Sunday, April 11, 2010

Granny's Caramel Cake

This is my most favorite cake.  I've never had a cake like this outside of my family.  I have no clue where the recipe originated. 

Growing up the grandchildren got to choose the dessert for the Sunday lunch closest to their birthday.  I always picked Caramel Cake. 

Rehm chose this as the cake he wanted for his birthday party.  I made it yesterday morning before I realized his party would be canceled due to illness.

Granny always made her cakes from scratch. I'm not that good.  I use a cake mix.  I have found that the Duncan Hines Golden Butter Recipe cake mix comes the closest to Granny's cake.  I follow the cake directions except I substitute milk for the water.

Caramel Icing (I double this recipe)
1/2 cup of butter (use the real stuff not the fake stuff)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk

Melt butter then stir in brown sugar and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Boil hard for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in the milk - stirring while pouring the milk.  It will bubble really high and completely change consistency at this step.  This is normal.  I always think I've ruined it but it always turns out perfect. Return to heat and return to full boil.  Remove from heat and cool.  Once cool, transfer to mixing bowl and beat in confectioner's sugar, until smooth.  Add milk by tablespoon full until proper spreading consistency. 

I've found that it seems to harden up as I work with it.  I suggest starting with it a little runnier than you want it otherwise you'll have to continually stop and stir in more milk to the frosting as you are working.

Granny always made two 9 inch cakes.  She split each of these in half and put frosting between each layer and then frosted the top and sides.  I am inept at frosting cakes, so I don't split my layers.  I just frost between the two cakes and then the top and sides. 

This would also be good to add crushed pecans to the cake mix or between layers or to add banana to the cake.  I'm a purist though and only want this cake in its original form.

I haven't had one of Granny's caramel cakes in probably 3+ years since Sunday dinners at her house ended.  Now if I want caramel cake, I have to make it for myself.  I'm glad to know that I have passed the love of this recipe down one more generation.


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