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!!
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:
- Preheat your oven to 180C
- Beat 4 eggs first till they become fluffy. Add butter and sugar and mix on medium until fluffy and sugar is three-fourth melted
- Sift your flour & baking powder into the bowl and mix until well combined.
- 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
- 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.
Tulsi’s caramel sauce:
- 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!!!
- 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.
- Time to become a ninja
- 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.
- If any sugar has clumped up, put it back on low heat and melt the sugar.
- 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.
- 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
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:
- The quantity I want
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- Carefully add the top layer of the cake on top of the bottom layer, making sure it’s lined up properly
- Cover the top layer with buttercream, repeating the earlier process, making sure it’s an even layer
- 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.