Daring Bakers # 6 Caramel Cake

This months challenge was brought to you by the following..

The recipe came from http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006/12/24/caramel-cake-the-recipe/ by Shuna fish Lydon.

This was a fabulous challenge. I didn’t have any real issues other than having to make the caramel syrup twice. I think I cooked it long the first go around. The cake and frosting were different from any other I have tasted. The cake was scrumptious, I loved the dense and moist texture. The frosting..oh the frosting…when I first tasted it, I didn’t like it one bit. But I wasn’t giving up on it yet. I stuck my finger in it a few more times and it grew on me. And then it was allllll over, I couldn’t stop eating it. I choose to make cupcakes because everyone was saying how overly sweet the cake was. But I loved it and so did everyone else that gobbled them up!

CARAMEL CAKE with Caramelized Butter Frosting

1 1/4 Cups SUGAR
1/2 teaspoon KOSHER SALT
1/2 teaspoon BAKING POWDER

*Caramel syrup recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350F
Butter one tall 9″ cake pan.
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth.
2. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
3. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl.
4. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
5. Sift flour and baking powder.
6. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dries.
7. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time.
8. Add another third of the dries, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dries. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
9. Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds. making sure batter is uniform.
Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.
Cake will keep for three days unrefrigerated


2 Cups SUGAR
1/2 Cup WATER
1 Cup water for “stopping”

1. In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand.
2. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush.
3. Turn on heat to highest flame.
4. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.
5. When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and prepared to step back.
6. Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}
For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


12 tablespoons UNSALTED BUTTER
4-6 Tablespoons HEAVY CREAM
2-4 Tablespoons CARAMEL SYRUP
Kosher or sea salt to taste

1. Cook butter until brown.
2. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.
3. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.
Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.

Some of my cupcakes looked like this but…

most pulled away from the liners.


  1. 1

    oh they’re so cute! congrats! πŸ™‚

  2. 2

    I hope you also served this at T-day because wow, when did you get it done? Looks awesome.

  3. 3

    I’m just starting to bake, so recipes like this are interesting for me! May I ask why the cupcakes pulled away from the liners?

  4. 4

    OMG, your cupcakes loo fantastic! I love that tall, tall swirl of frosting you’ve got going on. Fabulous!

  5. 5

    Your cupcakes look delicious! I love how you piped the frosting!

  6. 6
    VeggieGirl says:

    Faaaaabulous cupcakes!!

  7. 7

    Love your first photo – I didn’t get to make this with the circumstances in my home – I wasn’t able to BE home. My first DB challenge to miss. Glad you ended up liking the frosting! I had read how so many people thought it was too sweet.

  8. 8
    The Blonde Duck says:

    I love this little mini cakes! Too cute!

  9. 9

    I love how you made cupcakes. Can I have one?

  10. 10
    RecipeGirl says:

    Looks great!

  11. 11

    Your cupcakes look great & I agree these were so yummy!

  12. 12

    The flavours did grow on you. I kept going back for more and it tasted better each time.

  13. 13
    madcapcupcake says:

    I love cupcakes. Enough said πŸ™‚ GREAT job!

  14. 14

    Ooo, your cupcakes look amazing! Great job!

  15. 15

    Leslie! Divine as usual! They look wonderful!

  16. 16

    Your cupcakes look so cute! Yum!

  17. 17
    Gretchen Noelle says:

    The frosting was my major downfall as well. I loved the salty sweet combo.

  18. 18
    Speedbump Kitchen says:

    Great job! I love the piping!

  19. 19

    Yummy! The frosting looks like clouds in heaven! πŸ˜‰ Caramel is a beast to make, but SO good and worth it!

  20. 20

    Wow, your cupcakes look so cute! They look like the perfect cupcakes in an Anime cartoon or something. Too perfect to be real. Okay, I’m just amazed so now I’m rambling. What did you use to pipe your frosting?

  21. 21

    I agree! I had to keep testing the frosting, but after a while I couldn’t get enough of it! Nice job on the cupcakes.

  22. 22

    I like it this way best. Caramel frosting, that does sound good.

  23. 23
    The Cherub's Craft Blog says:

    Love your cupcakes, they look divine!!

  24. 24
    Clumbsy Cookie says:

    I like the frosting pipping! If it was green it would look like a Christmas tree! They’re lovely!

  25. 25

    Lovely cupcakes! Great job!!

  26. 26

    Your cupcakes and frosting look delicious. Some of my cupcakes pulled away from the liners

  27. 27

    These look great – wonderful job on this challenge!

  28. 28

    Caramel is not my friend :P, I would’ve had to make it 3 or maybe 4 times :D. The picture is very cute!

    I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  29. 29

    I love your photos!! These are super cute!!

  30. 30

    Great job on your cupcakes and love the way you’d done your piping. Makes it really look elegant.

  31. 31

    I made cupcakes, too! And yes, many of mine also pulled away from the liners within a couple of days. Very cute!

  32. 32

    I love the cute cloud-like pile of frosting on your cupcakes

  33. 33

    Beautiful cupcakes! I agree that the frosting grew on me after I kept tasting it πŸ™‚

  34. 34

    Cute cupcake!

  35. 35

    Caramel scares me! You are so brave. And I’m glad it worked out so well.

    Can’t believe you found time to post with all that yummy stuff going on at your house on Thanksgiving!

  36. 36

    Your cupcakes look lovely. The ones that pulled away from the wrappers just made them easier and faster to eat πŸ™‚

  37. 37

    Leslie, your cupcakes are lovely!

  38. 38

    Great looking cupcakes! The self-peeling cupcakes is a great idea! Who wants to be slowed down by the cupcake paper. Not I! lol! πŸ™‚

  39. 39

    i love the idea that you made them into cup cakes… and they look so good… πŸ™‚

  40. 40

    Your cupcakes look delicious–I love the caramel drizzled over the top.

  41. 41

    Beautiful Leslie! Glad you are back, you have such a fun blog. Have a great rest of your weekend!

  42. 42
    Bumblebutton says:

    Super cute–they look great. I think there were frosting covered fingers being licked all over the place! Yum.

  43. 43

    I want to lick the frosting right off that cupcake! πŸ™‚

  44. 44
    mylittlestitches says:

    Woah! Frosting overload! I bet those were delicious!

  45. 45

    Cupcakes! Your cupcake looks awesome, the frosting looks like a beautiful cloud of sweetness.

  46. 46

    oh dear, i start to run out of adjectives to praise your sweet creations πŸ™‚ every DB challenge. Anyways, your caramel cupcakes are “stupendous”

    ps, i have to use a thesaurus to come up with that hehehe kisses

  47. 47

    Oh wow – those are delicious! I’m so amazed that all you DB’s got this done with the Thanksgiving madness!

  48. 48
    culinography says:

    We’re twinkies! Beautiful cupcake!!

  49. 49

    Those big fluffy swirls of frosting look so tempting… Wonderful job on the challenge!

  50. 50

    Your swirled frosting came out perfectly. I just bought some new tips and have been dying to give the a swirl, ha-ha!
    Good job with the challenge!

  51. 51
    Cynthia's Blog says:

    Leslie, I enjoyed your post on the caramel cake. I loved it. Yes, I couldn’t stop dipping my fingers in the frosting either.

  52. 52

    What great looking cupcakes and a beautiful mound of frosting!

  53. 53

    Hi Leslie,
    How are you ?
    Thank you for your visit and your very nice comment πŸ™‚
    I’m very excited about December’s challenge !

  54. 54

    Ya know, I’ve been wanting to try a carmelized butter frosting…and you made it sound nice and sinful, which is right up my alley (and later, on my ass, of course).

    By the way, your new family pics? DARLING!!!!!

  55. 55

    Pretty cupcakes. Bet they were yummy!

  56. 56

    I’m so glad you enjoyed our celebration of sugar. Thanks for baking with us!