Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting/Filling & Brown Butter Frosting

Source: Zucchero Dolce

Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting/Filling & Brown Butter Frosting
Makes a 2-4 layer 9" round cake.

Caramel Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water

Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan with high sides. Heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear brown caramel syrup. Gradually add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you should be protected.

Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water combines with the syrup and becomes a deep brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar if not using immediately.

Caramel Cake (aka - Burnt Sugar Cake by Nancie McDermott)

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup Caramel Syrup

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 2 – 3 minutes, until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in half a cup of the caramel syrup and beat well. Add a third of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, beating at a low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in another third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finally, add the remaining flour.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the center and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes into the wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Frosting

3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup Caramel Syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 – 4 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the caramel syrup, butter, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and continue beating until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if it is thin, and a little more milk if it is too thick.

Brown Butter Frosting
(enough to fill and frost 1 6" 2-layer cake)

2 sticks butter, browned
1 pound powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup caramel syrup
Pinch of Kosher salt (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Brown the butter, pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, and set aside to cool. Wait for it to cool completely.

Pour the cooled brown butter into mixer bowl (paddle attachment). Add about 1/3 of the powdered sugar, and beat. Add the caramel syrup, and continue beating. Add half the remaining powdered sugar, and beat. Add the 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of heavy cream, and beat until smooth. Add more cream if you'd like the frosting to be softer, and more powdered sugar if you'd like it to be stiffer. Add salt if desired.

Refrigerate until ready to use. Re-whip the frosting right before use.


Be sure the cake layer are completely cool. Cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. Place one layer of cake on your plate, and top with 1/4 of the frosting. This is a thin layer - the frosting is very sweet, so you don't want too much. Repeat with the remaining layers and frosting. Chill for an hour. Frost outside with Brown Butter Frosting.