Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cake With Salted Caramel Frosting

It was birthday time at the office again.
Time to break out something fancy schmancy.
I figured with the fall weather arriving I would make something fall-ish. And what says "fall" more than pumpkin? Hmmm...that would be nothing.
I happen to love all things pumpkin but, unfortunately, no one else in my household likes pumpkin. If I want to enjoy the deliciousness of pumpkin treats then I have to seize every opportunity that comes along. (Either that or make a single serving pumpkin dish - check back soon for my Single Serving Pumpkin Pie French Toast)
I decided to make a pumpkin layer cake with crunchy/buttery gingersnap layers and a caramel frosting and then top the whole thing off with some salted caramel drizzle.
Be prepared to spend some time eating this cake. You really do have to eat this slowly and savour every bite. I don't think it is a law yet but it should be.  

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Gingersnap Layer
1 1/2 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup butter, melted

Cake Layer
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup buttermilk

Caramel Frosting
1 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
4 - 6 cups icing sugar

Caramel Drizzle
1/2 to 1 cup of caramel ice cream topping
approx 1 Tbsp coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 3 - 8 inch round cake pans with cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again with the cooking spray. Set aside.
Gingersnap Layer: Mix cookie crumbs, brown sugar, pecans, and melted butter together in a medium sized bowl until well combined. Divide into 3 equal amounts.

Lightly press the crumbs into the prepared pans.

Set the pans aside while you prepare the cake batter.
Cake Layer: Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat softened butter until creamy (using electric beaters or stand mixer). Gradually add in sugar until completely blended. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended. Beat in vanilla.
Beat flour mixture alternately with the pumpkin and buttermilk into the butter/egg mixture. Beat after each addition until blended. Carefully pour into pans and spread evenly over gingersnap crust.

Bake at 350 for 25 - 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.
Cool approx 7 - 8 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan by inverting onto wire rack.
Cool completely.
 While waiting for cake to cool, make frosting.
Caramel Frosting: Beat cream cheese until smooth, add butter and beat until well combined.
Beat in caramel ice cream topping. Gradually beat in icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until you reach the desired spreading consistency.  (I never measure how much icing sugar I actually use. Eeep! Sorry. I do know it is in the 4 - 6 cup range though.) Place frosting in fridge to firm up a bit until cake is cool.
Assembling your cake:Place one layer of cake, gingersnap crust side down, onto a serving platter.

Frost a thin layer of the caramel frosting. Drizzle with a bit of the caramel ice cream topping, sprinkle with a third of the sea salt.

Repeat with the second layer of cake (gingersnap crust side down), another thin layer of frosting, caramel, and sea salt.
Place the final layer of cake (gingersnap crust side down) on top of the other 2 layers.

Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Drizzle with remaining caramel topping, and sprinkle with the remaining sea salt.
Chill until ready to serve. If you can let it sit in the fridge (covered) for at least a couple of hours the flavors will mingle and the cake will be that much better. I made mine the day before and it sat in the fridge overnight.
Sooooo good!

A note about this cake - the gingersnap crust is alittle hard to cut through. A serrated knife works best. It softens a little the longer it chills.
The crunchy gingersnap layers are amazing with the soft, moist pumpkin cake and sweet/salty frosting. I've said it before and I will say it again. Whoever thought to pair salt with caramel is a genius. SUPER genius.
Looking for a tasty fall inspired cake to impress your guest? Or maybe just to enjoy yourself?
Make this. Now. Quick.

Want to see some fantastic links? Be sure to visit Carole's Chatter!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! The combination of pumpkin and gingersnaps is amazing :)

  2. Jo and Sue, thanks for joining the cake extravaganza – I am simply blown away by all the fantastic cakes – and extremely hungry! Cheers

  3. This cake is soooo delicious! The only thing I changed was the amount of melted butter in the crumb layer (reduced it to 1/4 c.) turns out perfectly and not hard to cut through! People are asking me to make it regularly--thanks for the recipe!