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Gingerbread Layer Cake

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This maple gingerbread layer cake with salted maple caramel sauce is the perfect fall showstopper of a dessert. Flavorful, moist, and delicious!

Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake on a cake tower.

Have you been craving a delicious stacked-layer cake filled with gingerbread flavor?

Well, this maple gingerbread layer cake is just what you need!

Moist ginger-filled cake, slathered with maple sugar creme fraiche frosting and topped with salty maple-coated pecans and salted maple caramel.

This cake is an over-the-top representation of fall and winter flavors and is perfect for the holidays!

Looking for even more showstopper holiday desserts?

Have you tried my Thanksgiving Piecaken or my Christmas Piecaken?

Candied pecans on parchment paper.
Caramel bubbling in a pot.

MAPLE GINGERBREAD LAYER CAKE INGREDIENTS

The thing I love about layer cakes is all the depth of flavor you get from each and every bite.

This cake is made fairly easily but you may need a few special ingredients such as maple sugar , Chinese five spice powder, and 2 8-inch cake pans.

Maple-coated pecans:

  • Pecans
  • Maple Syrup
  • Kosher Salt

Gingerbread cake:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Chinese five-spice powder
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Crystallized ginger
  • Maple sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs
  • Hot water
  • Molasses

Frosting:

  • Creme fraiche
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Maple sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Chinese five-spice powder

Salted maple caramel sauce:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Maple sugar
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Maple extract
A close up of the top of the Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake.

WHAT IS MAPLE SUGAR

Maple sugar is a key ingredient in this gingerbread layer cake.

It not only brings in sweetness but it brings in a subtle maple flavor.

Maple sugar is made by boiling the maple trees’ sap until all the moisture has been cooked out and you’re left with an intense maple-flavored sugar.

If you can’t find maple sugar in the grocery store you can typically find it online.

USING BROWN SUGAR IN PLACE OF MAPLE SUGAR

If you can’t find maple sugar, or you’re just not in the mood to buy another type of sugar, you can easily use light brown sugar in place of maple sugar.

The biggest difference will be the lack of maple flavor you’ll lose by using brown sugar.

However, you can add a little maple extract to the cake to bulk up the maple flavoring if you like.

A sliced of Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake on a plate with a fork.

HOW TO MAKE A MAPLE GINGERBREAD LAYER CAKE

This cake requires a few steps but TRUST ME it’s worth it!

First, you’ll want to prepare the nuts. You can do this a day ahead if you don’t feel like doing all these steps in one day.

Place a large piece of parchment on a heat-resistant work surface or baking sheet.

Combine nuts and maple syrup in a heavy medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, tossing to coat.

Cook until syrup is dark amber and almost cooked away and thickly coats nuts, tossing often, 3 to 3-1/2 minutes.

Scrape nuts onto the parchment paper.

Working quickly separate the nuts. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Cool until coating is crisp and hard, about 1 hour.

You can also work ahead by making your salted maple caramel sauce.

Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.

Add sugar and whisk until sugar melts and the mixture is thick and boiling – about 2 to 3 minutes.

Gradually whisk in cream and bring sauce to boil, whisking often.

Boil until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon and is reduced to 1 cup, whisking often – about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in coarse salt and extract.

Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake sliced.

Once you’re done with these steps it’s time to start working on the cake!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, Chinese five-spice powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Process until combined. Add in the crystalized ginger and blend until ginger is finely ground – about 1 minute.

Using a stand mixer, beat maple sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and fully combine. Don’t worry if the batter looks slightly curdled, this is normal.

In a small bowl add hot water and molasses in a small bowl.

Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 4 additions alternately with the molasses mixture.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and baked until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

After your cake has cooled you’ll want to start to make the frosting.

Combine the creme fraiche, heavy cream, maple sugar, powdered sugar, and Chinese five-spice powder to a stand mixture and beat until very thick and stiff.

Time to start working on assembly!

Cut around pan sides to loosen cake layers and turn out onto racks.

Place 1 cake layer on a platter and spread with 1-1/3 cups frosting.

Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of caramel sauce and top with a second cake layer.

Spread the remaining frosting smoothly over the top and sides of the cake.

Drizzle the top of the cake with 3 tablespoons of caramel sauce. Cover the cake and chill for at least an hour.
Cut pecans into pieces or leave them whole.

Press pecans into the frosting on the cake.

Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake sliced to show the layers.

HOW TO STORE LAYER CAKE

I’m a huge lover of cake but even I can’t finish this whole cake in one sitting!

Any cake leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator to keep the frosting fresh.

I find the cake is best eaten in 3-4 days.

MORE GINGERBREAD RECIPES

Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake

Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake

Yield: 8 servings

This maple gingerbread layer cake with salted maple caramel sauce is the perfect fall showstopper of a dessert. Flavorful, moist, and delicious!

Ingredients

For maple-coated pecans:

  • 3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • Coarse kosher salt

For gingerbread cake:

  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup mild-flavored molasses

For frosting:

  • 1-1/3 cups chilled crème fraîche
  • 1-1/3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons Chinese five spice

For salted-maple caramel:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 6 drops imitation maple extract

Instructions

For the nuts:

  1. Place a large piece of parchment on a heat-resistant work surface or baking sheet.
  2. Combine nuts and maple syrup in a heavy medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, tossing to coat.
  3. Cook until syrup is dark amber and almost cooked away and thickly coats nuts, tossing often, 3 to 3-1/2 minutes.
  4. Scrape nuts onto the parchment paper.
  5. Working quickly separate the nuts. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  6. Cool until coating is crisp and hard, about 1 hour.

For the caramel sauce:

  1. Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add sugar and whisk until sugar melts and the mixture is thick and boiling - about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Gradually whisk in cream and bring sauce to boil, whisking often.
  4. Boil until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon and is reduced to 1 cup, whisking often - about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Whisk in coarse salt and extract.

For cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, Chinese five-spice powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Process until combined. Add in the crystalized ginger and blend until ginger is finely ground - about 1 minute.
  4. Using a stand mixer, beat maple sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and fully combine. Don't worry if the batter looks slightly curdled, this is normal.
  6. In a small bowl add hot water and molasses in a small bowl.
  7. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 4 additions alternately with the molasses mixture.
  8. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and baked until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

For frosting:

  1. Combine the creme fraiche, heavy cream, maple sugar, powdered sugar, and Chinese five-spice powder to a stand mixture and beat until very thick and stiff.

For assembly:

  1. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake layers and turn out onto racks.
  2. Place 1 cake layer on a platter and spread with 1-1/3 cups frosting.
  3. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of caramel sauce and top with a second cake layer.
  4. Spread the remaining frosting smoothly over the top and sides of the cake.
  5. Drizzle the top of the cake with 3 tablespoons of caramel sauce. Cover the cake and chill for at least an hour. Cut pecans into pieces or leave them whole.
  6. Press pecans into the frosting on the cake.
  7. Store for at least an hour in the refrigerator before serving.
  8. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1412Total Fat: 109gSaturated Fat: 65gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 343mgSodium: 521mgCarbohydrates: 103gFiber: 2gSugar: 75gProtein: 11g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake pin for Pinterest.

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Barbara Bakes

Wednesday 10th of November 2010

That caramel drizzle really makes this cake look heavenly!

Barbara

Wednesday 10th of November 2010

Oh my. What a divine cake. I simple love salted caramel.

Peggy

Tuesday 9th of November 2010

This cake has 99% chance of showing up on our Thanksgiving table! I'm still drooling!

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