FOR THE CAKE:
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 & ½ teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 Tablespoon molasses
FOR THE cream cheese frosting:
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
12oz cream cheese (room temperature)
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 & ½ teaspoons vanilla
FOR THE salted carameL:
1 cup caster sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temp (cut up)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 & ½ teaspoons salt
for the cake:
Pre-heat oven to 350 & prepare 3 six inch cake pans with baking spray & parchment paper
In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, buttermilk & molasses) until smooth - set aside
In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices)
Add the dry ingredients to the wet in thirds, using a whisk or a spatula to fold the mixture together until it’s fully combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
Let the layers cool in their tins for about 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to fully cool.
if making the cake layers a few days ahead - after they’ve cooled, wrap them in saran wrap & refrigerate overnight or freeze until use!
for the frosting:
In a large bowl whip the cream cheese using an electronic mixer (handheld, or stand) - whip until just soft
Add the butter & and continue to whip until fluffy.
With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar a small bit at a time - whipping between each addition.
Once you’ve added in half, begin to taste between additions to get the sweetness you like!
Fill a piping bag with the frosting & set aside
for the salted caramel:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat - add the sugar, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (everything else will melt)
It’ll take a while - but the sugar will start to clump like sand, then it’ll dissolve into a dark caramel color liquid (don’t let it get past this & burn!)
Once the sugar has melted, add in the butter. Continue to stir until completely melted.
Next SLOWLY drizzle in the heavy cream, again stirring constantly, being careful not to let it boil over (there will be hot bubbles so be careful!)
Let the mixture boil for about 1 minute, then take it off the heat, stir in the salt & set aside to cool for 4-5 minutes.
Once it’s slightly cooled- pour it into a heat safe jar & let it cool again before serving!
Once it’s cool & thickened (it’ll get thicker the colder it gets) transfer some of it into a piping bag & set aside
this makes a decent amount you’ll want to store the leftovers in something airtight in the fridge!
Once the cakes have completely cooled- level them & split them down the middle, going from 3 cake layers- to 6.
On a turn table with a cake board adhered with frosting - start by placing the first cake layer down.
Spread an even layer of cream cheese icing over, and top with another cake layer, repeating until all the layers are stacked with cream cheese.
Using an off-set spatula and a cake scraper, smooth the sides of the cake, adding more frosting to where you see fit until you like it’s “naked-ness”
If you find your frosting to be really soft & your cake feels unstable - place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before adding the salted caramel
Starting at the center of the top of the cake, drizzle the salted caramel in an even layer, then begin drip it down the sides.
Finish off with a cake topper & serve!