Harken back with this salted caramel cake

By Jim Bailey

Yes indeed! This is the way our grandparents made cake, with real salted butter and buttermilk, which every home had “back in the day.”

Nothing fancy here but pure deliciousness.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 stick(1/2 cup) salted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla


Caramel Frosting:
3 cups brown sugar
2 1/2-3 cups evaporated milk
9 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
6 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Grease two 9 or 10-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, or hand-held, beat butter and brown sugar until as creamy as possible. Don’t be afraid to keep beating for at least 2 minutes to ensure creaminess. Add eggs and continue beating one additional minute.

In a separate bowl, blend flour with baking powder and soda.

Add to creamed butter mixture alternately with buttermilk (a half cup of flour at a time), beating until as smooth as possible before adding more dry or liquid.

Beat in vanilla and divide among the cake pans.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is just pulling away from the pan and cake bounces back in the center when touched.

Remove from oven to cool slightly before loosening and transferring to racks to completely cool. Meanwhile, make frosting.

Place brown sugar, 2 1/2 cups evaporated milk, butter and maple syrup in a large saucepan, stirring well.

Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. When boiling, stop stirring and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat to cool for 3 minutes.

Add powdered sugar to same saucepan with vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. If it is too thick, add more evaporated milk, a couple tablespoons at a time, until it thins out and is barely pourable. It will thicken the longer you let it rest.

Cool to room temperature before frosting cake, adding more milk again if it remains too thick.

Frost one layer, top with other and use up all the frosting slathered everywhere on cake.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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