Best Caramel Cake Recipe

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Add a little sea salt, and the flavor of caramel can go a long way.  You won’t be able to stop thinking about that sweet flavor with its sassy, salty kick until days after.  I was a little burnt out on recipe developing and wanted to try someone else’s recipe for a change of pace.  I wanted a recipe that had enough reviews to make me feel confident that it would be a success.  Paula Deen’s “Bobby’s Caramel Cake” recipe was all the rage on Food Network’s website, so I just had to try it!!!

best-frosting

If you read The Help, then you may have always wondered what caramel cake tastes like, as it was mentioned so many times in the book.  This cake represents every bit of goodness I ever imagined a caramel cake to taste like.

best-cake-topper

I had some Martha Stewart folders with pretty patterns around the house, so I made a quick and fun DIY bunting flag cake pic to stick on top for an extra bit of flair.

best-caramel-cake

 The Best Caramel Cake Recipe

Adapted from Bobby’s Caramel Cake Recipe by Paula Deen on Food Network

You’ll Need:

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted self-rising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if needed
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sea Salt to sprinkle on top of frosting

Directions:

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  5. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed.
  6. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding the pan 3 or 4-inches above the counter and dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure that you will have a more level cake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

For the Filling:

  1. While cake is baking, in a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  2. Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto a cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of the filling mixture on the cake layer. Top with second layer, and repeat the process. Top with the last layer and repeat process again.
  3. Place leftover filling into a piping bag to drizzle on sides of cake after it’s frosted.  Make sure you cut only a small amount of the tip off at a slanted angle, as the caramel will release from your piping bag quickly.

For the Frosting:

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Just be sure to add cream in small amounts because you can always “add to,” but you can’t take away.
  3. Frost cake and sprinkle sea salt on top for an extra salty kick.  Using your remaining piping bag of caramel filling,  gently drizzle caramel on the sides of the cake.  The caramel will automatically form that “drizzle” look as it drips down the sides of your cake.

Tips:

  • Make sure to add a circle-shaped piece of parchment paper to the bottom of each cake pan to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  • Make your frosting only when you are ready to frost the cake as it hardens fast.  If you still decide to make your cake ahead of time, make sure to refrigerate it until you’re ready to frost it.  Mix the frosting and add a tiny bit of heavy cream to reach a smooth consistency for frosting.
  • Sprinkle sea salt on top to give it an extra salted caramel kick!

 

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