This cake is truly heaven on a plate and full of festive cheer! From the dense layers of spiced gingerbread cake, to the thick slathering of cream cheese icing and the generous pour of whiskey salted caramel, you don’t have to wait for Christmas to make this beauty. I’m going to be making it year round!
I assembled this cake quite simply after debating 4 layers of cake and smothering the whole thing in cream cheese icing (which is my favourite). But the hero of this cake is the dense, spicy gingerbread cake, and I didn’t want to overpower it. So a nude cake was the way to go – plus I was in a rush to get this cake to my friend’s birthday, so the quicker the better!
The whiskey salted caramel is easy to make and even easier to eat (I honestly could have eaten the entire bowl with a spoon). Just before serving, I poured it over the cake as the final touch to this tasty beast.
Oh and I should mention, I also added a generous dab of whiskey salted caramel between each cake layer, as you can never have too much caramel, right?
Alas as this cake was for a birthday, I couldn’t cut it open for a photograph before I left. Fortunately the cake made it to the party in one piece and was gobbled down enthusiastically by all guests – I even received 2 marriage proposals as a result. It’s amazing the effect cake has on people!
- 340g butter (room temperature)
- 1½ cups caster sugar
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups plain flour
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 250g cream cheese (room temperature)
- 120g butter (room temperature)
- 3 cups icing sugar
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 60ml water
- ⅓ cup thickened cream
- 1 tsp whiskey (or to taste)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line and grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy in a large bowl.
- Beat in golden syrup, vanilla extract and eggs, 1 at a time.
- Sift flour with spices and add to wet mixture. Mix until just combined (over mixing can result in tougher cake).
- Divide batter evenly between cake tins and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Keep in mind this is a moist cake, so a toothpick should come out mostly clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
- Cream the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed.
- Add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until incorporated. Continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy.
- Dissolve the sugar into the water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and let it bubble away over a medium heat.
- The mixture should turn a golden caramel colour after around 5 minutes. DON’T stir the caramel mixture – the sugar will crystallize.
- Once the caramel has reached the desired colour, take it off the heat and add the cream. Stir furiously as the caramel will want to harden quickly.
- Stir in the whiskey and salt.
- Pop the caramel cream mixture in a small bowl and put it in the fridge to help cool down quickly.
- If your cakes have domed, trim them flat with a serrated knife.
- Place your first layer on the cake stand and spread around 2 tablespoons worth of salted caramel over the top of the cake.
- Dollop on a generous portion of cream cheese icing and spread out evenly with an offset spatula. Remember to take the icing right to the edges so it peaks out the sides of the cake when assembled.
- Place the top layer of cake on top and repeat this process. I left this as a naked cake, but you can completely ice the sides too if you like.
- Complete with a generous drizzle of room temperature whiskey salted caramel just before you serve (if your caramel has hardened, warm it up slightly in the microwave for 10 seconds on medium).
This messy, rich, sweet and outrageous cake is possibly my new favourite cake (and will be requested for future birthdays to come, I’m sure of it!).