Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream is a moist cake full of flavors from molasses, ginger, and cinnamon and topped with a salted caramel buttercream frosting. Try my Soft Ginger Cookie for another treat full of ginger and cinnamon spice.

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Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Yes, gingerbread desserts and treats are usually reserved for the holidays, but why limit yourself to enjoying this moist and flavorful cake? The frosting complements the spice cake perfectly and is enough to pile plenty high on this cake. Or, use some of it on these Chocolate Cupcakes!

Half Frosted Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Ingredients

Molasses: The molasses in the cake is unsulphured molasses. Unsulphured molasses (regular molasses) is richer, thicker, and sweeter than sulphured. It is made with fewer preservatives because it is made with more mature sugarcane. Sulphured molasses has added sulfur dioxide to the younger sugarcane, which can alter the flavor of the recipe.

There is also a variety of molasses called blackstrap. Do not substitute molasses in a recipe (including this one) for blackstrap unless the recipe is very specific about using it. 

Room Temperature Ingredients: For best results, have all ingredients (especially butter, eggs, and milk) at room temperature. To be specific, room temperature ingredients should be 65-70°F.

Pan with Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

How to Store Leftover Frosting

When ready, cover the cooled gingerbread cake with the frosting. This recipe makes A LOT of frosting, so you may have extra. (Or, if you love a thick layer of frosting, use it all!) But, it’s easy to save. Store it in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Fork Taking a Bite of Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

More Popular Cakes

4.75 from 8 votes

Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream is a moist cake full of flavors from molasses, ginger, and cinnamon and topped with a salted caramel buttercream frosting.


Gingerbread Cake

  • 9 tablespoons (127.5 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cup (67 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (253 g) molasses, unsulphured
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups (281 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (177 g) water, room temperature

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 bag (11 ounces) caramel bits
  • ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (500 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk, room temperature


Gingerbread Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the molasses and egg. Beat until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Add about ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing until just combined (don't overmix). Add half the water, followed by another third of the dry ingredients. Pour in the remaining water and add the final third of the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake 45-50 minutes. (Check the cake after about 30 minutes; cover with aluminum foil if the edges are getting too dark.) The cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but no wet batter. Remove from the oven and let cool as you make the Salted Caramel Buttercream.

Caramel Sauce

  • Melt the caramels, butter, and milk in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting. Set aside.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • Combine the butter, sugar, salt, and caramel sauce in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (You can reserve some of the caramel sauce to use as a caramel drizzle.)
  • Start mixing on low speed until the sugar is incorporated with the butter. Increase the mixing speed to high and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Adjust the consistency with milk as needed.
  • Spread the buttercream over the cooled gingerbread cake.
  • Store unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container and bring it back to room temperature before using it to pipe or frost.

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The Gingerbread Cake was inspired by Taste of Home’s Granny’s Gingerbread Cake.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

    1. Hi Lesa,
      I’d also like to use my caramel sauce. Did you ever figure out how much to use? Thanks 😊

  1. I am not normally a caramel fan but I really liked the salted caramel icing. I ended upmaking my own caramel by cooking sweetened condensed milk. But by the way-I am sure there are plenty of other perfectly good gingerbread cake recipes out there just as good as this one.

    1. Was it really necessary to add the comment “But by the way- I am sure there are plenty of other perfectly good gingerbread cake recipes out there just as good as this one.” Seriously! You give it a five star rating yet end the comment with a rude remark. Be nice.

  2. I followed this exactly as written in the recipe except I only used 2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar and I’m glad I did. 4 cups would have been way too sweet.

    1. Yes, people have different opinions on desired levels of sweetness. If you already knew you were going to prefer less, and then made that alteration, then it would make sense you like it. 🙂

  3. I really loved this cake, so very good! I used another caramel frosting that I’m very fond of made with cream cheese, and the combo was amazing!

      1. So when the recipe I was trying called for them, I needed to find an alternative. I went online to the Kraft Web site and discovered that 25 Kraft Traditional Caramels equal 1 cup of bits.Sep 16, 2014

  4. First time making this and the recipe has me doubting. I make gingerbread cookies annually and the recipe called for 1.5 tables spoons of molasses and 1.5 teaspoons of ginger. This was quite opposite almost 1 cup of molasses and a just a teaspoon of ginger. Very little cinnamon and no cloves. Currently I’m worried this will taste more like molasses than spice.

    The icing measurements are also questionable. 4 cups of icing sugar. I’m left with a ton of icing. I did add more cinnamon and ginger to the icing. The cake tastes strongly of molasses. Hoping this will balance it out. I already have an idea of how I can adjust this next time and I’m thinking of making caramel.

    1. Hi Mel! Thanks for sharing your feedback. However, your comparison of cookies to cake isn’t quite fair, as they are two very different things and shouldn’t be the same measurements. Sounds like you are an accomplished baker with specific tastes and prefer to make things that fit into a specific flavor profile. Which is great! As it sounds like you haven’t actually tasted the cake yet but did give it a 3 star rating, I hope you’ll come back and rate the cake after you’ve had a glorious bite. 🙂

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