Daring Bakers – Caramel cake with caramel buttercream

I have to say that I wasn’t really thrilled when I saw this month’s Daring Bakers recipe even though I love caramel. It seemed a bit too much to have a caramel cake and caramel frosting. But I decided to keep true to the recipe and see if maybe the combination worked. The only thing I did differently was cover the cake with caramelized chopped hazelnuts (store bought).

All components of the cake were easy to make. The only thing that went wrong was that my caramel sauce crystalized when it cooled. But it was just a matter of reheating to solve that.

The cake is sweeter than your average cake and I didn’t really tasted caramel. This type of buttercream, mixing icing sugar with butter is not really my favourite buttercream. It’s just not as smooth as your meringue based buttercream. I did like the fact that it used browned butter instead of regular. This in combination with the caramel sauce made it tasting good. Of course it was sweet but that’s because it’s buttercream 😉

Up till 5 minutes before baking the cake I didn’t know if I was making a bigger (but still small) cake or some cupcakes (I made half a batch of everything). I only had mini panettone paper cups and decided to use those. They are quite a bit bigger than regular muffin cups so I ended up filling only 3. I filled them pretty full because I’ve been reading on the DB forum that the cake didn’t rise too much. Also I didn’t have enough for 4 cups. End result: they rose quite a bit and were too high to apply icing in a pretty way. So I went for plan B and took the cakelets out of the paper cup and cut off their tops and ended up with mini cakes. Filled them with one layer of buttercream and covered the outside with buttercream. I thought the buttercream was not very cooperative and it took me some time to get a smooth enough layer. Covered the cakes with caramelized chopped hazelnuts which turned out to be tricky because they didn’t stick to the buttercream by themselves. Had to stick them to the buttercream one piece at a time…just kidding 😉

Decoration is hazelnuts dipped in caramel.

After tasting the end result I wasn’t convinced. Not that it tasted bad, not at all but like A said, something is missing. I think the thing that was missing was another taste to complement the caramel. Obvious choices are dark chocolate and coffee.

Recipe by Shuna Fish Lydon

Hosted by Alex of Blondie and Brownie

Jenny of Foray into Food

Dolores of Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity

You will find the recipe on the sites of the hosts.

Check out this link for all the other Daring Bakers

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45 Responses to Daring Bakers – Caramel cake with caramel buttercream

  1. Caitlin says:

    Ooo – coffee would be just perfect with this. I love the hazelnuts dipped in caramel on top, they’re quite pretty.

  2. jillian says:

    Your cake certainly looks beautiful! I found the frosting to be super sweet but I added quite a bit of salt.

  3. Julia says:

    This is art! beautiful picture 🙂

  4. snookydoodle says:

    from all the reviews i read about this cake. it seems delicious, but as i m not a big fan of buttercream I m still thinking whether to try it or not. Yours looks so nice and i like the decoration on top and the canied hazelnuts 🙂 well done

  5. Rosa says:

    Really beautiful and classy looking! You did a wonderful job!



  6. Fruittart says:

    What a lovely little cake!

  7. Feng says:

    Hazelnuts sounds delcious and I love your photo!

  8. That little cake is really beautiful – very artistic.

  9. courtney(aka glamah16) says:

    Beautiful work my friend. This wasdnt my most favorite of the challenges but I am amazed at some outstanding presentations, like yours.

  10. Vibi says:

    This is so you Linda, at the cutting edge of creativity, simple yet completely studied!

    At the risk of repeating myself I still will, and say …I really do love and greatly admire what you do!

  11. Lori says:

    That cake looks amazing. I love how you decorated it!

  12. Laurie says:

    Oh my….your cake really takes the cake! Its lovely.

  13. nikkita says:

    Whoohoo that is a gorgeous looking cake! Very professional looking.

  14. The hazelnuts on the sides would really work for me, I’m allways up for ome crunch! I almost thought you had done the filbert cake again, lol! Looks beautiful, but I also thought it was a tad sweet.

  15. Ivonne says:

    Oh, Linda! That is so dramatic … nicely done!

  16. Had to visit ur blog, from the DB forum, just to say woooooww!! :-)Awesome job!

  17. Tartelette says:

    The cake turned out superb Linda! I love what you did with it!

  18. CookiePie says:

    Love the little cakes, and the hazelnuts sound delicious!

  19. jo says:

    Oh wow, such a lovely cake and the deco is fantastic.

  20. Christy says:

    Lovely, lovely!! I like the fact that you made the cake tall and small…I need to get some smaller cake tins so I can make them to that size!The caramelised chopped hazelnuts are in my opinion very effective to decorate with!!

  21. Lien says:

    Beautiful done. I love the caramel/hazelnut-thing.

  22. natalia says:

    Ciao Linda ! I totally agree with you about this cake ! In spite of this your cakelrtte is a beauty !

  23. Your final product does not give away any of the troubles you had. I think it looks just beautiful!

  24. Miri says:

    I love the decoration and that top photo is soooo pretty!

  25. mahima says:

    Love ur cake.. looks soooooooo temping 🙂

    awesome job!

  26. nina says:

    I admire everyone who takes one a Daring Baker’s Challenge….I find the recipe way to complicated, but I always marvel at the results I see. Your end result is simply stunning!

  27. bex says:

    What a beautiful job. I too was worried about the end result, too much caramel and/or sugar.

  28. Rebecca says:

    I love the idea of the hazelnuts with the caramel flavors in the cake and frosting. Your cake looks great–and I bet tastes even better!

  29. Olga says:

    I sat this one out…the recipe scared me and I’m not a huge caramel fan.

    Your final result looks absolutely beautiful!

  30. A great looking cake and the caramel shapes on top look even better. Yes I did caramel lamingtons (cubes of day-old caramel cake filled with caramel icing, covered in caramel syrup and rolled in coconut)and the extra taste really helped the cake. It was much better the next day. Happy holidays to you and your kin.

  31. Hannah says:

    Ah, I had wanted to make caramelized hazelnuts too! I’m just not so skilled… Your cake looks absolutely stunning though!

  32. Jeanine says:

    Your caramel cake looks fantastic! I cut back on the sugar in the cake, I agree, it was rather sweet. Love your pic though! Wow!

  33. Emilia says:

    What a beauty that cake is; the presentation is perfect, you are so very talented!

  34. sandra says:

    What a gorgeous cake! caramelized crushed hazelnuts are a wonderful idea. And I’m impressed with your patience: one at a time!!! Did you try putting all of the caramelized chopped hazelnuts on a plate and gently roll the mini-cake on it?

  35. I agree–the cake and frosting by itself wasn’t too special. I added chocolate-caramel ganache to mine, which helped. I love your addition of hazelnuts, and love the mini size!

  36. ingrid says:

    Despite not being thrilled with the taste of your cake it certainly is a very pretty one. Sorry it wasn’t exactly what you hoped for….


  37. Regina says:

    The caramel-dipped hazelnuts are such a striking decoration! I agree with you that the cake needs another flavor to compliment the caramel (and even the sea salt in the frosting), and actually went with your obvious choices.

  38. Jude says:

    Wow I need to learn how to make that topping. So impressive.

  39. Y says:

    I love the way you decorated this, Linda! 🙂

  40. lin stvarno si lipo napravila ovi krokanat…ajde guÅ¡taj vidimo se u četvrtak…

  41. ovenhaven says:

    You always come up with the most designer-looking cakes ever. Great presentation as always, dearie 🙂

  42. I really liked the caramel taste starring in this BUT coffee or chocolate as a compliment, you get my vote!

    The hazel nut decoration – outstanding!

  43. Vera says:

    How pretty, Linda! Such a wonderful presentation! I can’t agree more with you about the filling 🙂

  44. Dolores says:

    I love your ingenuity… your willingness to take what comes and run with it even when it wasn’t exactly what you expected. While I’m sorry you weren’t more please with our tribute to burnt sugar, I’m grateful you elected to bake with us, and I’m impressed by your final result. The caramelized hazelnuts are a really neat touch.

  45. Dee says:

    When it comes to Caramel, there’s never too much of it, I think 😉 The hazelnuts on top are stunning! I gotta give that a go.

    If I don’t stop by soon, Merry Xmas and a Fab New Year, Linda!

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