Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Badass Caramel Cake

A few years ago I went to a funeral in a small town just up the road from Charleston. Folks were coming from near and far, bringing desserts, gallons of sweet tea and more fried chicken than one family could possibly eat. One sweet little lady brought a layered caramel cake. After tasting her cake, I decided that I would like to be a lady who can whip up a badass caramel cake. Last night I finally got up the courage to bake the dang thing.

I used the recipe for Gigi's Fabulous Caramel Cake from the cookbook Southern Cakes. The icing sets up very quickly and it becomes hard to evenly spread. While it tastes delicious, I just might be a little old lady before I can make this cake look as pretty as it did in the cookbook. You'll want to bring a glass of milk to the table, even a sweet tooth like mine is on overload with this cake.

Gigi’s Fabulous Caramel Cake


3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

7 tablespoons evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Combine butter and milk in a small sauce pan and cook until the butter melts. Let cool. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and mix well. In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beat well at high speed until smooth and thick. Stir the dry mixture, egg mixture, milk mixture and vanilla together until smooth. Pour batter in to prepared bake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool.
In a sauce pan, combine the brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat so that the frosting oils and bubbles gently. Cook for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Beat the warm icing with a wooden spoon 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Place a cake layer, top side down, on a cake stand or plate. Quickly spread some icing over the top and cover it with the second layer, top side up. Ice the top quickly and then spread the remaining icing over the sides. If the icing become too hard to spread, warm gently over low heat add a spoonful of evaporated milk and then scrape and stir well until the icing softens enough to spread again. Dip a table knife in very hot water to help soften and smooth icing out once it is spread.

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