Daring Bakers/November – Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

by Jessica on November 29, 2008

Hosting this month is Dolores of Culinary Curiosity, Alex of Blondie and Brownie, Jenny of Foray into Food, and Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go.

Very yummy, but way too dense. I was disappointed in how the cake turned out, but the frosting and caramel sauce were delicous! Probably not a cake I’d make again, but still good, just the same! I even made caramel for the first time! 😉 Yay me!!

Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting
Source: Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater

10 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1/3 c Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 eggs, at room temperature
Splash vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter one tall (2 to 2-1/2″ deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar, salt & cream until light and fluffy. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs and 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.

2 c sugar
1/2 c water
1 c 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 or dark amber in color.

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.

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

Caramel Cake 2

12 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-4 tbsp 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.

Caramel Cake 3

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gretchen Noelle November 29, 2008 at 12:58 am

Too bad this was not to your liking. The crisscross design on top looks fun. Great job!


2 rainbowbrown November 29, 2008 at 1:57 am

Lovely pattern on top. Well done.


3 isabelle November 29, 2008 at 8:39 am

c’est joli ce quadrillage 🙂


4 Vibi November 29, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Beautiful results!
Although you thought it was way too dense, the way you decorated it makes it looks so summery… anyone would be fooled into thinking otherwise! Beautiful!


5 Caitlin November 29, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Wasn’t the frosting amazing? Definitely my favorite part 🙂 Yours turned out beautifully, even if you were a bit underwhelmed.


6 Steph November 29, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I know what you mean about the denseness.. I upped the baking powder a bit. Where are the fluffy cakes?!? No seriously, I have yet to sucessfully make a fluffy cake that stays fluffy.


7 Joelen November 30, 2008 at 1:14 am

That looks absolutely delicious! Great job!!


8 Amy (Sing for your supper) November 30, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Mmmm….this looks GOOD! I want some of that frosting!!


9 chef_d December 2, 2008 at 8:49 am

I love the criss-cross design and the shape!


10 Jodie December 2, 2008 at 11:30 am

I was disappointed in the cake, too. It was like a brick! Yours looks good at least! 🙂


11 Fabbys December 2, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Wow!!! Delicious!!


12 Joanna December 2, 2008 at 7:39 pm

i give you a lot of credit for baking this cake!! it looks like a tough one.


13 Heather B December 2, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Your cake looks delicious! Great job!


14 teaandscones December 2, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Love the criss/cross pattern. Makes the cake look quite elegant. AND it looks yummy!


15 Amber December 4, 2008 at 10:21 am

Your cake looks excellent. I love the caramel drizzled on top. Sorry to hear you did not enjoy the cake.


16 Dolores December 9, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Yeah you indeed! I’m sorry the cake wasn’t more your style, but thanks for baking with us this month.


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