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Southern Caramel Cake

Southern Caramel Cake

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I have been wanting to try my hand at making a caramel cake for quite some time, and after some research I decided to go with this recipe from Grandbaby Cakes. It's an authentic, true Southern recipe and everything is done from scratch with no shortcuts, including the caramel. So you definitely don't want to make this if you're in a hurry! All the time and love put into this cake however, pays in dividends as you take that first bite of your masterpiece. It consists of a moist yet slightly dense yellow cake and a gooey caramel that is cooked on the stovetop for 1 and a half to 2 hours. This was my first time making caramel with evaporated milk and I started to get worried that it didn't seem to be getting thick enough. Have faith though! In the end it thickened and turned out perfect.  I made the cake the day before the caramel, which made things a little easier time-wise. If you're looking for a cake that's going to impress, this is the cake!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 & a half cups granulated sugar
3 cups cake flour, sifted
6 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

For Aunt Bev’s Caramel Icing:

3/4 cup (170g) butter
2 (12 ounce or 340ml) cans evaporated milk
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Spray 3 9 inch round cake pans with baking spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, oil and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale in colour and light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs and yolks one at a time and mix until well blended. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, alternate the flour mixture with the sour cream, ending with the flour and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour batter into the 3 pans evenly and bake in preheated oven for 23-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. DO NOT OVER-BAKE THE CAKES (test them early). Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes in pans, then remove and allow to cool completely before icing.
  6. Make the caramel icing: Over medium heat, add butter, evaporated milk, and sugar to saucepan until everything has melted together. Mixture will come to a boil. Leave over medium heat, stirring periodically, for 1 and a half to 2 hours. (keep a watchful eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn). The caramel is ready once it has thickened and is a deep golden brown. To ensure thickness, it should coat the back of a spoon.
  7. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool for 15-20 mins before icing the cake.
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