Three words: Caramel. Layer. Cake. We’ve been drooling over this recipe from Brown Betty since she sent it our way, and if the words alone don’t make your start to lick your lips – the images from Alison Conklin most definitely will. It’s just a snippet of the deliciousness from Brown Betty‘s book tour blog tour – and we couldn’t be happier to host such a recipe. Pretty sure I’ll be whipping this up sometime in the near future…actually I’m 100% sure.

FOR THE CAKE

Nonstick cooking spray with flour
4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 baking power
3/4 teaspoon regular salt
4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups superfine sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 recipe Caramel Buttercream (below)
Salted pretzel pieces, for garnish

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy and then add the sugar on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended and scraping the bowl occasionally. In a small bowl, mix the milk, almond extract, and vanilla extract together. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing just until incorporated. Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans and bake until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper from the cakes. To assemble and frost the cakes, place 1 cake layer, bottom-side up, on a cake plate. Use an offset spatula to spread 1 cup of the buttercream on top. Add the second cake layer, bottom-side down, and spread 1 cup of the buttercream on top. Top with the third cake layer, bottom-side up. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Garnish with the salted pretzel pieces.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

2 ounces Philadelphia(R) cream cheese, at room temperature
5 sticks (2 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
3/4 cup superfine sugar
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3 large egg yolks
Vegetable shortening, for greasing
1 cup Caramel Sauce (recipe below)

For the buttercream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the butter, and beat until blended. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is pale yellow and doubles in volume, scraping the bowl occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes. Meanwhile, use a hand mixer on high speed to beat the egg yolks in a large bowl until pale, about 3 minutes. In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir the sugar, corn syrup, and 1⁄4 cup water until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook until the mixture is clear and comes to a boil. Pour this mixture into a lightly greased glass measuring cup. Slowly drizzle the sugar syrup into the egg yolks while mixing on medium speed. Once blended, increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the caramel sauce to the egg yolk mixture and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes. Pour the egg mixture into a clean glass bowl. Add half of the whipped cream cheese–butter to the egg yolk mixture and beat on medium speed until blended. Add the remaining whipped cream cheese– butter and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE

3/4 cup superfine sugar
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Pinch of regular salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the caramel sauce

In a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, 1⁄4 cup water, and salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low and simmer without stirring until it turns a golden color. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the cream and vanilla, and stir until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Set aside until ready to use.

Looking to catch Brown Betty work her book tour magic even more? You can catch even more recipes on her blog tour! Dates below:

Martha Stewart Weddings

Daily Candy Philadelphia 10/16
Oh Joy! 10/17
Poppy Talk 10/22, 10/23
Fly 10/24
The Culinary Life 10/25
Sweet Paul 11/1
Style Me Pretty 11/4
Serious Eats 11/5, 11/7, & 11/9
Young House Love 11/19

Check out even more deliciousness from Brown Betty here!

Photography: Alison Conklin

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