This Brown Butter & Salted Caramel Cake Recipe Is Deliciously Sinful

This Brown Butter & Salted Caramel Cake Recipe Is Deliciously Sinful

While people may argue over the pronunciation of caramel, its deliciousness is never questioned. So when baker-blogger Ananya Gupta got started on this caramel concoction for her birthday, we were beyond thrilled. The Brown Butter and Salted Caramel Cake has been Ananya’s ‘brain child’ for a long time—and when her birthday came around, she decided to put her plan into action. “What really makes the cake stand out is the dalliance between the bitterness of the salted caramel sauce, tartness of the cream cheese frosting and the intoxicating nuttiness of the brown butter that echoes through the sponge. Finally, the pinch of salt that runs through the entire recipe, balances the sweetness of these rich ingredients perfectly,” she explains. Her blog documents her experiences and love for baking, which is where we came across this beauty.

When asked what inspires her to bake, Ananya responds, “Baking to me, is a form of mindfulness. The world doesn’t exist when I bake. It’s just the sight of the batter, the sound of the frosting being beaten and the smell of my cake baking in the oven. Baking has been my escape to a very happy and a rather sweet place.” To us, that sounds like the perfect escape—and her recipe is the map to it!

What you need:

A. The brown butter sponge

  • ounces salted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsps of baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean; split it down the centre and scrape the seeds
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk

B. The salted caramel sauce

  • cups of granulated sugar
  • 180 grams butter
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1/2 cup water

C. The salted caramel frosting

  • ounces cream cheese; at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsps of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of icing sugar


A. Making the brown butter cake

  • Heat the butter in the pot for 10 minutes
  • Keep an ice bath with a bowl ready. Stay vigilant of the melting butter; it should not start foaming and it should give off a nutty aroma once it’s melted.
  • Once the aroma is that of butterscotch, you need to take it off the heat and pour the butter into the bowl in the ice bath.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees, cover the pan with parchment paper and grease the sides generously.
  • In a medium sized bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and sift through it.
  • Once the butter has cooled around the edges, add the butter and sugar into a bowl and whisk them till it’s creamy and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla seeds, egg yolk (one at a time) Make sure to beat it well after every addition.
  • Beat in the whole eggs one by one until you the whole mix comes together and is well mixed.
  • Fold in the flour dry mixture, and alternate with the milk, about three rounds of this process.
  • Once the mixture is folded in and there are no flour lumps, pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the centre is cooked.

B. Making the Salted Caramel Sauce

(Note: Use a heavy bottom deep pot; the caramel will spit and foam)

  • Place the sugar and water in a pan. You don’t need to stir it, just swirl the pan once in awhile, if needed. Keep an eye on the caramel.
  • Keep the cream, butter and salt handy. Note: All the ingredients should be at room temperature; DO NOT add cold cream to hot caramel.
  • Once you get the perfect colour on the caramel, tip in the butter and stir till it’s melted through.
  • Remove the pot from the flame and pour in the cream.
  • The mixture will foam and bubble furiously when you add both, the butter and the cream so be cautious.
  • Once the cream is mixed through, pour the caramel in a separate bowl and leave to cool.

C. Making the Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

  • All ingredients must be room temperature.
  • Whisk the cream cheese in a large bowl with the softened room temperature butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
  • Whisk in the salted caramel sauce.
  • When everything is well combined, sift in the icing sugar, small tablespoons at a time. (Not necessary for you to use all the icing sugar, you can adjust the viscosity and the sweetness of the frosting with the sugar)
  • Whip it up until nice and stiff.

Assembling The Cake (we’re almost there!)

  • Place Cake 1 on a cake board and lather the cream cheese frosting rather generously in the centre. Once its evenly spread, drizzle some salted caramel on top.
  • Place Cake 2 on top of Cake 1, and spread the frosting all over the cake. At this point, you may want to chill the cake in the fridge for an hour or so.
  • Decorate the cake with leftover salted caramel and some popcorn.
  • Belt the cake with a nice cup of Ristretto Nespresso coffee.

P.S. For all you novice bakers out there, fret not, Ananya has some advice for you, “In baking, there’s very little scope for guesswork. Always follow the recipe to the T. Room temperature means room temperature. Always preheat your oven. And go ahead and buy that weighing scale for precise measurements.”

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This recipe was originally published on Ananya Gupta’s blog.

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