To end my salted caramel month I thought I’d celebrate the last of my homemade salted caramel sauce by making a smaller layer cake.
I love love love six-inch layer cakes. They are perfect for those of you who love cake and the sweet sugary frosting that accompanies it but doesn’t want a huge one hanging around. So you really can have your cake and eat it. Minus the guilt of over indulgence. I didn’t want any other flavours to detract from the star flavour of the salted caramel. I thought about baking a simple vanilla cake but wanted a little something extra. I had some hazelnuts around and flicked through my cookbook collection to see if I could find a hazelnut cake recipe. Surprisingly it took me a while to find a nice simple one that would bake up as a layer cake.
I eventually came across a recipe for spiced hazelnut cake from Complete Book Of Baking – Better homes and Gardens and knew this would be perfect for what I had in mind. I tweaked the recipe to remove the spices and incorporate some of the salted caramel. The cake baked well with a nice solid structure. It wasn’t to dry and had a lovely nutty crunch throughout.
It’s a very simple cake to make, your standard cake recipe and creaming method. I love these kind of cakes as they are very quick to whip up and if you follow each step correctly your pretty sure to get a good cake at the end. If your new to baking, then this is a great cake to start with.
This is all you need to do. Cream together butter and sugar, you should do this for around 5-8 minutes or however long it takes to achieve a nice light coloured, fluffy mixture. Next add your eggs, you should do this one at time mixing well after each addition. As your going along occasionally scrape down your bowl to fully incorporate everything. Then you alternate adding dry and wet ingredients. This kind of cakes are the most common for layer cakes. Once you’ve baked a couple you’ll be a pro in no time. I also included some salted caramel into the cake batter, this gave an extra sweetness and a little extra hint of salty-ness too.
For the icing I used my very own buttercream recipe which I made up using icing sugar, butter, vanilla extract, a little milk and the salted caramel sauce. I then added a generous sprinkling of Maldon sea salt. By adding some salt to your icing your really going to bring out the salted caramel flavour. It makes my mouth water just thinking of this icing.
It’s a foolproof buttercream icing and a recipe that I’ve been using for years. It won’t split on you or doing anything weird. It simply mixes up into a smooth icing which is perfect for layer cakes. All you need to do to make my buttercream icing is sift some icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and add some softened butter. Add your vanilla extract, salted caramel, salt and about 2 tablespoons of milk and start mixing. Keep on mixing on a high-speed until it’s smooth and lump free. If it’s still quite stiff add a little bit of milk until you get a consistency that your comfortable spreading onto a cake. I like mine quite firm so I tend not to add much more milk.
Make sure you toast your hazelnuts, toasting them brings out their nuttiness and enhances their flavour dramatically. Sprinkling them on to, gives you a nice crunch mixed into the icing to, so you have a multi textured cake. Salted Caramel February has been a very delicious and decadent month. In case you’ve missed any then you must check out the other recipes in this scrummy collection!
This cake is perfect for a weekend treat for when you want a little a sweet treat but with something special. You could however have a salted caramel party and make everything that I created for this salty and sweet month. Now wouldn’t that be a party!
Yields One, 3 layer 6 Inch cake
- 280 grams (2 cups) Self raising flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
- 110 grams (1/2 cup) Unsalted butter at room temperature
- 220 grams (1 cup) Light brown muscovado sugar
- 3 Large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Salted Caramel Sauce
- 250 ml Buttermilk
- 70 grams (1 cup) Hazelnuts toasted and roughly chopped
[salted caramel buttercream}
- 480 grams (4 cups) Icing sugar
- 110 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons Salted caramel
- 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons Milk (you may need more or less)
- Pre-heat the oven to 170C,160C(fan),350F and butter the bottom and sides of three, six-inch cake tins. Line the base with parchment paper and butter this too. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Set aside too. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until you have a smooth, creamy and fluffy mixture. This should take around 5-8 minutes. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.
- Add the eggs, one at a time mixing well after each addition (I crack my eggs into a bowl first before adding them to batter in case you get a bad one). Scrape down your bowl again with your spatula. Add the salted caramel and the vanilla extract and mix for 20 seconds. Scrape down your bowl again with your spatula.
- Starting with the flour mixture add 1/3 and mix until just incorporated then add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until just incorporated. Keep on doing this until everything gets mixed in and then add the hazelnuts.
- Divide the batter between three tins, level the surface then bake for 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes then transfer the cakes to the wire racks to cool completely.
- When the cakes are cold, it’s time to make your icing.
- Sift your icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment add your butter, salted caramel sauce and the sea salt and one tablespoon of milk mix everything together for about 3-5 minutes. If your buttercream is stiff add a little more milk until you get a smooth, fluffy mixture or until you reach the consistency your happy with.
- Spread a tick layer of buttercream between each layer, then ice around the outside and on the top. Sprinkle with hazelnuts if you wish.
* The cake recipe is adapted from Complete Book Of Baking – Better Homes and Gardens
* This cake will last for up to three days stored in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid.
* Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.