This Warm Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce is the most cozy fall dessert imaginable! Easy to make with pantry staples, it’s light on the pocketbook too! Make it as a 9×9 cake or a bundt to step it up!
Sounds pretty fancy, eh?
Actually, it’s SUPER easy to make, and pretty inexpensive too.
We’ve often made this for family gatherings, but we don’t make it just because it’s easy or because it’s cheap. We make it because it’s SO GOOD. And because it tastes like delicious, spicy, warm fall food.
When I was younger I would not have been tempted by gingerbread cake. I was never an overly big fan of gingerbread cookies or maybe even just gingerbread period.
Then, almost ten years ago (TEN YEARS!), I won a gift certificate to a restaurant out in Peggy’s Cove (the Sou’Wester, for those of you from Nova Scotia). I didn’t have a car at the time and wouldn’t have made such a trek very often, even to spectacular Peggy’s Cove.
Finally, three friends and I went out for a gorgeous fall afternoon. We played on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove and enjoyed the incredible vistas. Then, refreshed and with rosy cheeks, we went to eat at the restaurant.
I have no memory of what we ate for the meal, but ten years later, I still think about the dessert. It was a warm gingerbread cake with ice cream and caramel sauce. On this crisp fall day, with the sun blazing outside and the wind blowing the ocean around out the window, that warm cake was heaven.
So, of course I had to recreate it.
This gingerbread cake is moist, spicy and cozy tasting. I absolutely love it served warm. The salted caramel recipe isn’t mine – it’s from Sally’s Baking Addiction and it’s our go-to salted caramel recipe. It’s super easy (about 10 minutes), doesn’t require any special equipment and is amazing. So make the cake, serve it warm with the salted caramel, and I highly recommend whipping the rest of the cream and serving whipped cream with it as well. You won’t regret it.
Price-wise, this recipe is fantastic. It basically just uses a few pantry staples. The whipping cream for the salted caramel is the only thing that’s even slightly expensive, and if you whip the leftover cream and serve it with the cake it’s perfect.
Sigh. Can I call this acceptable breakfast food? Give me a big cup of strong coffee and a slice of warm gingerbread cake with salted caramel sauce and whipped cream any time of day! YUM.
BONUS: You can totally make this ahead of time! Just bake your cake, let it cool, chill it and wrap it up really well in cling wrap, then in foil and you can freeze it! Just make sure you let it thaw completely while it’s still wrapped up. The salted caramel can be made two weeks ahead of time and kept in the fridge! I would just make the whipped cream the day you plan to serve it. What a perfect dessert for a busy holiday season!
Dress It Up: Definitely whip up the rest of the whipping cream with a little bit of sugar, and maybe even some vanilla. Or serve the gingerbread cake with the salted caramel sauce AND a nice vanilla ice cream!
Pare It Down: You could leave out the salted caramel sauce and just dust it with powdered icing sugar through a small sieve. It’s a pretty moist cake and would still be delicious if you don’t want the sauce!
Warm Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
1 hr 5 mins
This Warm Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce is the most cozy fall dessert imaginable! Easy to make with pantry staples, it's light on the pocketbook too! Make it as a 9x9 cake or a bundt to step it up!
Servings: 8 servings
For the Gingerbread Cake
- 1 and 3/4 cups flour
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- pinch salt if using salted butter (otherwise 1/4 tsp)
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 egg at room temperature*
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup boiling water
For the Salted Caramel Sauce**
- whipping cream
Boil kettle and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whip butter until it's smooth and creamy. Add brown sugar and egg and mix until it's light and fluffy. Add molasses and mix well.
Switch to a whisk. Add dry ingredients and gently combine with the whisk. Don't overmix or the cake will be more dense and tough.
Add boiling water and stir to combine.
Spray a 9x9 inch square pan or a bundt pan with cooking spray (if you're using the bundt, spray it particularly well - helps with unmolding). Pour batter in. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Mine took about 36 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then on a rack until completely cool. (You can run a thin spatula between the cake and the pan to help it release.) You can freeze it at this stage if you want to.***
While the cake is baking you can make the salted caramel sauce following the recipe below from Sally's Baking Addiction. You can make this up to 2 weeks ahead of time.***
When you're ready to serve, I like to warm the gingerbread cake up and microwave the salted caramel sauce for 30 seconds so it's pourable.
Serve warm gingerbread cake with salted caramel sauce, and sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. ENJOY! 🙂
*To quickly bring an egg to room temperature put it in a bowl and run warm-hot water over it. Let it sit in the water for a few minutes.
**Get the complete recipe for this amazing and easy Salted Caramel Sauce over at Sally's Baking Addiction. It's worth it, trust me!
***If you want to make the cake ahead of time and freeze it, let it cool completely, then chill it in the fridge. Wrap it well in cling wrap and then in foil. When you thaw it, let it thaw completely while it's still wrapped up.
You can make the salted caramel up to 2 weeks ahead of time and store it in a container in the fridge.
Warm Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce – Step-by-Step Instructions
Ingredients for Warm Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 and 3/4 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 4 teaspoons of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves and a large pinch of salt (if you’re using salted butter like I do – if you’re using unsalted butter use 1/4 teaspoon of salt here). Stir well with a whisk to break up and lumps and combine. Set aside.
Before you start this step, boil a kettle. Then, in a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup of softened butter with a hand mixer until it’s creamy and smooth. Then add 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar and 1 room temperature egg (if you want to quickly bring an egg up to room temperature, you can submerge it in a bowl of warm/hot water). Mix for a couple of minutes until it’s light and fluffy.
Add 1 cup of molasses and mix well.
Add your dry ingredients and switch to a whisk. Mix until it’s JUST combined. You don’t want to overmix now because it will make your cake too dense. Once your dry ingredients are mixed in, add 1/2 cup of boiling water (my water isn’t actually brown – I just reused my cup with the molasses in it).
You can bake this in a 9×9 pan or a bundt pan. Spray it with non-stick cooking spray, especially well if you’re using the bundt pan – you want to be able to get the cake out without ripping it. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes in preheated oven. My cake took around 36 minutes, but it will depend on your oven and the type of pan you use. When you insert a toothpick into the cake and it comes out clean it’s done.
If you plan to take your cake out of the pan, let it sit on a cooling rack in the pan for 10 minutes first, then carefully unmold. I ran a thin spatula gently between the cake and the pan and then shook it gently into my hand over a cooling rack.
For the salted caramel sauce you’ll want to check out Sally’s Baking Addiction for the full recipe, but here are the highlights so you can see how easy it is:
Melt sugar in a medium-large pot.
Add butter to melted sugar.
Add whipping cream.
Stir in salt. Set it aside to cool and RESIST THE URGE TO TASTE IT BECAUSE IT’S THE HOTTEST THING IN THE WORLD. You will burn yourself. Taste it once it’s cool. Please.
I would DEFINITELY whip the leftover whipping cream to go with your warm gingerbread cake with salted caramel sauce. I like the cake warmed up and the caramel loose (you can warm it for 30 seconds in the microwave to make it pourable).