Whether you have a reason to celebrate or not, this salted caramel cake is sure to be a real crowd pleaser.
I wanted this cake to be a little different to something I have made before and I was thinking how I could achieve that without getting too weird or wacky… I had the ‘super’ creative idea of having two different layers of cake, classic chocolate and brown sugar cake. Using the brown sugar cake gave the sponges a richer more caramel taste to the cake – all the caramel tones without all of the added sweetness.
To keep things super simple, I made 4 layers of cake (alternating the different flavours), sandwiched together with caramel Italian buttercream and on the one layer, filled with caramel and fudge pieces (if you add caramel and pudge pieces in-between each layer, the cake won’t be as stable, plus it can make the cake overly sweet and unenjoyable). Coated and finished with the same caramel buttercream, then a caramel drip was added – not forgetting the mini salted pretzels for on top of the rosettes and a small blog of caramel for in the middle of the rosettes (oh and some more mini fudge pieces, optional of course).
This would be the perfect cake for any celebration, especially for those who like a mixture of flavours and even for those who say they don’t – when something is homemade, it can change their mind from the store bought version they’re use to.
Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?
Brown sugar cake:
250g light brown sugar.
2 tsp vanilla extract.
250g plain flour.
2 tsp baking powder.
pinch of salt.
250g granulated sugar.
200g plain flour.
50g cocoa powder.
2 tsp baking powder.
pinch of salt.
Salted caramel buttercream:
500g granulated sugar.
140g egg yolks.
1 whole egg.
1kg butter, softened to room temp.
Caramel for the filling and drip.
Fudge pieces for the filling and decoration on top.
Before you get started on any element of the recipe, you’ll want to do some prep. Start by weighing up all of your ingredients, lining your 8 inch cake tins with parchment paper circles and get any equipment you may need ready, such as a stand mixer and spatula. Don’t forget to preheat your oven t 180˚c/350˚f.
For this cake I’m making two different flavoured cakes with the same method, therefore I won’t give you the same method twice in the recipe below.
To start on the recipe, make the buttercream – which super easy and isn’t the sickly sweet American buttercream recipe you’re use to.
To start on the recipe, grab a small-medium saucepan and place in the water and granulated sugar and mix the two until combined, then place on the hob over a medium-high heat. You want this mixture to reach 121˚c, it takes a short while.
While you’re waiting for your mixture to come up to temperature, you can work on the egg part.
Whisk together the egg yolks and whole egg over a medium-high speed until everything is combined and the mixture is a pale yellowish colour and increased a significant amount.
Once your sugar mixture has come up to 121˚c, you can remove it from the heat and steadily pour it over the egg mixture over a low speed. Once all the mixture has been added, crank the speed upto a high and whisk until you can touch the bottom of the bowl with the back of your hand.
Now that the mixture has whisked together and is cool enough, you can start adding your butter, piece by piece. At first, you may notice the mixture looks quite loose and this is normal. As the butter is added and incorporated, the mixture will thicken and start looking like a buttercream.
Add in the vanilla and whisk until everything has been fully incorporated.
You can now go ahead and add in the caramel, mixing it in until, it’s fully incorporated. Chill in the fridge – this buttercream does seem to firm up a lot, so if you’re intending on using it, I recommend taking it out of the fridge 60 minutes before you intend on using it.
Now that the buttercream is out of the way, you can focus on the cakes.
Start by taking a mixing bowl and placing in the butter and sugar and beating the two together until they are lighter and fluffier in colour and consistency – this usually takes anything from 5-10 minutes, all depending on how warm the butter was and how warm the environment it around you.
Once very well combined, you can then go ahead and give the bowl a good scraping down. This is just too incorporate any bits that may not have been fully worked in from earlier on, most commonly towards the top of the bowl and the very bottom of the bowl.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well in-between each addition – doing this way helps to lower the risk of splitting or curdling the mixture (although, if that happens don’t panic). This is also the perfect time to use the vanilla extract, if you’re using it of course.
You can go ahead and give the bowl another good scraping down, this is to again just incorporate any bits that may not have been fully incorporated in properly.
Now add in the dry ingredients, passing them through a sieve (as some dry ingredients have a tendency to be lumpy), then mix on a low speed to start with, working your way up to a medium-high speed – ensuring the dry ingredients are almost fully worked in and the mixture looks smooth and glossy. If you find the mixture is a little stiff, you can add in a small amount of milk to achieve the perfect consistency. Once the milk has been incorporated, you can stop the mixer.
Ideally, you’ll give the bowl one final scraping down. This is just to incorporate any bits of dry ingredients that haven’t been fully incorporated.
Split the cake mixture between your cake tins (should be 2 x 8 inch cake tins, spreading the cake batter as level as you can (to ensure a consistent bake). Place into your preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool fully before you even attempt to decorate – I usually make mine the day before I intend on using them.
If you want to use simple syrup – now is the ideal time to make it. Simply place sugar and water into a saucepan and place on the hob, over a medium-high heat. Allow to come to a boil and then simmer briefly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before using.
Trim the tops from the cakes, this will make stacking the cakes much easier in the long run. If you’re using simple syrup, brush it over now.
Once everything has been made and is ready – you can start decorating.
Take your display board/cake stand/plate and smear a small amount of buttercream into the centre of it. Then press it gently into place and top with a generous amount of buttercream, you can then place an alternative layer of cake on top and this time top with buttercream, a layer of caramel (salted, ideally) and fudge pieces. Then proceed with the cake as usual – I don’t have other layers with the caramel and fudge pieces due to stability of the cake, it would become to much of a risk.
As this cake wasn’t for any occasion in particular, I chose to go with a more ‘rustic’ look. I didn’t apple a crumb coat and didn’t care whether you could see the cake underneath, you can always apply a crumb coat, if you want to.
Smooth the icing to get that almost perfectly smooth and then place into the fridge to firm up a little – around 30-60 minutes would be ideal. Place the remain buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
To finish the cake off, simple heat a small amount of the caramel to make the drips. I use a microwave to gently heat the caramel – not too hot! Place into a piping bag and make drops of varying lengths around the cake. Allow the drips to firm up by placing the cake into the fridge for around 10-15 minutes.
Then you can go ahead and pipe 8 rosettes on top of the cake , ensuring there is no gaps in-between the rosettes, don’t forget to add more height, flavour and texture to the cake – use some mini salted pretzels on top of each rosette. I like to fill the centre of the rosettes with a generous amount of the caramel and some more fudge pieces.
Chill in the fridge and enjoy! Thats how I make my take on a salted caramel cake – its pretty simple.
That’s all for today guys, I hope you enjoyed. If you did, don’t forget to share this recipe with your family and friends and enjoy it. I’ll be back soon with another blog post and YouTube video, so join me then. In the meanwhile, don’t forget to check out my other social’s – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. The YouTube tutorial will be linked down below.