I promised you cake, and cake you shall have.
I’m usually not the biggest cake person. I generally prefer brownies and PIE. And even then, sweets aren’t my very favorite. I just don’t do store bought treats (or really, most treats that are made anywhere but my kitchen) because I don’t enjoy them enough to make it worth the junk. And since we don’t make sweets all that often, I usually like to try new things when I do, which means even excellent treats rarely get repeat performances. But this cake? May indeed be my request for my next birthday. So when I say this cake is good, it is gooood.
I wanted chocolate. I wanted caramel. But I wanted salted caramel frosting. But I didn’t want frosting inside, preferring straight-up caramel. I also didn’t want to spend eons making a 6-layer creation or the caramel, nor did I want to use a candy thermometer. I hate candy thermometers. Oh yeah, and corn syrup? Not my cup of caramel.
|After this photo, I drizzled a little caramel on top of each cake|
So I basically made a mish mosh of several different recipes. And it was delicious. Heavenly. Perfect for a a kids’ party (with a good number of adults), or an adult party, or, if we’re being honest, a Friday night at home. Well, it’s probably a little fancy for that, but who’s watching?
Chocolate Cake with Salted Butter Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel Filling
Chocolate Cake (from here)
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil (I used vegetable)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter or spray
9-inch round cake pans (or, like I did, use 2 cake pans and a bunch of
mini cuppycake cups – really sample cups given me by Trader Joe’s). Sift
flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 1/2
teaspoons salt in the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until
just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2
cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Divide batter among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a
toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35
minutes (or about 17-18 for the mini cupcakes). Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out
cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.
Amazing Salted Butter Caramel Sauce (from here)
Makes about 1 1/3 cups
1 cup sugar
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) salted butter
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons heavy cream (preferably at room temperature, but I forgot to take it out of the fridge and it was fine)
Melt sugar over medium high heat in a large pot (I used a 4-qt), whisking or
stirring the sugar as it melts to ensure it heats evenly. Cook the
liquefied sugar to a dark amber color (I didn’t go quite as dark as I would if I were just using at sauce since it was filling the cake). Add the butter all at once
and quickly stir it in. Remove pot from stove and pour in heavy
cream (warning: it will foam and sputter, so be careful; this is also why you want a large pot), whisking it until you get a smooth sauce.
Salted Butter Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from here)
(Note: I 2/3rds the original frosting recipe since I wasn’t using it for filling. I still had nearly a cup of leftover frosting after a well-frosted cake, not that I’m complaining. I’m writing the recipe as I did it, but feel free to 2/3 it again if you don’t want much leftover.)
10.5 tablespoons butter at room temperature
5.5 ounces of cream cheese (or 2/3 of a package)
2.5-3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted butter caramel (recipe above)
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine. Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting is the sweetness and consistency you desire.
After cakes are cool, place one on serving stand and cover inside surface with caramel. Place second cake on top (repeat if you have 3 cake layers instead of cuppycakes). Cover with frosting. Devour. Swoon.