Friday, April 29, 2016

Caramel Cake


This is a cake for someone special. For yourself. For sharing with friends. For celebrating. For having a really bad day.
I made this last weekend for a birthday girl. She appreciates the divine nature of caramel as much as I do. One of my all time favorite flavors in the history of my pastry-loving life.


It's funny that I never made a caramel cake before. I think it might be because I always heard that making the icing was a beast and finicky...and you had to get the candy thermometer out....blah, blah, blah.
So, I decided I needed to make one anyways, damn all the rumors. 
I turned to a trusted source, America's Test Kitchen, for my recipe and away I went!



Happy news...this cake batter is really easy to make and comes out really moist {don't overbake it}. It stayed moist for days, which was delightful.
And the caramel icing? It was also very approachable and there is no candy thermometer required. Woo hoo! Sometimes caramel icings can set very quickly, making it a race to get the cake iced. Not this one. It was smooth, didn't set right away, and tastes.....ah, wonderfully deep and rich. And sweet.



Here's the recipe. Thank you America's Test Kitchen. Perfectly easy and divinely good.
If you like recipes that are sure to turn out right.....a subscription to ATK is well-worth it.

Easy Caramel Cake

from America's Test Kitchen

Cake:
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened

Frosting:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, c
ut into 12 pieces and softened
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1. For the cake layers: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in large measuring cup. With electric mixer on low speed, mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Beat in butter, 1 piece at a time, until only pea-sized pieces remain. Pour in half of buttermilk mixture and beat over medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly add remaining buttermilk mixture to bowl and beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds.

2. Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks. Cool completely, at least 1 hour.

3. For the frosting: Heat 8 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and salt in large saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear around perimeter of pan  4 to 8 minutes. Whisk in cream and cook until ring of bubbles reappears, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in vanilla.

4. Transfer hot frosting mixture to bowl and, with electric mixer on low speed, gradually mix in confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until frosting is pale brown and just warm, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

5. To assemble: Place 1 cake round on serving platter. Spread ¾ cup frosting over cake, then top with second cake round. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Serve. 


2 comments:

  1. I love Caramel Cake, but you know - I've never nailed the frosting. This technique is really intriguing - now I just need an excuse to make it!

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    Replies
    1. hellooooooo Meghan...so nice to hear from you. I love it too and this recipe is so easy. No excuse needed in my book. Go for it.

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