This cake recipe slipped into my email box from the always nice folk at Betty Crocker, and, since Rich LOVES snickerdoodle cookies, I figured the cake would be a big hit.
It was. But, I had a couple of issues with the recipe as it was:
I wasn’t crazy about the whole “whipped topping” frosting, and, there was a heckuvalot of sweetened condensed milk leftover.
So, I subbed my own buttercream for the whipped topping and turned the leftover sweetened condensed milk into a salted caramel bourbon sauce, which, just so happens to work a treat on top of the cake!
•1 yellow cake mix
•1 cup water
•1/2 cup veggie oil
•1 tsp vanilla
•1 tsp cinnamon
•1-1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
•1 cup unsalted butter, softened
•4 cups confectioners’ sugar
•2 tsp vanilla
•2 to 4 tbsp (or more) whipping cream
•1/8 tsp black pepper
•1/8 tsp salt
Salted Caramel Sauce:
•Leftover sweetened condensed milk
•2 tsp coarse sea salt
•1 tbsp bourbon (optional)
Heat your oven to 350º and apply cooking spray to a 13×9 baking pan.
Beat the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla together on medium speed until the batter is smooth, then transfer to the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer to a rack to cool completely – mebbe 30 minutes or so.
Use a wooden dowel or a meat fork to punch holes an inch apart all over the cake. Be certain to press all the way through the cake to the bottom of the pan.
Pour the cup and a half of the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the cake, cover the cake, and stash it in the fridge for an hour or so.
At this point, you will see the problem with the sweetened condensed milk…
There is a heckuvalot of it leftover!
Fortunately, I have a solution.
Transfer the remaining sweetened condensed milk to a canning jar and stir in the sea salt and, if you’re using it, the bourbon.
Note: brandy works nicely here, too.
Seal the jar with a lid and band, then place the jar in your slow cooker.
Add water to cover the jar by at least an inch (you may have to add a weight to the jar to keep it at the bottom of the slow cooker – pie weights work a treat here), then set the pot to low and leave it alone for eight to ten hours.
Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce!
Note: the lid will seem to be sealed, as if you had canned this; but the caramel will still need to be stored in the fridge. It will, however, be wicked thick, so you’re probably gonna want to bring it to room temperature before you set it out to spoon over the cake.
So. The cake is quietly soaking up the sweetened condensed milk, and the leftover sweetened condensed milk well and truly dealt with, let us now turn to the buttercream frosting.
In a mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the softened butter until light and airy.
Add the salt, pepper (yes, pepper, trust me, it’ll add a nice little sumpin’ sumpin’ to the frosting), and vanilla and beat until nicely combined.
Add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, stirring in each cup completely before adding the next cup.
Stir in the cream, a tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is the consistency you like.
Note: since this cake needs to be stored in the fridge, the frosting will firm up a lot, so you might want to make the frosting a little looser (add more cream) than normal.
Now, let us finish the cake.
Pull the cake from the fridge – note how the cake has absorbed that sweetened condensed milk.
Frost the cake with the buttercream, than stash back in the fridge.
About an hour before you plan to serve the cake, remove it and the caramel sauce from the fridge and set aside to come to room temperature.
Slice the cake and serve with the caramel sauce to spoon over the top.
We had a half dozen folk over for brunch and the reviews were unanimous;
The cake by itself is a real winner, but…
The cake with the salted caramel bourbon sauce was, like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way!
I like it when stuff works out!