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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers in November - Caramel Cake


The Daring Bakers' Challenge for November was to recreate Shuna Fish Lydon's (of Eggbeater) signature caramel cake. I was really excited because I have been looking for a good recipe for a caramel frosting and cake. While I enjoyed making this (even the dangers of making the caramel syrup) I knew that, even though I do love my sugar, that this was going to be borderline too sweet for me. The cake was dense, moist and delicious and the frosting was creamy, buttery and had a wonderful caramel / vanilla taste to it. For the vanilla in my frosting I ended up using vanilla bean paste. Both were fantastic, but I think I would like the frosting on a dark chocolate cake or something to offset the sweetness instead.


Thanks go out to our hosts this month Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Jenny of Foray into Food and Alex of Blondie and Brownie, as well as Shuna of Eggbeater for the recipe and support of the groups efforts with graciously allowing us to use her recipe and taking questions, and Natalie from Gluten-a-Go-Go for helping with all the alternative baking questions.

Check out the Daring Bakers blogroll to see all the amazing caramelized sugary goodness this month!



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 below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

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.

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.

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. {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.}

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 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup 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: dark amber.

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. {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.


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

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

(recipes above courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon)



Engineer Baker said...

I love the caramel drizzled over the top, the entire cake looks beautiful. Definitely sweet though, I agree.

Di said...

Your cake looks wonderful, Holly! I love the stars piped around the top.

Aparna said...

Your cake is very beautifully decorated.
This was a bit too sweet but pairing it with chocolate certainly helped, as I found out.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! And, you're right, I'll bet the frosting would be amazing on a dark chocolate cake. :)

Tartelette said...

Absolutely wonderful! I love all that drizzle of caramel! I just add the frosting on a little bit of lemon cake and it was delicious but I bet it would be perfect with dark chocolate cake!

Cristine said...

Your cake looks delicious!

Aran said...

looks great holly! I did like the cake part but the icing was too sweet for me...

Anonymous said...

I bet some chocolate in there somewhere would be good. Your cake looks very pretty.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Nice vanilla speck on the frosting! looks beautiful!

vibi said...

Wowwy! A master of the pipping bag, you are! Beautiful challenge Phemom!

Anonymous said...

Great job decorating! Your cake looks super-yummy.

Maria said...

Love the design on your cake. Nice job!

Mandy said...

This looks SO GREAT, especially the garnish. Great job!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Holly, your cake looks wonderful!!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Your decorated cake is gorgeous! I love the stars.

Cynthia's Blog said...

It was sweet, but I think the sugar helped me from eating too much of it. Hence, I call it a diet cake.

Erin said...

Your cake looks beautiful!

Manggy said...

Chocolate cake with caramel frosting sounds awesome! I love the piping job you did on this! :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Beautiful cake! Your decorations are so pretty! Great job! I think a dark chocolate cake would be perfect with this frosting too!

Tammy said...

that looks beautiful! i loved this cake

Peabody said...

After seeing this everywhere I want to make it now. Interesting about it being too sweet. Yours turned out great.

SiHaN said...

darn.. this caramel cake makes me drool everything i switch to someone else' blog. argh.. that looks SOOO GOOD!

Heather B said...

Love the way you decorated your cake! It looks fabulous!

Deborah said...

I think you are on to something - this frosting would be good on a dark chocolate cake! Beautiful job!

Jenny said...

Nice pipping. I found the icing too stiff for decorating but you seemed to have found a good consistency.

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