Brown sugar stars in this drop-dead-scrumptious dessert, adding depth and complexity to everything from the yellow cake layers to the creamy caramel filling and cream cheese frosting. Use a candy thermometer to give the caramel proper flavor and consistency–get it right, and this cake could make your reputation as a baker.
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans; line with lightly greased parchment or wax paper.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Place 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, and 1 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and 1 cup milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating at low speed after each addition. Pour into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire rack. Place 1 layer on a cake plate.
Combine 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, evaporated milk, and 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook (without stirring) until a candy thermometer registers 238°. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl, and beat 3 minutes or until thickened and easy to spread. Quickly spread filling over cake layer on plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; chill 15 minutes or until set.
Spread a thin layer of Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting over filling. Top with second layer. Frost cake. Chill 20 minutes or until frosting sets, then cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature before serving. Garnish, if desired.
I turned this into a cupcake recipe. I didn't make the filling. The cupcakes baked for about 15 minutes. They were very delicious but my only critique is that they tasted like plain vanilla cupcakes. I made the frosting too and it didn't taste very caramely either. But they were still good!
I had to see for myself if what others said was true. I'm an experienced home baker who has made lots of caramel. Believe me, the filling is a disaster. The cake is delicious- I like the course, dense texture. Anyone who found it dry hasn't checked their oven temperature with an oven thermometer-- most are off by a lot and that will ruin a cake. Also check for doneness at least 5 minutes before the stated time or as soon as you can smell it baking. Increase bake time by 1-2 minutes at a time until your skewer/cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. The cake recipe is wonderful, but skip the filling, and frost as you like. Fluffy chocolate was my choice.
I dont know if i should call this a review of the cake, or a review of the frosting. the cake recipe seemed to have too much sugar and butter and eggs and some reviewers said it was too dry. since i wanted this for a new years bash, i played it safe. so i used the cake recipe from Cooking Light's Strawberry Jam Crumb Cake (without the jam and without the crumb topping) http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-jam-crumb-cake-10000001185378/
this is actually my go to basic white cake recipe; it always turns out soft and moist an excellent. I doubled the ingredients, divided the batter into half, and used the two cakes with the Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting, which was a complete winner.I skipped the pralines and topped it with fresh sliced strawberrys instead. Uhm, with so many changes, i shouldnt be calling it a review of the recipe, i guess :) but it was a hit with the guests and family.
Just made today, so haven't tasted yet, but already know I won't make again, it was too much work and had the following problems:
1) I followed the carmel filling recipe exactly and it burned. I tried to salvage but it tasted burnt, so I scrapped that layer (it also ruined by pan). Not sure what went wrong.
2) The pecan pralines did not turn out the way they appear in the picture. They just have a hard coating, which where hard to break apart because they were sharp. Didn't use.
Would love to hear any thoughts on what may have gone wrong and why.
A lot of effort went into making this cake but it was worth it. A few comments:
- The cakes came out a bit dry. Perhaps a slightly shorter baking time would've been better.
- There is so much sugar in this recipe, so I made the following cuts: only used 1 1/4 cups white sugar in the cake, only made half the caramel filling, only made half the cream cheese frosting and probably only used 1/4 cup powdered sugar. I made all of the pecan praline, but it turned out to be too much. I suggest making only half of that as well.
So much work goes into this cake, and I also found it to be very, disappointingly dry. The icing was delicious, but next time I'm tempted to buy a box mix and just do the caramel topping and icing on that, instead. Followed directions exactly, but drydrydry.
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