Recipes

Caramel Cake

  • Serves

    serves 10-12

TODD COLEMAN

The recipe for this butter cake draped in caramel fudge icing is based on a cake originally made by Louise Hodges, a home cook from Carmack, Mississippi. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue, with Ben Mims' story Sweet Southern Dreams.

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • 3 cups cake flour, plus more for pans, sifted
  • 2 12 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 12 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs

For the Icing

  • 3 12 cups sugar
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 (15-oz. ) cans evaporated milk

Instructions

Step 1

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour three 9″ cake pans, and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Whisk together milk and vanilla in a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds. Divide batter among prepared pans, and smooth top with a rubber spatula; drop pans lightly on a counter to expel any large air bubbles. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks, and let cool.

Step 2

Make the icing and assemble the cake: Whisk together 3 cups sugar, butter, milk, and egg in a 6-qt. copper saucepan or Dutch oven; set aside. Heat remaining sugar in a small skillet over high heat, and cook, swirling pan, until sugar melts into an amber caramel, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour caramel into milk mixture, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; attach a candy thermometer to side of pan, and cook, stirring bottom constantly with a wooden spoon, until thermometer reads 232°, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately stir in vanilla and baking soda; let sit for 1 minute. Using a hand mixer, beat caramel mixture on medium-low speed until the consistency of loose pudding, about 1 minute. Immediately place one cake on a cake stand and pour over 1⁄2 cup caramel icing; top with second cake and pour over 1⁄2 cup icing. Top with third cake and pour remaining icing around the top edge of cake and then over the center. Quickly spread icing over sides of cake; let icing cool completely before serving. Store at room temperature.

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