I didn’t intend to make this cake. This week’s post was supposed to be cinnamon buns, but life got in the way, and at 11pm on Friday night I found myself reading over the recipe for the cinnamon rolls and being like “let the dough rise for 2 hours?! pffft!”. I was under the impression that you made the dough, then let it rise in the fridge overnight. I forgot about the first rising. Oops. Anyways, hopefully I’ll be better organised next week and I’ll actually be able to bake what I had originally planned.
I have to say that this is a pretty darn fantastic substitute. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for ages. It’s from the food blog Add A Pinch, which is a really great source of savoury and sweet recipes. I love how a lot of her recipes are Southern and have been passed down through her family. This cake is an adaptation of one of her recipes and I can definitely see it being enjoyed down in the southern States! Let me be clear: this cake is hugely rich and highly calorific. You may wish to live in blissful ignorance and not read the recipe down below. The choice is yours. :)
The cake itself is a really nice sponge cake. It isn’t as moist as the Cake of Death, but it has a nice buttery flavour and a good crumb. I can definitely see myself using this recipe again for birthday cakes and other cakes that need a sturdy sponge base. The cake may be good, but the icing is out of this world! Basically, you make fudge but don’t beat it all the way. Then you add in more butter, icing sugar, sea salt and vanilla. There is no way to ice this cake neatly because the icing is thick and sticky. But presentation hardly matters when you have a cake smothered in what is essentially underbeaten caramel fudge. The original recipe was for a much larger cake and it said it served 12 people. This is a half recipe and I think it makes 12 more manageable (i.e. non-diabetic coma inducing) servings. But hey, no ones counting, so you can easily use this cake to feed 6-8 people.
If you want to make a 8-9″ cake rather than the 6″ one, you can double both recipes. The original recipe recommends using three cake tins instead of two. I used two because it was getting close to midnight, I only have two cake tins, and I couldn’t be bothered to wait until the first batch was done so I could wash one of the tins to bake the third layer. I actually quite like how thick the layers came out and how easy it was to torte them.
I can’t get enough of the salted caramel icing. I really want to try this icing on other cakes and baked goods. How about an apple bundt cake with salted caramel icing? Or a Turtle Cake with pecans, Cake of Death and this icing? Or cinnamon buns smothered in caramel icing? The possibilities are endless! But for now, here is there original Salted Caramel Fudge Cake.
Salted Caramel Fudge Cake
adapted from Addapinch.com
Makes one 6″ cake
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose/plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda/bicarb of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 buttermilk (add a few tsp white vinegar or lemon juice to the milk and let stand for 1-2 min)
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Prepare two 6″ cake tins by buttering, flouring and lining the bottoms with a round of baking parchment. Set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Cream the butter with an electric mixer on high. Add the sugar and cream together for a further 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix well. Add 1/2 of the butter milk and combine. Add half of the remaining flour mixture (i.e the second 1/3) and mix until combined. Finally add the rest of the butter milk, still mixing. Add the remaining flour. Beat on high speed for a further 30 seconds to ensure the batter is well aerated.
- Divide evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, slice each layer in half (optional) and frost with salted caramel fudge icing (recipe below).
Salted Caramel Fudge Icing
Makes enough to very generously ice one 6″ cake.
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup semiskimmed milk
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (I had more like 1/3 cup and it worked fine)
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine the white sugar, milk, 1 cup of unsalted butter and baking soda in a large pot (I had to use the largest I owned – it WILL increase in volume around 3 fold!) and stir with a wooden spoon over medium high heat.
- When the mixture begins to boil, stop stirring completely. Insert a candy thermometer and boil until it reaches the soft ball stage (235F/118C). It should turn a lovely dark golden colour as it cooks. Once it has reached the correct temperature, carefully pour into a large mixing bowl.
- With an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat on medium high until it is cool enough to touch, it loses some of its gloss, and it is beginning to hold it’s shape. If you drag a spoon through it, you should be able to see that this has happened.
- Beat in the butter, salt and vanilla. Gradually add the icing sugar and mix until it is all incorporated. Use immediately. You need to be a bit speedy during this step as the icing sets a bit as it cools. It is much easier to spread when it is warm.