THE BEST CARAMEL CAKE

The secret to a good caramel cake is all in the frosting. The frosting for this one is amazing!
A caramel cake is really all about the frosting.  It has the base of a nice, light, fluffy yellow or white cake but the frosting is the star of the show but it definitely  needs a good cake to let it shine.


I’ve experimented with lots of from scratch cakes and I’ve finally found one that is everything a cake should be.  Light, fluffy, tender, moist and flavorful.  It is the perfect base for a great caramel cake.
I used Bob Red Mill Super Fine Cake Flour to give the cake amazing texture.  Cake flour has less protein than regular all purpose flour and that helps give the cake a lighter and more airy texture.  It does make a difference and it’s worth the effort to buy and use cake flour.

Now,for the frosting.


The frosting is made with butter, butter and more butter just the way frosting should be.  It also uses dark brown sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Unlike many caramel forstings this one doesn’t need to be cooked for long periods of time.  It’s cooked in the microwave for a few minutes and then into the mixer.

Recipe may need to be adapted for high altitude baking.

Caramel Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups milk (I used whole milk)

Frosting
  • 1 cup butter, divided
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Spray three 8-inch pans generously with baking spray and flour. Cut circles of parchment paper or wax paper to fit pans and place one in the bottom of each pan.
  3. Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.
  4. (If you are using the extra fine cake flour you won't need to sift the flour, if not put the flour, baking powder and salt through a sifter.)
  5. Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  6. Add vanilla and then eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  7. Add flour mixture and milk alternately in 3 batches, beating until smooth after each addition.
  8. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  9. Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes.
  10. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes; invert cakes onto a cooling rack; let cool completely.
  11. Brush off crumbs from sides and top of cake.
  12. Place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand.
  13. Add icing and spread to cover. Repeat with remaining layers.
  14. Frost entire cake with a generous layer of icing.

Frosting

  1. Place ½ cup butter, brown sugar and evaporated milk into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir. Return to microwave and cook on high for 2-3 more minutes or until the mixture is smooth and no longer gritty. Can also be done in a saucepan on the stovetop. Heat until ingredients are combined and no longer gritty.
  2. Cool mixture for 15 minutes.
  3. Place in mixer and add in powdered sugar and mix on low until incorporated.
  4. Turn to medium high and mix for another minute.
  5. Add in ½ cup of softened butter and mix on medium high for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  6. Frosting should be a nice spreadable consistency. Add more milk if too stiff or more sugar if too thin.
  7. Frost cake.



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