I LOVE sweetened, condensed milk. It’s what gives ‘German chocolate cake’ that extra-special-something. If I want to treat myself (essentially, any “day” ending in “y” hehe) I’ll add a spoonful of it to my coffee. It helps me enjoy the morning just a little bit more. If you didn’t know…
What is Dulce de Leche?
Dulce de Leche is made by heating condensed milk. It’s creamy, sweet and perfect for a cake filling! I was short on time so I bought the ready-made stuff. It was delish. I used the sugar glass shards to decorate the cake are sooooo dramatic, I love them! It was especially exciting to make them, as it was the FIRST time I’ve ever made hard crack candy without suffering horrible burns! So hot… Be careful. Don’t be clumsy… like me ? Enjoy!??? Can I just say this decoration scheme would work with so many cakes. I can totally see a lemon or orange cake with these amber shards too.
Fill the centers with dulce de leche. You can pipe with a large round tip or just use a spatula.
How do you make dulce de Leche?
- If you can’t find it at your local market dulce de leche can be made by cooking sweetened condensed milk.
- Place can (with label removed) in a large pot covered with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. 3 if you would like a darker caramel.
Cover with buttercream and smooth with an offset spatula and or a bench scraper.
I LOVE how dramatic this cake looks in direct lighting. All the shards sticking out cast a beautiful amber light.
Dulce de Leche Cake
A moist vanilla cake filled with silky dulce de leche and covered in show stopping sugar shards.
For the Cake
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 6 egg whites
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain yogurt whole milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tbsp bourbon
For the Buttercream
- 1 cup butter
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- 3 tbsp bourbon you can use vanilla instead if preferred
For the filling
- 26 oz dulce de leche
For the Shards
- 3½ cups white granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
For the Sugar Shards
- Line 2 edged baking sheets with tin foil.
- Add all the ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir and bring to a boil.
- Set a candy thermometer over the edge of the pan and continue cooking at medium heat until the mixture reaches 300F. This takes about an hour so be patient.
- Remove from heat and slowly pour onto the lined pans. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes then crack the sugar with a wooden spoon until you have pieces at the desired size.
For the Cake
- Butter and flour 3 eight inch pans. I use cake strips on my pans for more even baking as well. Preheat oven to 340F
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Beat the butter until light and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time while mixing then add in the rest of the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Don't worry if the mixture isn't totally homogenous.
- Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Use a spatula to give the bowl a scrape and a final mix.
- Divide the mixture evenly into the cake pans
- Bake at 340 for about 30-35 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch.
For the Buttercream
- Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, salt and bourbon and mix.
For the Assembly
- Pipe a circle of buttercream around the edge of the first layer. Fill center with dulce de leche and place next layer on top. Repeat.
- Cover outside with buttercream and smooth.
- Place sugar shards on the outside and serve.
If you can't find dulce de leche just boil a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot with an inch of water for about an hour.
To get FLAT layers that are moist inside and out try using cake strips! You can buy a set on the shop page or make your own from foil and paper towels at home. I made a whole blog post on it so check it out if you’re interested!