February is a weird time of year. It’s the pointy end of summer – you know the season is coming to an end, so you want to enjoy it, but it’s also brutally hot. It’s not the holidays anymore, but there’s Valentine’s Day in the mix there, so it’s kind of seasonally appropriate to celebrate things?
Either way, this cake is exactly what you need. Take it to a picnic, serve it up to your significant other, make it for someone’s birthday, or simply because it’s a goddamn caramel cake and you deserve it. Plus, the pouring of caramel (or any sauce, really) really seems to impress people, so make it and bask in all that glorious praise.
What I like best about this cake is that it’s very very simple to make, but can easily be jazzed up to look much more impressive. Williams-Sonoma stock some beautiful bundt tins that add detail and interest, and I love this tip from Cakes by Cliff to decorate your cake simply by adding edible shimmer powder to glazes. So easy!
Caramel Bundt Cake
250g unsalted butter, at room temp
250g brown sugar
330g dulce de leche (I use caramel Top n Fill)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
4 large eggs, at room temp
450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 cup buttermilk (see note)
165g caster sugar
2/3 cup thin cream
Heat your oven to 170*c. Grease the bundt tin well, making sure you get into any lines or cracks to prevent sticking.
With a stand or hand-held mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until thick and pale. Slowly add the dulce de leche, then the eggs one at a time, and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add one-third of the flour mix to the butter mix. Add a third of the buttermilk, and alternate until well combined and there are no lumps.
Pour the batter into the bundt tin, then bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. When done, leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin to cool completely.
While the cake bakes, make the caramel sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water, stir to combine, and then cook gently until the sugar melts and takes on a deep amber colour. This takes between 8-10 minutes, so be careful, and keep an eye on it. Once done, add the cream, a pinch of flake salt (maybe some vanilla or a splash of bourbon, if you’re so inclined), then set aside to cool completely.
Pour the caramel over the cake, and serve with cream. Or ice cream. Custard? Anyway, it’s all good.
Note: Buttermilk can be bought from the milk section of your supermarket. If you can’t be bothered buying it (and that’s cool), you can make it by adding a teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and then leaving it to stand and curdle for 5 minutes. Easy!