It's Cake Slice time. Or is it time for a slice of cake? Either way, I have one for you! This is our second cake baked from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. This months cake was a Burnt Sugar Cake which is different from caramel cake in that the burnt sugar syrup is incorporated into the cake and the frosting. In a typical caramel cake the caramel is just on the outside of the cake in the frosting while the cake itself is either white or yellow.
The burnt sugar syrup is made by melting and caramelizing white sugar then by adding boiling water to the golden goo. You then cook it down until the sugar and water become one. It took about 20 minutes for this to happen but it can be made in advance and waiting for you until you're ready to made the cake.
The cake itself was dense and sweet and slightly caramely. It was almost like the flavor of brown sugar. It was subtle in flavor but moist and delicious. The frosting came together really quickly though I thought it was way too sweet. It was like a really thick glaze in that the powdered sugar was combined with vanilla, a little butter and evaporated milk and the burnt sugar syrup. You mix it all up and frost your cake. It was simple but I didn't feel there was enough liquid in it to dissolve the sugar resulting in the texture being a little granular.
I'd make this cake again but I'd frost it with a different frosting. I wonder if it could be baked into a bundt and drizzled with a burnt sugar glaze? mmm.
Burnt Sugar Cake from Southern Cakes
Burnt Sugar Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup boiling water
Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan with high sides. Heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear brown caramel syrup. It should be the colour of tea. Gradually add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you should be protected.
Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water combines with the syrup and turns a handsome brown syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar if not using right away.
Burnt Sugar Cake:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (recipe above)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 2 – 3 minutes, until they are well combined. Stop now and then to scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in half a cup of the burnt sugar syrup and beat well. Add a third of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, beating at a low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in another third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finally, add the remaining flour.
Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the centre and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
NOTE:I cut the recipe in half and baked it into 2 6-inch pans.
Burnt Sugar Frosting:
- 3¾ cups confectioners sugar
- ½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (above)
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 – 3 tbsp evaporated milk or normal milk
In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the burnt sugar syrup, butter and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and continue beating until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if it is thin, and a little more milk if it is too thick.
Place one layer, top side down, on a cake stand or serving plate. Scoop about ¾ cup of the frosting onto the cake. Spread to the edges and place the second cake layer over it, top side down. Frost the sides of the cake, and then the top until it is evenly covered.
Be sure to visit the other Cake Slice Bakers and see how they did!