Caramel Cake

After college most of my close girlfriends moved out of state, each one searching for something different. This left me here on a very different path. I promptly joined a book club in order to meet new people my age - it’s hard after college, and almost everyone I work with is old enough to be my parent - therefore, not interested in being my friend.

One of the first books we read when I joined was The Help, if you have not read this book - you need to!!

(Photo courtesy of the goodreads website - which I also love!)

When you read this book the mention of caramel cake is everywhere, it seemed like it was their prescription for “happy” in the book! I have been craving one ever since. So, here is my version of a caramel cake!

If you have never worked with a vanilla bean or don’t want to you can use a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead. If you have just never worked with vanilla beans the deal is you will find about two of them in a glass jar in the grocery store - spice aisle. Cut one in half, and then cut that piece in half again, you then run your knife through the inside of the bean and all these little black bits of deliciousness comes out.

Pour the caramel over the top of the cake - you want the caramel to be thinner to that it will soak into the cake. You are SUPPOSED to wait until the caramel sets a bit before having a slice… but, who does that!?


Caramel Cake

Yield: 8 slices

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


Hot Milk Sponge Cake:
4 eggs
2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 vanilla bean


For the hot milk sponge cake:
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the (9 inch round) pan - this makes life a million times easier when you need to get it out of the pan later. Beat the eggs first until they are pale and fluffy, then add the sugar and beat again. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the milk and beat until well combine. Add the milk a little at a time, and beat the rest until combine. Scrape the bowl with a spatula and pour the batter into the pan. Bake at about 350 for roughly 45 minutes - test with a toothpick. When it's done run a knife around the outside edge of the pan and flip over onto a platter (one with a lip if you have it).

For the caramel sauce:
Put all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed sauce pan, boil until all of the sugar has dissolved. It takes about 10 minutes, and you are going to need to use a spatula to keep the ingredients moving so that it doesn't burn. When it's done it will be thicker, darker, and it will have reduced to about half of the original amount.


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