bring you this festive Gingerbread Cake, perfect for all your holiday celebrations!}

December is here and that means GINGERBREAD.

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

And caramel, and cookies, and chocolate, and eggnog, and well…all things Christmas! I am kind of excited about it, but I’m sure you probably knew that. 🙂 Here’s the truth, I have been baking Christmas things since the week before Thanksgiving. Actually, it was exactly one week before Thanksgiving that I made this cake and the cute little cupcakes to go along with it. I remember because it happened to be our first major snowfall of the season.

Can I just say that baking a gingerbread cake on a snowy day is probably the most picture perfect day I could ask for. I mean, what could be better than the smell of Gingerbread baking in the oven, Christmas music blasting, and snow falling? In my little world…absolutely nothing. This time right now, between today and December 25th is my most favorite time of the year! I can’t get enough of it, and I wish it would last two months longer than it does. But since it’s T minus twenty-three days till Christmas I have plans to bake up (and through) a snowstorm, watch all the Christmas movies, shoot photos for the cookbook, wrap all the gifts, watch my brother compete in Dew Tour (so excited for him!), and spend some time with my mom and little sister for a change. How I will accomplish all this is beyond me, but I will, I will, and it’s going to be amazing!

So, I’m starting strong on the baking portion of my plan, kicking it off with this fun gingerbread cake and accompanying cupcakes. They are the essence of Christmas…fair warning, I can be a little (ok a lot) cheesy during the month of December. If you hate Christmas, sorry, bear with me. 🙂

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

Alright, so I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a big three layer cake. But then I was thinking it might be really fun if I made you guys some hand-held treats – easy for grabbing on the go, serving at a party or even gifting! Although, I probably would not ship these because of the frosting, but they would be great as a hostess gift. But then my tortured mind returned to the big scrumptious cake, and well… I decided I just needed to make them both. I mean how cute would it be to have a big beautiful gingerbread cake surrounded by gingerbread cupcakes?

Plus, when are cupcakes not a good idea? They are just so fun and cute! Especially these, hello, do you see the gingerbread men and snow-covered rosemary. I am still obsessing over them.

My excitement is really just too much. Can’t. Help. It. I LOVE these. 🙂

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

So I know that a gingerbread cake may not be the most unique holiday recipe you’ve come across, but guys, my gingerbread recipe is extra special. The cake itself is moist, almost doughy, full of fresh ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. I also used a whole cup of molasses, which is what makes the true gingerbread flavor really, really shine.

My other secret ingredient – Land O Lakes® European Style Super Premium Salted Butter. Oh this butter, and oh what is does for baked goods! It truly takes them from good to extra special, which is what every single Christmas dessert should totally be, extra special ← for real!

OKok, but while this cake is great on its own, it would be nothing without that Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream. This frosting is game over, and I might just be putting it on everything this holiday season. Anything caramel is always amazing, but add some salted butter and cream cheese to the mix? Ahh YUM. Then add the frosting atop of this delicious gingerbread?

Let’s just say I’ve got Christmas Gingerbread literally dancing in my head right now…OK last cheesy line of the day!

Bottom line: this Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream may just become a new Christmas tradition, and I kind of sort of hope you guys love it as much as I do!

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

Print

Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 0 makes 1 (3 layer cake) or 36-40 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 (16 tablespoons) sticks Land O Lakes® European Style Salted Butter softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar light or dark
  • 1 1/3 cups molasses
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • gingerbread men/women gold sprinkles + rosemary, for decoration (optional)

Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 (20 tablespoons) sticks Land O Lakes® European Style Salted Butter softened
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • gingerbread cookies for decorating

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, grease with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Thoroughly whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses until completely combined and then add the water/baking soda mixture alternating with the flour mixture until everything is combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then turn the cakes out onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Alternately you can divide the batter evenly among 36-40 cupcake tins lined with paper liner and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. In a large saucepan cook the sugar over moderately high heat, stirring constantly with a heat proof rubber spatula until the sugar is melted and turns a deep golden caramel, remove the skillet from the heat and add 4 tablespoons of butter one by one, whisking until combined. The caramel will bubble, this is ok. Now slowly add the cream and then whisk until combined. Return the pot to the heat and, cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring until the caramel has thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Set the caramel aside to cool.
  8. Using an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and remaining 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter until the mixture is light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/2 cup of the cooled caramel sauce. Beat another 2-3 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  9. To assemble, place one layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with buttercream. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread with more buttercream. Add the third cake layer and cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream. If making cupcakes, spread the buttercream evenly over top the cupcakes. Cover the cake and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Decorate as desired with gingerbread men and rosemary. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!
Cakes adapted from [Martha Stewart | http://www.marthastewart.com/865714/gingerbread-layer-cake-creamy-mascarpone-frosting]
Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

That bite though ?

{This post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!! For more buttery holiday baking ideas and inspiration, check out Land O’Lakes’ newest holiday recipes! :) }