Daring Bakers Challenge: Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful group of adventurous bakers called The Daring Bakers and November is my first baking challenge.  Even though the recipe called for a lot of sugar and nobody in my household is enamored with sugar, I looked forward to making the recipe which is the signature Caramel Cake of Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater as published on Bay Area Bites.

This month’s challenge hosts are Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex of Blondie and Brownie and Jenny of  Foray into Food.

I made the cake the week of the deadline, just before Thanksgiving Day. The cake was fantastic and the frosting was heavenly. I made the cake in a loaf pan, sliced and divided the loaf and stacked them into smaller squares with the caramelized butter frosting in between.

The first square cake, I drizzled it with some leftover chocolate ganache and piped some caramel frosting at the bottom.



Here is the recipe:


  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
  • 2 each eggs, at room temperature
  • splash vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
  4. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
  5. Sift flour and baking powder.
  6. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
  7. Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.
  8. Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.
  9. Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)

In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste


  1. Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.
  2. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.
  4. Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

And of course I didn’t stop there.  Here’s what I did with the rest of the cake:



LAYER CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE (This is the rest of the loaf and was served at our Thanksgiving Dinner)


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» Angela said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 09:11 }

Wow! You did a lot with this challenge! Everything looks wonderful but I particularly like the extra-large muffin and hot chocolate. A lovely combo for this time of year.

Welcome to The Daring Bakers!

» Renee said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 10:11 }

I love the idea of baking in a loaf pan. What a great idea with the chocolate ganache!

» John (Eat4fun) said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 10:11 }

Congratulations on completing your first DB Challenge! Wow! You went all out making a bunch of variations. Great job!

» kat said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 10:11 }

Wow, you went all out with so many version. I love the idea of using a loaf pan, it seems perfect for this dense cake

» marika @ madcap cupcake said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 11:11 }

BEAUTIFUL job!! I’m so impressed with how many different things you made at once, awesome :) I was thinking I will have to incorporate chocolate into this recipe at some point. Can you ever go wrong with chocolate? :)

» Candice said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 11:11 }

Wow, you did so much with this recipe! I love the cupcakes with a dollop of chocolate on top.

» Lauren said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 11:11 }

Ooo, your cakes and cupcakes look beautiful! I love the idea of making it with chocolate =D!

» Diana said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 12:11 }

What a great idea to use the chocolate. It looks delicious! I love the different ways you made it, so creative.

» Joeli said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 01:11 }

Your cake came out a lot lighter colored than mine, but I like it! They look great!

» Amy Jaye said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 04:11 }

Amazing! What a difference just a touch of chocolate makes!

» Ruth said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 10:11 }

Your cake looks so lovely

» Fruittart said: { Nov 29, 2008 - 11:11 }

I especially like the cupcakes with the dark chocolate! Yum!

» Shaheen said: { Nov 30, 2008 - 07:11 }

Your cupcakes look lovely. Wonderfully carried out 1st challenge! Welcome to the coolest gang of bakers on the web! :D This is going to be great fun.

» Susan/Wild Yeast said: { Nov 30, 2008 - 12:11 }

Very well done! Welcome to the Daring Bakers.

» Gretchen Noelle said: { Dec 1, 2008 - 08:12 }

Great job with this months challenge! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

» Regina said: { Dec 2, 2008 - 12:12 }

Love the different variations you made – way to be creative!

» claire said: { Dec 2, 2008 - 07:12 }

You have so many variations! What fun. That just goes to show that even with one recipe you can make lots of different styles of dessert. Great job on your first challenge!

» Nawal said: { Dec 2, 2008 - 09:12 }

Hi Raquel,
How are you ? :-)
Your cakes look beautiful. Great first Challenge !!!

» Dolores said: { Dec 4, 2008 - 01:12 }

Welcome to the Daring Bakers and congratulations on a successful first challenge. Your loaf shaped cake looks great. Thanks for baking with us!

» Namratha said: { Dec 5, 2008 - 05:12 }

Wow, that’s a whole lot of stuff…wonderful! Everything looks great!

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