Saturday, 29 November 2008

Daring Bakers 10: Caramel Cake with Caramel Butter Frosting

I'm on time this month!!!!! Yaaaaaaaaaay! OK enough celebrating, on with the post.....

The Daring Bakers challenge this month has gone back to being a sweet baking challenge after the more savoury challenges we've had the last 2 months. Dolores, Alex and Jenny were the hosts this month and brought us the challenge of making Caramel Cake with Caramel Butter Frosting, with the optional extra of making Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels. I passed on the caramels with time pressures and all that, but the cake I was able to make all the components in about 2-3 hours and then assembled it all the next day with ease. Another great challenge that was devoured by my youth group!

Caramel Cake with Caramel Butter Frosting
Recipe from Bay Area Bites by Shuna Fish Lydon


Caramel Syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.

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 above)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract I used the insides of a vanilla pod
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F/170˚C
2. Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Sift flour and baking powder.
6. 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. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
7. 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.
8. 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. 9. 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.

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

1. 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.
2. 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 and vanilla extract. 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

Check out the other Daring Bakers' results


  1. Looks great, Thanks for sharing:-)
    X M

  2. Looks nice.. I should've drizzled some caramel on top of my cake, too.

  3. I bet your youth group loved that cake!

  4. Lovely looking cake! I am sure everyone enjoyed it!

  5. What a victory completing a challenge on time...YAY...looks luscious Ruth. The frosting is beautiful...I was addicted to mine! Congrats on a wonderful challenge...lov D

  6. Nice job Ruth - your cake looks so inviting. The youth group must have been in total heaven.

  7. Your cake turned out lovely! I'm sure your youth group appreciated it!

  8. Oh yum caramel is a big favourite of mine! looks great Ruth :-)

    ps I've given you some awards!

  9. your cake looks great! i haven't made a cake in a long time. i need to.

  10. Your cake looks great Ruth!! Well done!

  11. Your cake looks amazing Ruth!

    Rosie x

  12. It looks wonderful--great job!

  13. Awesome Cake !! It looks fantastic!!

  14. you did a nice job decorating the cake, ruth! i wasn't able to get around to making the caramels, either.


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