One of the students I work with, Jeff, had a birthday a couple of months ago. Of course, I made a cake, and I even started a blog post back then with the recipe. However, I got a distracted and never got back to it. I guess you could really call that getting totally sidetracked. Oh, this poor neglected blog.
Well, today was a holiday, and I spent pretty much the entire day doing absolutely nothing. I was feeling slightly guilty and thought before I go to bed I wanted to do at least one productive thing. It was then I looked over at the computer and remembered this unfinished post.
Back on the day before Jeff's birthday, I remember thinking I wanted to try something other than chocolate. Now, that seems so strange to think I wasn't in the mood for chocolate, but oh well. I wondered if there was such a thing as a caramel cake. I looked through all my cookbooks to no avail. Next, I went online, and I found a caramel cake recipe from Maya Angelou's cookbook. As I read through the recipe, I noticed that it had the same browned butter frosting that goes on my favorite cookie in the world, sour cream cookies with browned butter frosting. I seriously cannot control myself when these cookies are in vicinity. If Maya Angelou's cake might be in any way like these cookies, I thought should give it a try.
|Sour cream cookies with browned butter frosting—If it weren't so late and I wouldn't have to go to the store to pick up some sour cream, I'd make me a batch right now. And, eat most of them.|
The recipe calls for caramel syrup in the batter. You could make your own, but that was more trouble than I wanted, so I just went with a store bought jar of Mrs. Richardson's. The cake doesn't have a real strong caramel flavor, but it is really good.
The cake was a big hit at the office, and it did taste a lot like the cookies. However, I must warn you. This cake is rather sweet and is best enjoyed in small slices—and not the big ol' honkin' pieces we Americans tend to usually serve.
Happy birthday, Jeff! Hope it was a good one.
|The birthday boy with his cake|
And, here we have Jeff. Why the goofy look? He "thinks" he's impersonating me. Personally, I don't get it and think he looks rather silly. I'm sure I have never been photographed making such a silly face with a dessert. (Is there such a thing as a sarcasm emoticon?)
Caramel Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
from Maya Angelou
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- ¼ cup caramel syrup (I used Mrs. Richardson's)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsps. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease two 8-in. round cake pans, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, grease again, and then flour. 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 caramel 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. Fold into cake batter until well combined.
Divide cake batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until cakes spring back when gently touched in the center. Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes. Loosen the cake edges with a sharp knife and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Remove parchment paper. Let cakes cool to completely before frosting.
Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate. 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. Spread entire cake with frosting and drizzle with caramel syrup. Remove parchment paper strips.
Browned Butter Frosting
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 16 ounces powdered sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color. Remove pan from heat immediately and pour butter into a bowl. Be very careful not to burn. Let cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.