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REC: Caramel Cake. This recipe is from Maya Angelou's grandmother. It was wonderful yesterday.

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005


Posted to Thread #11070 at 10:48 am on Jun 16, 2008


From <i>Hallelujah! The Welcome Table</i> by Maya Angelou.

This book is worth reading cover to cover just for the stories that go with the recipes. We loved this cake. It uses homemade caramel syrup instead of brown sugar, and has a brown butter icing. The photo in the book shows the cake drizzled with additional syrup, so that is what I did.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup caramel syrup (recipe follows)
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
Caramel Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch layer cake pans with greased waxed paper.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and gradually add 1 cup of the sugar until the combination is light and fluffy.

Beat in the caramel syrup.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk.

In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs about 3 minutes until they are foamy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until there is a fine spongy foam.

Stir the egg mixture into the cake batter until it's blended.

Divide the batter between cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven. Gently press the center of the cake with a forefinger. The cake should spring back when the finger is removed. If it doesn't, return it to the oven for 10 minutes.

Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and remove the waxed paper. Let the cakes cool to room temperature before frosting.

To assemble: Center one cooled cake layer on a cake plate. Cover the top and sides with a generous helping of frosting. Place the second layer evenly on the frosted layer. Repeat the frosting procedure. Make certain the sides are completely frosted. Cool in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water

Heat sugar in a heavy skillet over low heat. Stir constantly until it's melted to a brown liquid. When it bubbles over the entire surface, remove it from the heat. Slowly add in 1 cup boiling water, stirring constantly. Pour into a container and cool.


6 tablespoons butter
8 ounces confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, brown the butter--be vigilant or it will burn. Allow butter to cool. In a large mixing bowl, add the confectioners' sugar, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and salt to the butter, and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too stiff, add a tablespoon of cream to thin.

[Notes: This was not quite enough icing. I would double the recipe for icing, as I see others have done on other sites. My butter was only slightly browned and speckled--next time I will brown it more and leave the residue behind.

I will beat the 2 eggs by hand next time--they got lost at the bottom of my KA mixing bowl and took forever to foam.

I don't have the courage to caramelize dry sugar so I added 1/3 cup water to the sugar to make a syrup, then boiled it to the caramel stage like I'm used to, then added the 1 cup of boiling water.]

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