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A salted caramel cake with stripes and a caramel drip on top
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Caramel Cake

A moist fluffy caramel cake covered in homemade salted caramel and caramel infused Swiss meringue buttercream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 821kcal

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 330g
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder 8g
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt 5g
  • 1 cup butter plus one tbsp, 240g room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 300g
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 yolk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract 22mL
  • 1 1/2 cup milk 360mL
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar 22mL

For the Caramel

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup cream room temp
  • 5 tbsp butter unsalted, room temp
  • 1/2 salt

For the Frosting

  • 5 egg whites large
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 150g
  • 1 pound butter room temp 454g
  • 1/3 cup caramel

Instructions

For the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour three 6 inch round pans. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Mix vinegar and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment. 
  • Add vanilla and eggs one at a time mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the bowl down. 
  • Add flour and milk mixtures to the butter in alternating batches. 
  • Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until the centers are set and springy.

For the Caramel:

  • Add the sugar and water into a medium saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved. Place over medium-high heat and brush the inside of the pot with a wet pastry brush so crystals do not form.
  • Cook until sugar mixture becomes a golden amber color, then remove from heat and whisk in the cream vigorously. Add butter and bring back to a medium low heat. Continue whisking and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Mix in salt, transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature. Caramel can be made in advance and refrigerated.

For the Frosting:

  • Whisk together egg whites and sugar in a glass bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl.
  • Whisk over hear until a thermometer reads 165F. Transfer mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and mix on high for a few minutes then stitch to medium low until room temp.
  • Switch to a paddle attachment and add butter a tablespoon at a time. Reserve about a cup and a half of the frosting.
  • Add about 1/3 a cup of caramel to the large batch of frosting and another 1/3 a cup to the small batch. You can add more caramel and salt to taste but it is important for the two batches of frosting to have a visible contrast.

For the Assembly:

  • Drizzle caramel onto the fist layer then add a layer of buttercream. Place second layer on top and repeat the process until cake is three layers tall.
  • Cover cake in buttercream and smooth. Use a cake comb to cut grooves into the side then chill the cake.
  • Pipe the darker caramel buttercream into the grooves and smooth so stripes show up.
  • Add a layer of caramel onto the top of the cake and smooth. You can add additional drips onto the side if needed.
  • Sprinkle flaked sea salt onto the top of the cake and serve.

Video

Notes

For the Caramel:
  • Don't stir! After the sugar has dissolved you don't need to stir as it can cause crystals to form and ruin that silky consistency.
  • DO brush the side of the pot down with a wet pastry brush. This will help prevent those pesky crystals from forming.
  • Watch the color carefully taking the sugar to a deep amber color gives a wonderful flavor but going too dark will make a bitter caramel and that sugar will go from perfect to burnt in an instant!
  • Use room temperature butter and cream.
  • Caramel keeps for a while in the fridge so you can make this part ahead of time or make a big batch and save some for ice cream, coffee drinks and snacking!
  • When adding salt dip your a spoon in let the caramel cool a bit then taste and add more salt if needed. You can also sprinkle more salt on at the end for a finishing touch!

Nutrition

Serving: 126g | Calories: 821kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 68g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Cholesterol: 234mg | Sodium: 831mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 83g | Vitamin A: 2195IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1.2mg