Sunday, 30 September 2012

Caramel layer cake

I was so excited to finally receive the latest British Bake Off book in the library, I'd had it reserved for a while. I knew that I HAD to bake something out of it as soon as possible and it happened to be Scott's sister's birthday, so I tried out this caramel cake.

The book's version
and mine...

Yum! It was so good. The caramel icing was quite difficult to work with, because it was either setting too quickly and not spreading or spreading too easily and dripping down the sides. I decided to just leave it to set in the fridge and then tidied it up afterwards by using a spatula dipped in boiling water. 

For the cake 

300g self raising flour
pinch of salt
300g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, very soft but not runny
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling
225g unsalted butter, softened
450g dark brown muscovado sugar
175ml double cream
300g icing sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes, or to taste
100g dark chocolate, broken up 

3 x 20.5cm sandwich tins, greased and the base lined with baking paper
disposable piping bag

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl of a large free-standing electric mixer (or into a mixing bowl if you are going to use a hand held electric mixer) Add the butter to the bowl, in pieces. Whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla using a fork, then add to the bowl.Beat on low speed until everything is thoroughly combined and very smooth, thick and light.
  • Divide the mixture evenly among the 3 tins and spread level. Bake for about 25 minutes until the sponges are springy when gently pressed in the centre and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tins. 
  • Set the tins on a wire rack and run a round-bladed knife around the insides to loosen the sponges, then cool for 2 minutes before turning out. Leave to cool completely. 
  • Meanwhile, make the caramel filling. Put 175g of the weighed butter into a medium-sized pan with the muscovado sugar and cream. Heat gently until the butter has melted, then bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the mixture into a heatproof mixing bowl and beat in the icing sugar, using an electric mixer. When the sugar has been incorporated, continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and barely warm. Gradually beat in the rest of the butter and the salt. Add more salt, if needed.
  • Put the pieces of dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of steaming hot (not boiling) water and melt gently, stirring until smooth. Spoon about half the chocolate into another bowl, and stir in slightly less than 1/4 of the caramel mixture. 
  • To assemble the cake, set one sponge layer on a serving plate and spread over one-third of the caramel mixture. Spread a second sponge layer with the chocolate-caramel mixture and set on the first layer. Place the third sponge layer on top. Leave the cake to set in the fridge slightly (to avoid a landslide!) then cover the top and then the sides of the assembled cake with the remaining caramel mixture, working quickly before the mixture firms up. 
  • Spoon the remaining melted chocolate into the disposable piping bag and snip off the end. From the centre, pipe a spiral on the cake, then 'feather' the surface by drawing a cocktail stick through the icing from the centre to the edge at regular intervals. Then, in between the feathered lines, draw the stick back to the centre from the edge. To marble the icing, pipe random loops and circles of chocolate onto the caramel icing, then swirl the two together with the cocktail stick.
  • Leave to set. The cake can be kept, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days.
Caramel layer cake 

Caramel layer cake

By the time I remembered to get my SLR out, this was all that was left! Oops. It was my first time trying out the feathering technique and it was quite easy but with impressive results. It was really delicious and the recipe said that the taste gets even better the day after as the flavour matures so I'm going to try a slice after tea. Now, which recipe to try out next... 


  1. So jealous! I finished our last slice of cake at lunch time and can't be bothered to make another just tonight.Rx

  2. It looks brilliant, really professional looking! Well done :)

  3. That cake looks absolutely incredible-great job :)
    Rachelle x

  4. Yummm... I may try this one day. Need a nice sponge cake for my cake decorating class, but I just can't choose which sponge to do! Too many recipe books will do that! x

  5. That looks amazing! I'd love to see you enter Great British Bake Off haha! =)

  6. mmm this looks so yummy ! im going to have to look out for this book in the library :)

    Beautiful Dreams

  7. Oh wow this looks amazing! xo

  8. That looks AMAZING! Must check my local library tomorrow and see if I can reserve a copy!

  9. That looks amazing, really reminds me of the cakes my grandma used to make!

  10. mmmm this looks amazing and I love the presentation/decoration x

  11. I love how glossy your caramel icing looks. It looks like a very inviting cake. Definitely a sign of a good cake if you barely get time to photograph it! Can't wait to see what else you bake from the book :)

  12. Yours turned out so well, looks so yummy !

  13. Oh my this looks delicious! I love caramel. Oh dear now my stomach is rumbling


  14. My word this looks amazing! It looks so much like the one on the picture too!
    Kaz x

  15. That looks delicious! I need to try this.

    I made a coloured, ombre layer cake recently, which turned out okay.

    It's int he How tos page on my blog, think you may like it. xx

  16. You've done a pretty great job!! That looks delicious!

  17. This looks amazing - I love the pattern you did on the top!

  18. Your cake looks just like the one in the book! You are so good!

  19. I'm so jealous of your cake baking skills! You've inspired me to work on mine :) The ones you post always look so amazing. This one is no exception - and I love caramel, might just have to give it a go!

  20. that looks great!especially how you've done the design on top :) I love great british bake off x

  21. This looks amazing! I love the pattern on the top! x



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