Tiered Caramel Cakes with Caramelized Ginger Butter Frosting

After hosting a hectic Thanksgiving gathering, I erm, didn’t get to complete this challenge until today. I wasn’t sure I could find the time or the room in my stomach, but I couldn’t skip a cake challenge! November’s challenge, caramel cake with caramelized butter frosting, comes from Shuna Fish Lydon, from Eggbeater and the original recipe is posted here. The cake was made following her recipe exactly, but after reading about some Daring Bakers complaining about the overly sweet nature of the frosting, I added ground ginger and a bit of cinnamon to the frosting.


I decided to go with a stacked mini cake this time, well, just because. Now, I underestimated the difficulty of this mini cake. I found it a much more painstaking process to frost these little babies as opposed to a larger cake because you don’t have the weight of the cake to anchor it as you frost. Well, I had to see my idea it to its completion, so I stuck with it.

Admittedly, my mini cake resembled a wedding cake. My wedding anniversary has passed, so we found some other friends who were celebrating their anniversary. In case you don’t know who they are, they are Moomins, adorable and adventurous Finnish characters from books my husband grew up reading.




10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.

caramel syrup (though probably darker than it should be)


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

Thank you Dolores from Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex from Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie and Jenny from Foray into Food for hosting this month’s challenge. To see what other Daring Bakers have come up with this month, please visit the Daring Bakers site.

33 Responses to “Tiered Caramel Cakes with Caramelized Ginger Butter Frosting”

  1. Cindy Ruth Says:

    Your cake is just beautiful!

  2. Chocolate Shavings Says:

    I love the tiered look – how beautifully elegant!

  3. Ushka Says:

    This is gorgeous, I love the moomins on the cake!

  4. Alana Says:

    I am in complete awe… Makes me want to get married again!

  5. Laurie Says:

    Your cake is gorgeous!

  6. nikkita Says:

    Holy cow! Prettyful tiered cake, that one is.

  7. Rosa Says:

    Wow, your cake looks stunning! Really beautiful and picture perfect!



  8. clumbsycookie Says:

    I bet the Mommies [Moomins] were so happy with their wedding cake, it\’s beautiful!

  9. Fran Z Says:

    Such a lovely cake! Beautiful presentation!

  10. kimberleyblue Says:

    That is one pretty cake! Your syrup looks perfect too!

  11. dessert girl Says:

    It look beautiful AND sounds delicious!

  12. kellypea Says:

    Totally gorgeous cake! Yep — I thought it was sweet, too, so added more caramel and salt. Wasn’t that syrup the most beautiful color?

  13. jillian Says:

    Wow your cake looks awesome! Very impressive!

  14. Jackie Says:

    Such pretty cakes! I love the way you frosted them.

  15. Marsha Says:



  16. Alana Says:

    Great looking cake! I also made my caramel syrup on the dark side but I was glad because adding extra to the icing counteracted the super sweetness.

  17. amelia Says:

    OH MY LORD. That cake is GORGEOUS.

  18. Gretchen Noelle Says:

    It looks just gorgeous! Glad you were able to complete it!

  19. Hilda Says:

    So when are you coming over to make cakes for special events for me? It’s just gorgeous. So much practice needed to get to that kind of decorating level…I am awed.

  20. leslie Says:


  21. Zoë François Says:

    Lovely cake! A beautiful interpretation of the challenge!

  22. Vibi Says:

    Geez! I’m speechless in the face of such grandiose cake… and to say it was pretty simple to make; now I get why! For some like you to actually imagine such masterpiece!

  23. Thip Says:


  24. Jane Says:

    It could be a wedding cake, it came out that lovely!

    Thanks for sharing the Moomins… I thought they were hippos at first. How cute!

    Jane of VeganBits.com

  25. Andreas Says:

    Man alive! Thats some gorgeous looking frosting.
    I remember the Snorkfräulein (that`s what one of the characters was called in German) from watching the Moomin-cartoons when I was a kid. 😉

  26. bex Says:

    Wow that came out great! Beautiful.

  27. Regina Says:

    Beautiful frosting job! Love the Moomins atop the cake, too.

  28. Christina Says:

    WOW, that is the prettiest cake I have seen! The swirls in the frosting, the layers, it’s just all amazing!

  29. Dolores Says:

    I look at this and I am just not worthy. Yours has to be one of the most elegant interpretations of the caramel challenge I’ve seen (and I’ve visited a LOT of caramel cakes in the last 5 days). Simply stunning. Thank you for baking with us.

  30. Dolores Says:

    Oh… and the ginger in the frosting? Brilliant!

  31. Patricia Shea Says:

    What a delightful cake….I wish I had a slice of it right now…looks perfect and has my favourite flavours. Thank you! Patricia

  32. Cakeitaly Says:

    Wow fantastic ideas for my next lunch with my friends.

    Bye from Italy by
    Cakeitaly.com – A taste of Italian sweets

  33. Y Says:

    What a stunning mini cake. I love the little moomins too 😀