1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix (or your favorite sponge cake)
1 cup milk
8 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
Quick Caramel Icing (Recipe below)
Whipped Cream to decorate, optional (Try the ‘No Weep’ recipe below, which is great on a hot day)
Purchased caramel sauce, optional, to drizzle over the whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 350℉.
Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, then dust with flour.
Place the cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large
Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minutes.
Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
Place the pans in the oven side by side.
Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 27 to 29 minutes.
Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert them again onto another rack to that the cakes are right side up.
Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter.
Spread the top with the warm frosting.
Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes.
Work quickly, as the frosting will set. (If the frosting gets too hard to work with, place the pan back over low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to soften it up.)
Once the frosting has set, slice and serve.
INFO / TIPS
Quick Caramel Icing
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the butter and brown sugars in a medium-size heavy saucepan over
Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes.
Add the milk, stir, and bring the mixture back to a boil, then remove the pan
from the heat.
Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.
Beat with a wooden spoon until the icing is smooth.
Use immediately (while still warm) to frost the cake of your choice or the icing will harden. If it does harden while you are frosting the cake, simply place the pan back over low heat and stir until the icing softens up.
Makes 3 cups, enough to frost a 2- or 3-layer cake
Note: The icing is a bit tricky and you have to work FAST or it sets up. Still delicious, like a praline. Check these reviews here, where a lot of bakers added some extra milk to the icing to make it easier to work with.
No Weep Whipped Cream
500 ml fresh cream
2 tablespoons dry vanilla instant pudding mix (fold over paper envelope it comes in and keep for future use (1 box pudding does about 3 batches of whipped cream)
1 teaspoon icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip all ingredients together until firm peaks form.
Cover leftovers tightly in an air-tight plastic container.
It will keep for one week in the fridge.
** Note: Cake can be stored covered in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 1 week or it can be frozen, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight before serving.