Caramel Glazed Cake

With the holidays near, I have been trying out a bunch of new recipes, including the two unique recipes I developed and posted yesterday for a Kitchen Play assignment. For some reason, the thought of a caramel cake appealed to me, so yesterday I decided I was going to bake just that.

baking assistant

My baking assistant, Smuckers, and I decided to consult for a caramel cake recipe and came across this one, which we determined was a winner. One of the things I really don’t like about baking is that I have to use real recipes, but alas, if I want delicious homemade baked goods, I need to start somewhere. Hopefully someday I will be confident enough with my baking skills to start making alterations to existing recipes without the fear it will destroy them.

Anyway, the recipe is as follows:

For cake

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For caramel glaze

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Equipment: a candy thermometer

butter and sugar

Make cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

caramel cake

making caramel

Make glaze:
Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until glaze registers 210 to 212°F on thermometer, 12 to 14 minutes, then stir in vanilla.



Put rack with cake in a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

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caramel cake

Making the caramel was both the most fun and most nerve-wracking part. I don’t have a candy thermometer, so I just tasted it a few times, being careful not to burn my tongue as I did on the caramelize brown sugar salmon on Saturday. It was neat to watch the mix go from a very light brown to a darker brown and to taste as it went from brown sugar to caramel.

caramel cake

The caramel ended up thin but really delicious. The vanilla really added an extra depth to the caramel and made it very fragrant. The cake soaked up much of it, making the cake a bit sticky and gooey. It is a simple, creamy, not-too-sweet treat and would be perfect with tea and a bunch of friends.

I have spent a lot of time cooking and baking, organizing things around the house, catching up on laundry, doing yoga, and running these days. And while I do have blogging work, some work for Red White Boston, and my newest freelance job with go2media (please like go2boston on Facebook & follow on Twitter!), I am kind of enjoying taking care of the house. I know there are certain women out there (who I know!) who would have a total snark fest with that, but I am learning to be okay with it. I am very slowly learning that this time is a gift and that I should be making the most of the moment. VERY slowly learning, but that learning is turning out to be the main purpose of taking this time.  I am trying to turn everything from yoga to cooking to dog walking and running into a mindful meditation, to slow down, and to realize just how unique these few months will be in the grander scheme of my life. You have all been really supportive and totally lift me up with your comments and emails, so thank you!

Are you a person who can live in the moment, or like me, do you constantly have a million things from the past, present, and future running through your mind, even in the middle of the night?

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Tags: baking, cake, caramel cake, Food, recipe

  1. A Boston Food Diary’s avatar

    Oh yum…apparently this is one of those days when I should NOT have read your blog until later cause now all I want is caramel cake at 9:00 am! This looks delicious beyond words!

    I definitely always have 100 things running through my head, but Im also finding that Im able to remember the words “it is what it is” and move on lately…


  2. Elizabeth’s avatar

    do you have any left over ;) It seriously looks delicious. The cake on its own and especially the cake drenched in caramel glaze.


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      We have TONS left! One of the reasons I don’t love baking is that we never finish anything I bake, and it gets thrown away!


    2. Michelle’s avatar

      I love that you baked…especially since you never bake (like me)!

      I’m like you and always have a million different things going on in my head.


    3. brandi’s avatar

      yum, yum, yum. I love anything with caramel!


    4. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

      I’ve been on a caramel kick lately too! I am a big planner but I try my best to live in the moment. I totally agree with you that these few months is a gift, so you should enjoy it as much as you could. Just liked Go2boston on Facebook :)


    5. Megan’s avatar

      That looks amazing! Caramel is always so tricky… it’s one of those things I’m still not completely comfortable with yet.

      I always have a million things running through my head. I’ve even tried to focus on nothing and then I notice another part of my brain is still thinking and I can never shut it all down.

      And I would be totally fine staying home, taking care of the house, and cooking and cleaning. No snarkiness from me on that. I’m a little annoyed that we fought so hard for equality and yet now women are supposed to have full-time jobs and still do everything we did before we were able to have jobs. I would rather not work. I enjoy cooking and staying home.


    6. Emily’s avatar

      yummy cake! My mind also moves at a million miles a second. I wish that I could go with the flow more but I’m a planner at heart. Still, a few months to recharge sound wonderful, and it sounds like you really appreciate it as a unique phase in your life.


    7. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

      I would be fine staying home. Nothing wrong with that. It would give me more time to volunteer at the animal shelter!

      This cake looks delicious. Hi Smuckers!


    8. Kimmy’s avatar

      I love caramel anything. I’m definitely making this. Enjoy your time being at home, nothing is wrong with that. It’s something I’d definitely do if I had the chance! :-)


    9. Julie’s avatar

      Oh my goodness, this cake looks to die for!! Well done!! Keep baking!!


      1. Julie’s avatar

        PS–just catching up on recent posts–that’s SO cool that you’re doing the NVM!!


      2. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

        Caramel cake?? Fantastic. A big scoop of vanilla on top, please!


      3. RavieNomNoms’s avatar

        Ooo delicious! I bet this was super amazing!


      4. Jason Phelps’s avatar

        Baking is definitely a careful art. It turns out to be much more a work of chemistry and proportions that other types of cooking so you are very right to be weary of how you might change recipes until you are sure how the ingrediants behave together. I’ve had my funny failures when I forgot or ignore “the rules”.

        The cake sounds tasy and I’m with everyone else. Too early for this blog today!



      5. Joy’s avatar

        I love cakes like this. Simple and you really taste the flavors.


      6. maggie’s avatar

        Super yummy looking. I love anything with caramel on top of it!


      7. Jolene (’s avatar

        I really try to live in the moment. That cake looks so amazing – I am bookmarking it for later use!


      8. alicia’s avatar

        We’re definitely cut from the same cloth. I keep a notebook by my bed for those times that I wake up thinking a million things i need to do. I’m so happy to hear your thoughts on free time since my new jobs gives me a lot more of it. I’m trying to enjoy it right now and allow myself to take it easy – and do things around the house since its Rafe’s really busy time. you’re doing great! xoxo


      9. Lindsay Meyer’s avatar

        How great is it to savor the sabbatical? I was remarking to a friend last night that I’ve gained 8 lbs in the last year (since going back to work). Taking time off was the most healthy and good-for-me experience I’ve ever had. I wish I could have six months off every few years :-)

        Enjoy this time!


      10. Terri’s avatar

        This recipe looks yummy!
        When are you going to make something for us?


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