Caramel Marbled Vanilla Buttercream Cake

Backstory:

It is my mother’s birthday and having recently discovered she has a soft spot for caramel, my brother and I decided to make a caramel cake which was basically a vanilla tea cake, sandwiched with vanilla buttercream and with caramel drizzled all over it. The caramel sauce recipe is by the ultra talented Tulsi (IG: @tea_basil) – please follow her for tips & tricks. It was so much fun to make and I hope you like it too!! 

You need:

For the vanilla cake: 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence 
  • 3 cups maida
  • 2 tsp baking powder

For the vanilla buttercream: 

  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

For the caramel sauce: 

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons salted butter, cut into pieces (keep it cold)
  • 1 cup Amul cream
  • 1 tsp salt

Vanilla Tea Cake: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C
  2. Beat 4 eggs first till they become fluffy. Add butter and sugar and mix on medium until fluffy and sugar is three-fourth melted
  3. Sift your flour & baking powder into the bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. It will be a bit thick and sticky, so slowly add milk little by little and mix until the mixture is fluffy. Stir in vanilla essence
  5. Pour into a cake pan that’s lined with wax paper/covered with a layer of butter and then dusted with flour, and bake for 40 minutes.
Cake before going into the oven

Tulsi’s caramel sauce: 

  1. Heat up the cream while mixing constantly so the bottom doesn’t burn. When it’s hot, take it off the heat. Do not let it boil!!! 
  2. In a big pot, add sugar and a few drops of lemon juice. On medium heat, mixing every now and then melt the sugar. Bring it to a nice hazel colour.
  3. Time to become a ninja
  4. Once you reach the colour, immediately switch off the heat and add the cream. DO NOT try to mix it immediately. It bubbles and rises. Let the mix fall a little and then mix it in.
  5. If any sugar has clumped up, put it back on low heat and melt the sugar.
  6. Take your pot off the heat and add your cold butter a few pieces at a time. Again, the mixture might bubble so let it settle a little before you mix whatever’s in the pot.
  7. Mix until it’s nice and smooth and glossy! Let it cool for a bit and then if there were any lumps that you couldn’t melt, use the strainer and strain the caramel into a bowl. Let it cool completely before you use it
Strain your caramel sauce to get a silky, gooey rich buttery (running out of adjectives) caramel sauce

While the caramel and cake are both cooling, get on to making your vanilla buttercream

Vanilla Buttercream recipe: 

Ok I’ll be honest, I usually don’t measure this out. I just keep adding a little butter and sugar to the mixing bowl and keep whisking until i achieve 2 things: 

  1. The quantity I want
  2. The fluffy texture I want 

When you’re making buttercream, it should be smooth and silky – a texture you’ll achieve by whipping butter and powdered sugar together. It’s important for the sugar to be powdered – granulated sugar WILL NOT MELT and be horrible. Just horrible (trust me, I’ve made that mistake lol) 

The Assembly: 

  1. Cut the cake exactly into half (through the middle so it becomes like a cake sandwich!) I just used a long knife and prayed it would be even. A better way would be to use a thread and 4 toothpicks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17J6ZM6yi4E to get it nice and even
  2. Cover the bottom layer of the cake with buttercream, smoothing it out well with a spatula/back of a spoon if you don’t have a spatula. Make sure you leave some space at the edges because if you fill it up too much then when put the top layer it all gets squished out
  3. Drizzle over caramel sauce and then gently spread it over the buttercream so it’s a second layer (if you don’t spread it then some parts of the cake will have toooo much caramel and some parts will be too little)
  4. Carefully add the top layer of the cake on top of the bottom layer, making sure it’s lined up properly
  5. Cover the top layer with buttercream, repeating the earlier process, making sure it’s an even layer
  6. Finally on top drizzle a whole lot of caramel. Then (and this is really important for the marble effect) slowly spread the caramel in gentle left-right motions so you get the marbled effect pat down.
  7. Enjoy!

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