Ginger cake spells Christmas in anyone’s language. Many people don’t love traditional fruit cake, so this soft gingery cake will hit the spot. It makes a great dessert or just a tea cake when you have friends and family over at Christmas time. Soft layers of gingerbread cake with lemon buttercream and caramel will be loved by everyone, especially when they see the Christmas trees!
Christmas Gingerbread cake with lemon and caramel!!
You will absolutely love the Christmassy flavours of ginger and cinnamon. Just the thought of eating this softy spicy cake with creamy lemon icing is mouthwatering. It is the sort of cake that I can’t resist. Aww who am I kidding I just love cake.
This recipe has been tested and made to be as easy as possible. You can just stir it together with a whisk or a wooden spoon if you like. One thing though, you will have to get out the beaters to make the fluffy lemon buttercream. Buttercream is best made light as air and requires lots of whipping.
Don’t skip the secret caramel filling. I know it says optional, but I think it makes this cake just that much better.
This is the kind of cake that is really great at Christmas mostly because of its light as air texture Think how you could scoop it up with a fork with the least amount of effort possible. Ha ha that really is a joke, however if you think about it it is much lighter than eating Christmas fruit cake. Easy is what we want though really isn’t it?
Stir together cakes are the best and most easy to complete and this one is just that. Stir together and put in the oven.
Once you have whipped fluffy buttercream the decorating is really easy and takes the minimum of time and skill to complete the decorations, yet it looks so impressive!
1. This is how you make the cone decorations into trees
2. Cutting the Christmas trees
3. Colouring the buttercream
4. Making the caramel filling is easy too
If you like this try these Christmas fun treats as well:
- Molasses or Treacle: You can use either. Molasses gives a richer darker taste to your cake but no extra sweetness. treacle adds colour and caramel and a bit of sweetness
2. Ice cream cones: Waffle cones are crunchy and delicious but you can use any type of ice cream cone you like.
3. Brown sugar; adds extra moistness and I like to use it in the buttercream to get just the slightest crunch
4. Domed Cakes: See tips below to learn how to bake undomed cakes. When cakes rise too much in the middle a lot of the cake is wasted. I have listed some tips on how to prevent this below
Icing or confectioners sugar; I have used icing sugar mixture. This contains a little corn flour
Gingerbread Cake with Caramel, lemon buttercream and christmas trees
- 400 gm flour, all purpose 14oz
- 2 tsp biacarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 50 ml molasses or treacle use either of these| 1.7oz
- 150 ml golden syrup 5.3 oz
- 250 gm butter 8.8 oz
- 250 gm brown sugar 8.8 oz
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves ground or ground star anise
- 250 ml milk
- 4 ea eggs large (70 gm)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 500 gm butter, soft 8.8oz
- 160 gm brown sugar 1 cup | 5.7oz
- 260 gm icing sugar 2 cups icing mixture |9.2oz
- 1/2 tsp salt`
- 2 tablespoon lemon 40 ml | 1.4 fl oz
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 icecream cones waffle or sugar cones preferably
- 1 tablespoon green colouring
- 130 gm icing sugar 1 cup extra | 4.6oz
- 100 gm brown sugar 3.5oz
- 50 ml cream 1.7 oz
- 50 gm butter 1.7 oz
- 1/2 teaspoon flaked salt
- Line 2 x baking tins 20 cm (8 inch). Set the oven to 170 C (340F). 3 can be used if preferred.
- Put the golden syrup, treacle, brown sugar, butter and spices into a pot and melt over a low heat. CoolSift the flour with the baking soda
- Whisk the milk, eggs, vanilla till combined and then whisk in the sugar mixture. Add the flour mix 1/2 at a time and stir with a spatula till combined and no lumps remain. This process can also be done in a mixer with a paddle or with a hand mixer.
- Pour the mixture into the two tins and divide evenly. Bake for 45 minutes. Test the inside with a skewer. It needs to come out clean. If not cooked all the way through put back into the oven for a further 10 minutes
- Turn the cake out and cool completely. Once cooled, remove from the tins and discard paper.
- The layers will need to be evened out so they are flat when layering. See tips below for baking flat cakes** The cakes can be made the day before and cooled. This helps with cutting the layers flat.
- The butter should be room temperature. Put it into the bowl of a mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat till light. Add the brown sugar and beat well till light and fluffy.
- Add one cup of icing sugar and beat in. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, salt and the second cup of icing sugar. Beat well till light and fluffy.
- Weigh out 150 gm of buttercream icing and set it aside.
- Chop the butter into small pieces and put into the pot with the cream and brown sugar
- Bring slowly to the boil and simmer until starting to reduce. 1 to 2 minutes. Add flaked salt
- Cool. Set aside. As it cools it will firm up. (some butter may squease out.
Putting the cake together
- Once the cake has cooled or is chilled cut off the domed tops so they will sit flat. Put the first round onto a cake plate and secure with a bit of the buttercream. Put a cup or so of caramel into the centre on the cake in a circle and smooth over. (If the caramel has separated from the butter just leave the butter behind)
- Use a quarter of the buttercream to fill the rest of the cake, in a circle outwards from the caramel. (You can use a piping bag with a large nozzle to pipe on the buttercream if you want)
- Use the other 1/2 of the buttercream to cover the outside of the cake making sure you do not get any crumbs in the buttercream when you dip the knife into the bowl. (This is a crumb coat) Chill the cake for 15 to 20 minutes
- Cover the cake once again in the leftover buttercream. Sooth over the edges and the sides with a long straight spatula or a flat sided scraper. Once it nice and smooth and the corners are crisp as possible, chill.
- Add the extra cup of icing sugar to the reserved buttercream and mix in then. Add a couple of drops of green gel colour and stir till it is the colour you want.
- Use a very small star piping nossle and piping bag to achieve the christmas tree look. You should be able to find this in a supermarket
- Once the trees are completed stick them onto your cake.
- Dust the cake with icing sugar and finish the top with piped buttercream if you have some left. I have also added some cake crunmbsaround the bottom edge from left over cake crumbled up
- You could also use 3 tins if you would like. The cake rises in the centre and needs to be cut and evened out, so it is best if made in two tins. Hints for baking flat cake layers here. I have also used a wet teatowel wrapped around each cake tin while baking. This also helps keep the cake moist and flat
- The cake is best made the day before decorating
- Trouble shooting caramel sauce; It can separate if it does drain off some of the butter
- Do not use liquid colour. You can find gel colours in the supermarket in some places. Queen brand also has some good gel colours
- If you don’t have a mixer and can’t make the buttercream, you can cover it in store bought frosting. The Christmas tree can be piped with Royal Icing. Look for packs of royal icing in the supermarket. Colour it with gel colour and add the minimum water so that it is nice and thick to pipe. Royal icing will dry hard.
- The cake can be made wrapped in pastic and frozen. make the buttercream a few days ahead then get it out and bring to room temperature before wrewhipping. make the caramel days ahead and bring to room temperature too!