Well, this is rather dark.
You’re probably going to want to keep this cake to yourself. But don’t, because you will make so many peeps happy by sharing.
I was looking for something quick to make for my son’s birthday yesterday. Caramel Cake to the rescue.
This Caramel Cake recipe starts with a boxed mix that gets doctored up to taste like a homemade vanilla cake. It’s very light textured, which is perfect since it is cloaked in an incredibly rich and sweet caramel icing that hardens up into a delectable shell.
I added some swirls of whipped cream to dress up the cake (and hide some imperfections), but a scoop of ice cream on the side would be mighty fine, too.
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
1 cup whole milk
8 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Quick Caramel Icing (Recipe below)
Whipped Cream to decorate, optional (Try the ‘No Weep’ recipe below, which is great on a hot day)
Purchased caramel sauce, optional, to drizzle over the whipped cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
2. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, then dust with flour.
3. Place the cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more.
4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
5. Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 27 to 29 minutes.
6. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert them again onto another rack to that the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
7. Meanwhile, prepare the Quick Caramel Icing.
8. Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with the warm frosting. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes. Work quickly, as the frosting will set. (If the frosting gets too hard to work with, place the pan back over low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to soften it up.) Once the frosting has set, slice and serve.
Note: Cake can be stored covered in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 1 week or it can be frozen, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight before serving.
Quick Caramel Icing
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place the butter and brown sugars in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, stir, and bring the mixture back to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until the icing is smooth.
2. Use immediately (while still warm) to frost the cake of your choice or the icing will harden. If it does harden while you are frosting the cake, simply place the pan back over low heat and stir until the icing softens up.
Makes 3 cups, enough to frost a 2- or 3-layer cake
Note: The icing is a bit tricky and you have to work FAST or it sets up. Still delicious, like a praline. Check these reviews here, where a lot of bakers added some extra milk to the icing to make it easier to work with.
Here is a photo of one side of my cake. You can see how I couldn’t get the icing to drip evenly to cover the entire cake. There were also some tiny lumps in the icing because I was too lazy to sift the confecioners’ sugar. Some swirls of whipped cream were perfect to cover up the imperfections.
Recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn
No Weep Whipped Cream
1 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons dry vanilla instant pudding mix (fold over paper envelope it comes in and keep for future use (1 box does about 3 batches of whipped)
1 teaspoon confectioners’sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Whip all ingredients together until firm peaks form.
2. Cover leftovers tightly in an air-tight plastic container. It will keep for one week in the fridge.
Recipe from Food.com
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Check out So Many Wizards on the band’s ultra cool Website, where you can buy their music.
Hi! Your recipie looks amazing and i wish i could do it for mother’s day. I have a question though, what is confectioners’sugar? Is it powdered sugar?
It might sound like a stupid question, but english is not my main language.
Thank you very much and i wish you a very nice day!
Yes, confectioners’ and powdered sugar are one and the same. Enjoy the cake and thanks so much for stopping by!
Made this cake over the weekend for a family celebration … WOW! It was, by far … one of the best cakes I have ever made. People were actually fighting over who got a slice! So much so that they were trying to “ration” the size of the slice people had! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I have already had half a dozen people asking me to make them another cake!
I’m so glad the cake was a hit! Thank you for letting me know. That’s so funny about the rationing.
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Can I bake in loaf pans? This is for a bake sale.
Hmmm. I cannot see why not since it is a doctored cake mix.
This post from Betty Crocker uses a similar doctored mix in loaf pans. I hope it is helpful. Definitely let me know how it turns out if you try!
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Salted or unsalted butter?
I usually use unsalted butter when baking. There is probably salt in the cake mix.
I hope you enjoy the cake! x
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Did you salted or unsalted butter throughout the recipe.
I like to use unsalted butter when baking which is what I used for this cake and its caramel icing. I hope you like the cake!
Can this cake be made in a bundt pan?
Can this cake be made in a bundt pan? This is my first comment EVER.
Yay! Thanks for the comment! xx
I found this article: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/8746-converting-layer-cakes-to-bundt Looks like the recipe will work in a bundt pan so long as the baking time is increased. (Keep checking the cake until a tester comes clean)
You will have to let me know how the cake turns out.
This recipe is delicious. Perfect in every way
I am so glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know! x
I’m terrible with layer cakes, though I love to eat them! I was wondering if I could baby this in a 9 x 13 pan.
I think that should work just fine. You’ll have to let me know how it turns out!