i heart cake

Daring Baker’s Challenge – Caramel Cake With Caramelised Butter Frosting

Posted on: November 29, 2008

After reading about The Daring Bakers, i finally plucked up the courage to join. I’ve been reading my favourite bloggers and noticed they were also Daring Bakers so it was a case of ‘anything you can do, i can do’ (let’s not get too cocky – i’m leaving the ‘better’ part out!).
It was a nervous wait to find out what the November challenge would be. Finally, we were told that it was going to be Caramel Cake With Caramelised Butter Frosting. At first, it didn’t seem too hard, however as i read on, it wasn’t as easy as i had hoped (otherwise what was the point?).
A caramel cake might sound easy to some, but this recipe called for extra efforts. We had to make the caramel syrup from scratch. I’ve never attempted caramel before so i was eager to get started, but not before waiting a few weeks so i could get hints and tips from other bakers. Thankfully i did, as i picked up lots of great ideas which would have saved me a lot of time (and frustration).
Caramel Cake With Caramelised Butter Frosting

Caramel Cake With Caramelised Butter Frosting

 Caramel Cake With Caramelised Butter Frosting

  • 142 grams butter at room temperature
  • 280 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (i just used sea salt)
  • 80 ml caramel syrup
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • splash vanilla extract
  • 286 grams all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 240 ml milk at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/176C
  2. Butter one tall (5-6/2 – 2.5 inch deep) 23cm/9-inch cake pan
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt and cream until light and fluffy
  4. Slowly, pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed
  5. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform
  6. Sift flour and baking powder
  7. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other hald of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients (This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter)
  8. Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform
  9. Turn batter into prepared cake pan
  10. Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes (your own oven will set the pace)
  11. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean
  12. Cool cake completely before icing it. Cake will keep for three days outside of the refridgerator

Caramel Syrup

  • 450 grams cups sugar
  • 120 ml cup water
  • 240 ml cup water (for ‘stopping’)


  1. In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand
  2. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush
  3. Turn on heat to highest flame and cook until smoking slightly: dark amber
  4. When colour is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water
  5. Caramel will jump and splutter about, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back (a great tip i learned was to cut out a sheet of foil with a small hole in the middle, cover the pan and pour the water through the hole – saved me from getting hot caramel all over me!)
  6. Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers (wait for it to cool before touching it!)

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

Boiling the sugar and water to make the caramel syrup

Boiling the sugar and water to make the caramel syrup


Caramel syrup almost ready

Caramel syrup almost ready

Caramelised Butter Frosting

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 454 grams icing sugar, sifted
  • 60-90 ml heavy/double cream
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 30-60ml caramel syrup
  • kosher sea salt to taste


  1. Cook butter until brown and pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool
  2. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add icing sugar a little a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup
  4. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all icing sugar has been incorporated
  5. Add salt to taste (i found i need quite a bit of salt to counter-act the VERY sweet frosting)

Note: Caramelised butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month. To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.

My verdict

The cake does take a bit of effort, but when finished, it is absolutely DIVINE! The cake itself it dense, but soft. I know that doesn’t make sense, but it’s the heaviest, lightest cake you’ll ever try! The butter frosting is way too sweet, so next time, i’ll cut down the icing sugar by 1/3. I sprinkled some sea salt over my slice and was heavenly. It really works well with such a sweet frosting.


The caramel syrup was fairly easy to make. I was left over with plenty which i really don’t know what to do with. Next time i may halve the ingredients as the cake only calls for a small amount.

I am pretty happy with my first challenge and glad i’ve learned something new in the baking world. Bring on December’s challenge i say!


Recipes above courtesy of Shauna Fish Lydon

Link to Shauna’s website is:
http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006 … he-recipe/

To the author’s name: Shuna Fish Lydon

The blog host is Delores at http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/

Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo) at (
Jenny of Foray into Food (http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/).
Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go (
http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/) for gluten-free assistance.


12 Responses to "Daring Baker’s Challenge – Caramel Cake With Caramelised Butter Frosting"

Great first challenge. Your cake looks delicious. I totally agree with it being dense but soft!!

i love your cake,it fantastic!!

You impressed me with your first challenge. I am happy that you liked the cake, because I did not. Well done.

Welcome to daring Bakers! I just started last month and so far am so impressed by the recipes and everyone’s cakes. Yours looks great! 🙂 I ended up giving the caramel syrup to a friend who has boys that like ice cream-they can never have too much sugar lol

I seriously need to stop coming to your blog, I torment my taste buds everytime!

Well done chook. G.xx

Lovely job on your first challenge!! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

congrats on your 1st challenge, you did a great job!
You can use your caramel syrup to make caramel flan or french dessert creme renversée, or use it in a tart tatin, an upside-down apple or pineapple cake, you can add it to your yoghurt or ice-cream.. as you may have noticed, I would NEVER halve the caramel syrup if I was to make this cake again!!

Congratulations on your first challenge Jen! It looks delicious!

BEAUTIFUL cake! What a wonderful first challenge. I don’t think I added more salt, but a couple of bites had a bit more in them and it was a nice contrast to the sweet.

The exchange of ideas is one of the best parts of being a Daring Baker.

Welcome aboard!

Welcome to the Daring Bakers and congratulations on your first challenge – well done!

Wow! Jen, congratulations on your first challenge! What does Marc think of all the baking? 😛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: