Gingerbread with burned caramel sauce

By • November 7, 2010 • 25 Comments


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Author Notes: To me, gingerbread epitomizes everything lovely about that cold, dark end of fall beginning of winter time of year. The spices and deep flavors tell stories of cozy dinners with friends. When it gets excessively Novemberish out there, I bake gingerbread. I made some gingerbread for a potluck with friends once to which another friend brought some burnt caramel ice cream. The combination of flavors was astoundingly delicious! I've found the flavor comes in just as nicely if you make a burnt caramel sauce - and then you have an excuse to still add whipped cream. - fiveandspicefiveandspice

Food52 Review: If you’re looking for a spin on a gingerbread, this cake is a great alternative to the ever-popular cookie. The molasses lends a bold flavor and chestnut color and a pinch of black pepper rounds out the fall spice blend. Let the burned caramel sauce soak in to the cake for a satisfying blend of salty and sweet and dollop with sweetened whipped cream for an elegant party presentation. - NatalieA&M

Serves 8

Old-fashioned Gingerbread

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted), softened
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cups dark molasses
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease an 9X9" baking pan. In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and spices).
  2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth. Then beat in the molasses, hot water (carefully), and cream until frothy. Finally beat in the egg.
  3. Quickly stir in the dry ingredients and candied ginger (if using) until just combined. Don't over stir. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and pop into the oven.
  4. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a very moist cake.

Burnt caramel sauce and whipped cream

  • 3/4 cups sugar (raw or unrefined is best)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons plain sugar
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the 3/4 cup sugar and the water. Heat over medium, without stirring at all, until the edges have begun to melt and turn amber.
  2. With a heat proof utensil, begin to stir up the melted bottom and edges and keep cooking, stirring all the while, until the sugar has all melted, turned a deep brown color and started to smell just a titch burned. This should take 3 or 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of heavy cream - be careful for splatters. Stir until it is completely combined, however the caramel may instantly harden when the cream hits it. Don't worry. Return the pot to the stove top and cook over very low heat until all the caramel is melted into the cream and it is well combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and 1 tsp. vanilla. Set aside and allow to cool very slightly but keep warm.
  4. In a chilled metal bowl (or in a standing mixer) whisk together the other 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 Tbs of sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla until soft peaks form.
  5. Cut the gingerbread into 8 slices, drizzle each slices with a scoop of caramel and a very generous dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy

Comments (25) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago bh

Wondering if anyone has had luck baking this at altitude (5275 feet)? Fabulous flavor, but my gingerbread fell.

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6 months ago Dylishuz

yvugh87iujk

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6 months ago Dylishuz

I tried making the carmel sauce last night and needed help! I used a cast iron Le Creuset sauce pan, watched as the water gradually bubbled the edges of one side and a bit of the middle and then started stirring. Yikes, that's when all the sugar started to crystallize and dry out. What did I do wrong? Do I need a cooler pan? I used both turbinado and white sugar. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Sausage2

6 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

That happens sometimes with cooking sugar. You generally just have to keep going and eventually it will melt again and turn into caramel.

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6 months ago Dylishuz

When the crystallization occurs, does it help the process to add a bit more water to prompt melting? Thank you!

Sausage2

6 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I think it might, but I haven't tried it.

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over 2 years ago phinneycook

OK, if you want a really gingery ginger bread to go with a quiet rainy afternoon, make this now! We skipped the caramel sauce and had whipped cream on top. I used 1 tsp cinnamon because we like it, and also used 1.5 cups white flour and .5 cups whole wheat pastry flour. I was hesitant about the full cup of sugar with the molasses, but even if you don't like things sugary (I don't) use the full 1 cup called for.

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know! And, I bet that bit of whole wheat flour was nice and nutty and just a little bit hearty. Yum.

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over 2 years ago love2cook

The gingerbread sounds wonderful. Do you think it would also work as individual cupcakes?

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I would definitely think so! You would just have to adjust the baking time to suit cupcakes, which is usual around 30 minutes, if I remember correctly.

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

We had this last night and it is absolutely amazing! The tidbits of candied ginger, the caramel sauce, well everything. We all ate big pieces. We all had seconds.

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yay!!! So glad you guys liked it.

Lime_lassi

over 2 years ago lime lassi

This almost makes me crave a cold night. Will have to try it in the coming months. Can practically smell it...

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you! It's one of my rainy-cold baking day favorites! I'm sure I'll be making it soon as the days are actually growing shorter and colder here.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Usually I back off from the dark depths of molasses, but this is totally inviting!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

It is a pretty molasses-y cake - I love that deep flavor. If you give it a try, I hope you like it!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

I made Nigella's sticky gingerbread cake over the weekend as I had all the necessary variations on Lyle's syrup that she uses. Seeing as I am fresh out, I will be trying this cake next. Thanks!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Heaven's! It is never good to be fresh out of gingerbread cake! :)

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh, so good.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yes it is :). Thanks!

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over 3 years ago Midge

I will be trying this for sure, w/ Toscanini's burnt caramel ice cream? Yum!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yup, Toscanini's all the way!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

Oh how I miss Toscanini's burnt caramel ice cream....

Henrykiss

over 3 years ago arielleclementine

this sounds incredible!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks!