Cake 37: Dulce de Leche Cake with Whipped Caramel Frosting

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Gave this dulce de leche cake with whipped caramel frosting and chocolate chips to Mary Kate. I said, “It’s really, really sweet.” She said, “Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.” Warning: Do not make this dulce de leche cake unless you or your audience have a serious sweet tooth. And trust me, take a small piece of the cake on your first round! It’s really sweet and decadent, so brace yourself. (Sorry I didn’t take a side photo of the cake so you could see the chocolate chips around the outside edge. It’s not my most aesthetically pleasing work, as I was out of cardboard rounds.)

Dulce de Leche Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • A few tablespoons of your dulce de leche (below) to swirl into the batter

Dulce de Leche Cake Recipe Directions

(Modeled after Cooks Illustrators’ Recipe) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans. In a small bowl, mix the milk, egg whites, almond extract and vanilla extract with a fork. In your kitchen mixer, blend the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on a low speed, then add the butter and blend until you get a crumby mixture. Increase the speed to medium and gradually add the milk mixture in 2 or 3 parts, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat just until blended. Divide the dulce de leche cake batter between two cake pans and smooth it out. I put about 1/4 of the batter down, then used a condiment squeeze bottle to drizzle some of the dulce de leche on, then another 1/4 of batter in each of the 2 pans to give it a dulce de leche swirl inside the cake. You could also use a spatula to drizzle it on.┬áBake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake rest in the pan for a few minutes after pulling it out of the oven, and then run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan and turn the cake layers out of the pan to cool completely.

Dulce de Leche Cake Filling Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (14 ounces) condensed milk
  • 1 2/3 cups (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2 vanilla bean pods (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Dulce de Leche Cake Filling Recipe Directions

Set aside 45 minutes to an hour for this, I’m not kidding. Add all the ingredients except the corn syrup and vanilla in a heavy pot over medium low heat, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Keep it at a simmer as it thickens and the small bubbles disappear. Remove from heat if you need to for a few minutes, but don’t just leave it on the stove to burn or stick. Stir until you get large bubbles, a thicker texture and a golden color, stirring constantly still. Drizzle with the spatula to test the dulce de leche texture; it should be a thick caramel sauce (that’s what it is, after all). Mine took me about 45 minutes, though looking back I would’ve stopped about 35 minutes in because the end was a little thicker texture than I would like. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla and corn syrup. Cool completely at room temperature.

Whipped Caramel Frosting Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Whipped Caramel Frosting Recipe Ingredients

(Modeled after Southern Living Recipe) Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the brown sugar and bring to a boil. Stir constantly, and add in the whipping cream and vanilla extract, again bringing to a boil. Remove it from the heat and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour. Transfer the caramel goo to your kitchen mixer. Add the sifted powdered sugar into the icing, beating on high until you get a creamy, spreadable frosting. Level your cooled dulce de leche cake layers if you need to. On your most level cake layer, pipe a ring of the whipped caramel frosting around the outside rim, about 1/4 inch away from the edge. This will help corral the dulce de leche filling, though it shouldn’t need too terribly much corralling if it’s as thick as mine was. Fill with the dulce de leche, then top with the second layer. Clean up any excess filling from the center if it happens to ooze out, then crumb coat the cake and refrigerate for a bit. Pull the cake back out and ice with the whipped caramel frosting. Garnish with a drizzle of the dulce de leche and chocolate shavings or miniature chocolate chips if you like.
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Heather is an advertising professional in Kansas City. She is a vegetarian food-lover who finds joy in cooking, baking and finding new restaurants in new cities. She leads a pack of animals, including her beagle Ford, her shepherd-collie-retriever mix, Otto, and cat, Ahab.

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One Reply to “Cake 37: Dulce de Leche Cake with Whipped Caramel Frosting”

  1. This cake was incredibly sweet! I shared it with my neighbor who also enjoyed it. A great cake for sure! You can’t eat this in large quantities, and it is something you should enjoy in small doses. Overall, it is very filling, and if you are looking for something to give you a nice ‘pick me up’… you’ve found your cake.

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