Daring Bakers November: Delicious Caramel

This month’s recipe was Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Icing courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon, as published on Bay Area Bites.

Sounds tasty, right? The recipe involved a great deal of butter, sugar, and making your own caramel syrup to be used as part of the cake.

Since Rich’s birthday is November 9th, I decided that this cake would make a good birthday cake. After all, how hard can making your own caramel be?

Caramel CakeYeah, actually the process of making your own caramel isn’t too bad, if you aren’t picky about the color or the depth of flavour, and as long as you are careful not to get any of it on you while it is cooking. I was fine on the safety part, but not so fine on the color part. Mine was a bit too light, and hardened way too easily. Guess I need much more practice making caramel, huh? Next time I’ll closely follow David Lebovitz’s tips for caramel making.

The cake itself, however, turned out quite lovely. As you can see from the picture, I baked it in an angel food cake pan, which resulted in what appeared to be a giant donut once iced with the delicious browned butter and salted caramel icing and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I think this made it an even better birthday cake myself.  Rich’s reaction was essentially ‘You made me a giant donut? Awesome!’.

Knowing the cake would be pretty sweet, I decided to serve it with an apple compote spiced with cardamom and nutmeg. It was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.  The compote was also good on waffles the next day for breakfast.

The recipes for the cake, caramel sauce, and icing are all available directly from Shuna on the Bay Area Bites blog. The recipe for the apple compote I will post below.

Apple Cardamom Compote


* 2 cups water
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 tablespoon good rum
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* Pinch salt
* 8 large apples, peeled, cored, and cubed


In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vanilla, rum, spices and salt and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender and the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Caramel Cake

Thanks to this month’s hosts: Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex, aka Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo, and Jenny of Foray into Food. Awesome choice, guys!

If you’d like to see more versions of the cake, simply go to the Daring Bakers Blogroll!

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  1. Mmm, Tasty! | Vegan, Gluten-free birthdays? Yes we can! pingbacked Posted November 8, 2009, 6:59 pm


  1. Homer Simpson would have loved the giant doughnut too! Well done.

  2. What man wouldn’t love a giant caramel cupcake for his borthday

  3. I LOVE the giant doughnut!! Awesome :) Great job!

  4. Apple compote sounds perfect with this cake. Great idea!

  5. It’s fantastic! I love the doughnut shape to it, and the sprinkling of cinnamon sugar really finishes it off beautifully.

    Great challenge entry!!

  6. Yum, the giant doughnut looks sooo good!

  7. That is a great birthday cake indeed! Love the idea of serving it with apple compote!! Lovely combo of flavors!

  8. LOL, I love the ‘giant donut’!! And the apple compote, nice! Will try ^_^

  9. It does look like a giant donut! That’s so cool. I added apple to mine as well, it’s such a good combination.

  10. Well, I must need another cup of coffee, since I managed to comment under the cookie entry. Either way, the cake and the compote sound delicious.

  11. Hi! Love the idea of the apples with it. I bed it cuts in on a little of the sugar! My husband said it was so sweet and I sure it would help. Going to try it next time!

  12. I like the addition of the apple compote. Sounds like it cut a bit of the sweetness of the cake. Good cake but too sweet for me!

  13. That’s the most lovely ‘giant donut’ I’ve ever seen! Beautiful job!

  14. I love the fact that it looks like a donut! I made mine as cupcakes this time, but next time I might try a bundt pan with just caramel drizzled on top.

  15. Ha! Giant doughnut…

    A giant caramel apple spice doughnut sounds pretty awesome right about now, even if I’m still working my way through my cupcakes.

  16. Love the giant donut look! Makes me feel like Homer Simpson, “Donut!” Drool! lol! :-)

  17. That looks so good! Great job on this challenge.

  18. Love the giant donut! The fruit sounds like a very good idea to cut the sweetiness down a bit.

  19. The donut was a great idea! Looks really tasty :)

  20. Love your big Doughnut! lol

  21. I love the idea of a one giant dougnut. your Rich(ard) would of be impressed, sometimes serendipity smiles as in this case. thanks for the comments on my blog.

  22. Sounds fun – a large donut! Glad it was enjoyed, the compote does sound perfect!

  23. Oh God ! Your cake looks like a giant doughnut with frosting !!!!! slurp !!!!!

  24. Love the giant donut !

  25. Attack of the giant do-nut. How creative is that! I can see why your son thought it was cool. I think I will try this with a cake and then make it chocolate dipped with sprinkles. Or is that too over the top. Great job on this one.

  26. what a great idea, can I borrow it to make a filled giant raised donut?