Love this cake from Baked Elements! I’ve missed the past couple Baked Sunday Mornings recipes just because everything has been crazy busy at home and work. I really wanted to make both the Good Morning Sunshine Bars and the Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, but the days got away from me and it just never happened. When I saw that the next recipe on the schedule was a caramel cake, I knew it was time to get my act together, because I love everything caramel! I was really glad that I did, because this cake turned out wonderfully.
The flavors of this cake were really interesting – when I heard “caramel cake,” I expected it to be really caramel-y through and through. In reality, it’s a brown sugar buttermilk cake with a caramel cream cheese frosting, drizzled with homemade caramel sauce. The moist, tender buttermilk cake pairs wonderfully with the frosting, where the tangy cream cheese helps cut through some of the sweetness from all the brown sugar and caramel. If you’re afraid of making homemade caramel (and you shouldn’t be! It really isn’t that hard, and if you mess it up, what have you lost? A cup of sugar? No big deal!) but if you are afraid of it, you’ll find this frosting a great one, since it’s kind of a cheater’s caramel. There’s no melting down sugar until it reaches a ridiculous temperature; you’re just combining brown sugar and butter and boiling it really briefly. Easy as pie! Some people mentioned having issues with the consistency of the frosting, but I actually found this to be one of the easiest cream cheese frostings I’ve ever worked with. It held together beautifully for me, was easy to spread and was strong enough to stand up to the cake layers without getting all soft or melty. When making it, just make sure your brown sugar mixture is completely cool before adding it to the frosting. If it seems too soft when all is said and done, stick the frosting in the refrigerator before working with it. Don’t try and make it work before it’s thickened up enough, or you may end up yelling profanities in your kitchen while your husband looks at you like you have 8 heads (not that that’s ever happened to me…)
Anyway, back to the cake. I really enjoyed the fact that this was only a 2-layer cake – it seemed less fussy and more manageable than the 3-layer types that I usually put together. After spreading the bottom layer with cream cheese frosting, I threw some caramel sauce right there in the middle with it, then drizzled the top with some as well. You can never have too much caramel in my opinion! All in all, this one was definitely a hit.