Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Caramel Cake Delight

My lovely friend Rina had a birthday yesterday and Geof and I decided we wanted to do something nice for her.  She was hoping for a caramel cake, so when she mentioned as much the wheels began to spin.  I've only ever made one other cake (plenty of box cakes, but does that count?) so I wasn't sure of my abilities, but ask and ye shall receive!

I set about playing on the interwebs to find a suitable recipe and came upon this looker.  A fully made-from-scratch cake.  Challenge: accepted.

It turned out pretty fantastic!  The recipe is intended for a triple layer 9-inch round cake, but since I only have two cake pans I improvised and used the remaining batter to make cupcakes.  Spiffy.

Three things:

1.  It was delicious, BUT it would not have hurt for the cake to have a little more moistness.  In the future, I would add one box of vanilla instant pudding mix and 8oz. of sour cream.  That combination will produce an insanely moist and dense cake of mind-blowing proportions.

2.  Icing cakes, my secret talent is not.  So it's not very pretty, but I had a lot of fun doing it.

3.  I doubled the icing (which is reflected in my adaptation below) as it wouldn't have been enough for my liking as written in the original recipe.  Turns out it was a lot!  I could have just done a batch and a half and been fine.  But now there's plenty to snack on :)

4. I lied, four things.  Baking a cake "requires" a lot of taste testing, so make sure to eat a normal meal (with plenty of sugar-canceling fiber) before doing so.  I had a major sugar buzz going on an otherwise empty belly!

Okay, now for the good stuff!

I greased and floured my cake pans, but the recipe says to use parchment paper, too.  I did not use parchment paper and they came out just fine.

My first time making caramel…I was positively giddy at the outcome!

Combining the caramel with the sugar to make the frosting.  Mmmmmm.

Ta-da!  Not very pretty, but very tasty!  I don't have a cake plate, so I made the "plate" from scratch, too.  I cut two rounds from thick cardboard, taped them together, then covered it in foil.  How 'bout them apples?


3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (important!)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
(*For a super moist cake, add: one box instant pudding mix (any flavor depending on what you’re going for), and 8 oz. sour cream.  You won’t regret it!)

Icing (double recipe)
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease three 9-inch-round cake pans and flour insides of pans.

3. Combine flour and baking powder in bowl.

4. Beat butter and sugar in another bowl at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, beating until smooth.

5. At low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and milk.

6. Beat in vanilla.

7. Scrape into prepared pans, dividing evenly.

8. Bake in 350-degree oven 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.

9. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely on racks.

10. Meanwhile, prepare icing…Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add brown sugar and milk.  Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar.

11. Remove from heat. Cool.

12. Beat confectioners' sugar with milk mixture until smooth.

13. Frost and stack cake layers on cake plate, spreading icing between each layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining icing.

Is it healthy?  Uh, no.  BUT, since it's fully made from scratch, you know exactly what's going into it and you can decide on the type of ingredients in order to ensure it's up to snuff.  You never really know what you're getting in a box…

Is it delicious?  YES!


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