Monday, July 28, 2008

Hurry-Up Caramel Cake

What a great departure from more conventional chocolate or yellow cake. Caramel is certainly not a cake flavor you see very often. Remind me again, why is that??? The flavor is full of brown sugary goodness and the color is a beautiful light maple syrup hue. The crumb is moist; the frosting will have you scraping your plate. And if you prefer, make this into cupcakes instead; it translates perfectly. My mom, a phenomenal baker, made the ones below for my grandfather's 90th birthday this past weekend.

Hurry-Up Caramel Cake
Recipe from The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book by Marilyn M. Moore

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
8 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Be sure all ingredients are at room temperature (about 70 degrees F) before beginning. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch round layer pans. Stir granulated sugar and brown sugar together in a large mixer bowl, pressing out any lumps with the back of a spoon.

Stir flour, salt, and baking powder into the sugars, again pressing out any lumps.

Add butter and milk and mix at low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened, then beat at medium speed until smooth.

Stop to scrape the bowl and beaters. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat at low speed until the eggs are blended, and then beat at medium speed until smooth.

Stop to scrape the bowl and beaters. Beat again at medium speed until smooth. Spoon and scrape the batter into the prepared pans, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool in the pans 8 minutes. Turn out to cool completely on wire racks. Fill and frost with Hurry-Up Caramel Frosting. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Hurry-Up Caramel Frosting

8 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 ounces evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar, more or less

In a large, heavy saucepan, stir butter, light brown sugar, salt, and evaporated milk over medium heat until the butter is melted, the sugar is dissolved, and the surface of the mixture is covered with bubbles.

Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla.

Beat in confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to make frosting spreadable.

Work quickly to fill and frost the cake, as this tends to harden and "sugar up" like pralines.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups frosting.


Anonymous said...

Holy moly caramel cake... that looks so yummy!
Caramel is one of my favorite flavors. This looks fantastic.

City Elf said...

make me these!!!! please?

Marni said...

kristen - it's one of my favorites too. and this one doesn't even have the gooey drizzled kind of caramel. instead, it flavors the entire cake! Mmmm.

city elf - well, since you said please...

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