Another weekend, another cake. After craving a vanilla and caramel cake all week, I decided to put one together myself! Using the same recipe from my last cake post here, I sliced off my edges, leveled my cake, threw on some icing and let that caramel drip, drip, drip.
Making cakes is totally different from cupcakes and cookies. I know my cookies like the back of my hand and I have gotten really good at making cupcakes. But “caking” as I call it, is something else entirely. It really takes a lot of focus and even though it’s challenging I love it! It’s good to mix things up from time to time and this has been really fun to try to master.
Last time I ran into two problems during the decorating process. First off, I found a lot of crumbs in my icing. To combat this, I decided to chill my cake for 20 minutes in the fridge after applying my crumb coat. This worked PERFECTLY. I didn’t have any extra crumbles in my cake and icing was so much easier. I did run out of icing toward the end so there are two spots where some cake is exposed, BUT they are not crumbs. One challenge conquered. Go Fish!
The second problem I has was in my frosting. I felt like it was really thick and sugary last time. I later realized that a lot of bakers sift their confectioners sugar before measuring it. So me filling it a full cup high with large chunks inside was actually adding about 1/4 cup of extra sugar each time. So since I don’t have a sifter, I only filled my cup about 3/4 of the way up and problem solved. I also added 1 tbsp more of heavy creme and the icing was perfect. Chase is not a huge fan of sweet icing so I knew he would be my ultimate test and he loved it. He noticed the changes and ate an entire slice!
The caramel I used was regular store-bought ice cream caramel. I didn’t want to play with making it from scratch and instead wanted to focus on making the drips. Next time I will definitely make it at home. This caramel was not as thick as I would have liked it but it got the job done and tasted great.
Alright, so attempt #2 on my official caking journey. Stick around for more! I want to continue sharing my trials and errors for anyone else out there looking to start making cakes. Maybe save you a few $$$ in the long run?? If you have any tips or questions, please comment below. I’d love to talk to some of your about the whole process.
- (Makes about 6 small 7" rounds)
- 3 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 3 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup egg whites (about 7 large egg whites)
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil
- 2 sticks (1 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup of caramel in a squeeze bottle
- In a large stand mixer, add all of the dry ingredients and mix until combined on low/medium. Toss in the softened butter, slices at a time, until it is fully mixed in and the batter is crumbly. Medium/high speed for about 5 minutes.
- Add the egg whites in two-three parts, waiting until mostly combined before adding more, mixing on medium speed. Pour the buttermilk in 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the oil on medium/high speed.
- Transfer to your greased cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until a tooth pick can go into the center and come out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the icing. In a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium/high speed until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar in 1 cup at a time, alternating with splashes of milk. Low speed. Add the salt and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Let your cake cool in the freezer overnight or at least for 1-2 hours. Ice and enjoy!
- I like to use mini cakes because it's just easier to scale when you aren't baking for a whole party and you can bake two 3 layer mini cakes to practice on.
- If you do not have a sifter, make sure to only fill each cup of powdered sugar 85% of the way to make up for the chunks.