Cupcake Ranking: 4 Cupcakes
I read the novel "The Help" sometime last year and was intrigued with the infamous Carmel Cake. When I was looking at the 44 layer cake recipes and this was one of them, I was sold. I love carmel and combined with a cake. GOLDEN! Anyway, being from Idaho the idea of a Carmel cake was foreign. In fact, a friend from Georgia told me I was mispronoucing it. It is pronounced Care-uh-mell Cake. Not Carmel. So, this weekend I made the Carmel Cake and the frosting was so delicious, if my kids hadn't been in the room, I would have stuck my head in the bowl and licked it clean. Holy Smoke. DEEELICIOUS.
(For some reason I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients. Sorry.)
1 C Sugar
1 C Water
Heat sugar and 1 cup water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and comes to a boil. Continue cooking, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush but without stirring, until mixture becomes golden amber in color. (This took about 15 minutes for me. BE CAREFUL. It will go from amber color to black FAST).
Immediately remove from heat and add 1/2 cup water. Return to heat and continue stirring until mixture becomes liquid. Transfer to a heatproof container and let cool completely before using.
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted Butter
1 1/4 C Sugar
1/4 C Caramel Syrup, plus more for serving
2 C sifted all-purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C Milk
2 large Eggs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray (I used 9 inch so the cake was thinner and dense. Set pans aside.
Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in syrup.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix flour mixture into butter mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Beat eggs until foamy in another bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir into cake batter until well combined.
Divide cake batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cakes spring back when gently touched in the center, about 25 minutes (Mine was about 16 minutes). If cakes do not spring back, return to oven and continue cooking about 10 minutes more.
Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack and remove parchment paper round. Let cakes cool to room temperature before frosting.
12 Tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted Butter
1 package (16 ounces) Confectioners' Sugar
1/2 C heavy Cream, plus more if needed
1 Tbs pure Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool. (Once it browns it will scorch quickly. The butter will foam, reduce and then brown. Remove from heat immediately).
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners' sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter (The Salt is a must! It gives it that delicous carmel taste). With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.
Place the first layer on the cake plate. Spread the top of the first layer with frosting. Top with the remaining layer, bottom-side up. Serve cake drizzled with any remaining caramel syrup.
The cake was really dense. I'm not sure if it is because it was thin or made with butter, but it was still yummy. It tasted like pound cake with a carmel highlight. The combination of the cake and the frosting was awesome. There were salty, carmely, and maplee tastes in every single bite. If you have a sweet tooth and need a fix, this is the cure all. Happy indulgance.