- 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)
- 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
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, grease with butter or cooking spray.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Thoroughly whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda.
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.
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.
Alternately you can divide the batter evenly among 36-40 cupcake tins lined with paper liner, filling them 1/2 way full, and bake for 12-15 minutes.
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.
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.
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!