So... it was birthday time at the office again.
This time the birthday girl wanted something caramel-y.
I think I came up with a pretty good caramel-y birthday treat. Caramel cake, caramel buttercream, and caramel popcorn. Not only does it look pretty impressive.... it tasted pretty darned good too.
It is maybe a little bit fussier than the average cake because you have to make up a batch of caramel popcorn too but... hey... then you have a bunch of leftover caramel popcorn that you can snack on.
I'm counting it as a win.
Caramel Popcorn Cake
1 recipe Easy Caramel Popcorn (recipe HERE)
1 cup butter, room temp
2 cups brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, room temp
5 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup Caramel Ice Cream Topping
1 Tbsp milk
Prepare the caramel popcorn - Go HERE to see how to make the delicious popcorn for on top of the cake. Prepare it first so it has time to cool off completely.
Prepare the cake - Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 8 inch pans with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Beat in the sugar until creamy. Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Place seeds in with the butter mixture and discard the bean pod. Beat in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Alternately beat the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the wet ingredients until well combined.
Spread batter into prepared pans, batter will be thick.
Bake at 350 until cake is done - top is golden brown and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean - about 20 - 30 minutes.
Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Use the parchment paper "handles" to lift out cake to wire rack to cool completely. (You can speed up the process of cooling by placing cakes in fridge.)
Prepare frosting - In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Slowly beat in the icing sugar, a little at a time, until well combined. Beat in the caramel sauce and the milk. (You made need to add a bit more milk to thin or a bit more icing sugar to thicken to reach desired consistency.)
Assemble cake - Place one layer of the cooled cake onto a serving platter. Top with a bit of frosting. Place second cake on top.
Spread the remaining frosting around the sides and top of the cake.
Now, you could stop there. I mean, it's a pretty fancy schmancy looking cake already...
Who are we kidding - we all know we want the caramel popcorn.
Take the cooled caramel popcorn and start piling that good stuff on top of the cake and, for good measure, around the base of the cake.
Now we're getting somewhere....
You can serve this now...or, what I did, was cover it with a cover and let it sit on the counter overnight until time to bring it to work the next morning. I didn't put it in the fridge because I was worried the popcorn would go soft. It was fine on the counter.
The cake is a lovely crumbly-but-not-dry texture and the flavor is sweet but not overwhelmingly so...
Need an impressive, different, easy, and tasty cake to make for your next get-together?
Have we got a deal for you.
Be sure to stop by these great blogs for tons of fabulous links! -- Ms. enPlace, Jam Hands, Dizzy Busy & Hungry, Carole's Chatter