Antique Caramel Cake

23 Jan

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.

DSC00295Butter and sugars together. (Mine never got fluffy like I thought it should. I just went with what I had.)

DSC00298This is what it looks like after the addition of the eggs.

DSC00300Batter in the pans.

DSC00302Out of the oven.

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.

DSC00304Butter and brown sugar in pan.

DSC00305After the butter, brown sugar was melted and boiled with addition of heavy cream.

DSC00307Butter and cream cheese in the mixer!

DSC00308Mixture with cream cheese, butter and brown sugar caramel added.

DSC00311After powdered sugar is added. Frosting is done!

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.

DSC00315Assembly of the cake. This is the top layer. Bottom layer is frosted the same way!

DSC00316(Do you see the spider web of my cooling rack imprinted on the cake? Pretty!)

DSC00319All frosted!

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.)




17 Jan

Although we’re a few weeks into January – it is still January so I wanted to do a quick post on Vasilopita.

Last year, there were several things going on within our family plus wedding planning plus trying to maintain calm, patient, hopeful  and sane.  My mother-in-law was not able to bake the traditional bread/cake that she would normally make for the New Year, but one of the sisters and myself had the same thought – we each baked our own Vasilopita on her behalf.  Vasilopita is a bread/cake that is traditionally baked for the New Year.  The cake is cut to bless your home and bring good luck in the new year.  It is usually cut at midnight by the head of the house hold and a slice of cake is designated for each member of the family.

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Caramelized Onion, Potato and Goat Cheese Pizza

2 Jan

There is a new restaurant in our small little city that has consistently dished out some of the best food in town. Chad and I have loved everything we have tried there and one of our favorites was a Potato and Goat Cheese pizza. But because I have wanted to try something different each time we’ve gone in, I haven’t gotten it again. So I thought I would try to replicate it at home. I did just that but for some added flavor I decided to caramelize the onions. This kicked up the flavor and it was divine. I liked it better than the original!


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Candy Cane Cookies

26 Dec

Nostalgia always gets the best of me starting in October all the way up until the New Year.  While browsing around Pinterest, again, I saw a link for Candy Cane Cookies and it made me very happy.  My aunt used to make my cousins and I these cookies during the Christmas season when we were kids and I loved them so much.  Although my cousin Amanda and I are over 2,000 miles away sometimes we have the same thought and coincidentally this time, cookies were involved, Candy Cane Cookies.

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Caramelized Onions

19 Dec

Oh, the possibilities! I have, right now, two ideas for these onions. One is coming up in a couple of weeks and, the other, I’m still trying to figure out. But this is a “recipe” all unto itself. It takes some time, but the end result is so worth it. The onions take on a beautiful color and the sweetness of a jam. Yup, jam. I was eating forkfuls straight from the container throughout the afternoon.


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Broiled Salmon Salad with Inca Red Quinoa

12 Dec

With the holidays all around us, I have been finding it difficult to fit in proper meals – especially when people bring cookies, cakes, and candies to work.  The rushing around with the holiday shopping and having to go to Target for the billionth time of the day doesn’t help either.  Lately, sadly, I have only been able to squeeze in one meal a day.  Last week I told myself I was going to eat something healthy and the goal was: quick, easy and delicious.  I came up with this (it’s probably the healthiest meal I’ve had since Thanksgiving):

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5 Dec


Kouloura are a Greek cookie. I guess it would be considered a butter cookie; it is slightly sweet and crumbly. They are perfect for eating and/or dunking in coffee.

In fact, I had my first taste of coffee with these cookies. I remember my dad sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a koulouri. He would dunk it and I would get to eat the coffee moistened cookie, delicious!

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