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Salted Caramel Vanilla Bean Layer Cake
Yield: 1 8 inch cake
1 1/2 cup white sugar
12 tablespoons butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract (or a combo of extract, vanilla bean paste or vanilla bean)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup salted caramel sauce*, cooled.
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cream or milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter, flour and line with parchment 2 8x8 round baking pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and pale. Stir in the vanilla.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt, and add to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, starting and ended with the flour mixture. Don`t over-beat the batter.
Pour batter into the prepared pans evenly, smoothing tops with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat until well combined. Add 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cream or milk if desired if your frosting seems a little dry.
Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake stand. Use a fork to poke some holes along the surface of the cake. Carefully spread 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce over the cake layer, letting it soak into the cake. Top with a thick layer of frosting.
Add the second cake layer with the flattest side facing up. Repeat the process of poking the cake with a fork, adding the remaining caramel sauce, and topping with frosting. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired.
*If you don`t want to make homemade caramel, store bought is fine- just add a teaspoon of sea salt.