So a few years ago when I really started to explore the food blogging world, I came across the recipe for Baked brownies. It took me a bit to realize that Baked was a place and not a method…(aren’t all brownies baked?!). Well, from there I bought their first cookbook and fell in love. I know that someday if I ever make it to Brooklyn, I will make a beeline to Baked and get a slice of their Sweet and Salty cake.
I’ve made that cake a couple times and those experiences taught me a couple things. First, be sure to have all your ingredients ready: measured, room temp, whatever the recipe calls for! Second, how to manage my time. I think the first attempt, it took me all day. I’m talking from maybe 10 o’clock to 4. I was trying to do everything at once instead of breaking down all the steps. In the end the cake was amazing, but there was a bit of stress along the way.
Well, this isn’t that cake. This cake is a bit easier, but still a few steps to get to the end. I also knew what I was getting into, so I read the recipe numerous times before starting.
I chose this cake to post about mostly because it is in the new Baked Elements cookbook that I got for Christmas this year. Eventually I’ll be making that Sweet and Salty cake and you’ll see it here too.
Antique Caramel Cake
from Baked Elements
For the Cake:
1 stick butter, softened, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup well shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare 2 9 inch cake pans* by buttering and lining with parchment paper. Dust with flour and shake out excess. Set aside while you prepare the batter.
In your bowl place softened butter and beat with the paddle attachment of your standing mixer. Beat for approximately 1 minute until butter is creamy. Add sugars and beat until mixture is fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Scrape down bowl again, then add flour in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk beginning and ending with flour.
In a small bowl or cup, dissolve baking soda in vinegar (it will bubble up), and beat into batter until just combined.
Divide batter into two prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake 27-32 minutes*, rotating pans halfway through. Cakes will be done when tops are golden and toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Place pans on wire racks to cool for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and place them on cooling racks to cool completely. Remove parchment.
*the original recipe calls for 8 inch pans. I only have 9 inch, so used those. I also adjusted baking time because of this. If you have 8 inch pans, adjust baking time to 32-37 minutes.
For the Caramel Frosting:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 stick butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, divided
1/3 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teasp0on salt
2 1/4 cups** confectioner’s sugar, sifted
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir brown sugar and 1/2 stick of butter until melted and combined. Bring to boil and boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in cream. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely.
Once mixture is nearly cool, place remaining butter into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth. Add cream cheese and salt and beat until mixture is smooth. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Beat an additional few seconds. Turn mixer to low and slowly add caramel mixture. Scrape down bowl and, with mixer on low, add powdered sugar. Once incorporated, beat until smooth. (Baked note: If mixture seems too loose, refrigerate 5-10 minutes until in firms up. Mine was OK, so I didn’t have to do this.)
**Original recipe called for 2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar. I added approximately a 1/4 cup more because I didn’t think it was sweet enough. I also wanted the cream cheese flavor to be less pronounced.
Once cakes are completely cool, transfer bottom layer to your serving dish. Using an offset spatula and approximately 3/4 of frosting, spread frosting evenly on top. Place second layer on top of first and frost top in the same way. Using remaining frosting, iced sides of cake. Refrigerate cake for 15 minutes to set before serving.
Store in the refrigerator covered for up to 3 days. Allow to come up to almost room temp for serving.
If desired you can drizzle Sweet and Salty Caramel on top of cake and also use it to serve on the side. (I didn’t get pictured when I was making this, so the recipe will be coming up in the next couple weeks when I have the chance to make it again and take the pics.)