Before we do anything else, let’s announce that we’re sending a copy of the Southern Cakes cookbook and the Southern Pies cookbook to Amanda B. Congratulations, Amanda! Everyone else, thanks so much for playing along and stay tuned for more little giveaways through the end of the year!
It took three tries, but indeed, “third time’s a charm” must really be true because on that third and final attempt, I got the Caramel Icing for this cake to come together into a thick, gorgeous caramel gloss…
The rest of the cake is easy, as it’s just a simple yellow cake. I love it. It’s something even I, a complete disaster with flour, butter and sugar, can bake.
from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott
Ingredients for Yellow Cake
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2¾ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients for for Gigi’s Caramel Icing
1 1-pound box (about 2¾ cups) light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter
7 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To Make the Cake
Heat oven to 325° F.Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans, Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until the butter melts. Stir well and let cool to room temperature.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork to mix well. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, and beat well at high speed, scraping down the bowl often, until light yellow, smooth, and thick.
Stir the flour mixture in to the egg mixture, mixing only until the flour disappears/ Add the cooled milk mixture and the vanilla stir well, and divide the batter between the prepared pans.
Baked at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cakes are pale golden brown, spring back when touched lightly int he center, and begin to pull away from the side of the pans.
Cool in the pans for 10 minutes on wire racks or folded kitchen towels. Then turn out the cakes onto wire racks or plates to cool completely, top side up.
To Make the Icing
Have the cake layers handy and ready for frosting so that you can spread the warm frosting quickly once it’s ready.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir well and then adjust the heat so that the frosting boils and bubble gently. Cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Beat the warm icing with a wooden spoon until it thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Place a cake layer, top side down, on a cake stand or serving platter. Quickly spread some icing over the top and cover it with the second cake layer, top side up. Ice the top quickly and then spread the remaining icing over the sides.
If the icing becomes too hard to spread, warm gently over low heat, add a spoonful or two of evaporated milk, and then scrape and stir well until the icing softens enough to spread again. Dip a table knife in very hot water to help soften and smooth out the icing once it is spread.