Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Caramel Cupcake

Caramel Cake is a favorite treat in the South. I've never had a Southern Caramel Cake, but I did have a different version of a Caramel cake in the Philippines during our recent trip that my daughter and I both really liked. So I made a note to myself to try to make something similar.

One of my co-workers and I got to talking about Southern Caramel Cake and she lead me to this recipe from Add A Pinch. She said that her Southern mom made hers with shortening, the way this recipe did. I was a little worried about using Trans Fat from the shortening because of all the health concerns with trans fat. But any tried and true recipe that mom makes is great recipe in my book.

I decided to make this recipe into cupcakes because they're better to share rather than having to cut into a whole cake to give away. The cake is a standard yellow cake that was pretty easy. The caramel is more like a topping rather than a frosting. Like I said, I've never had a real Southern Caramel Cake before, but I imagine that this came out quite good. However, as most people would know about about me, I like my frosting to be creamy. The caramel turned out pretty firm in this recipe. Firm the way a caramel candy would. There's nothing wrong with that, but I prefer my cakes to be creamy. So I think I may incorporate this recipe with another one to accomplish that.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line muffin pans with muffin cups, or grease and flour 3 9-inch round pans.

2) In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream for about 8 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, thoroughly mixing after each addition.

3) Alternately add flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Add vanilla and beat well. Scoop into muffin cups about 3/4 full, or divide among the 9-inch round pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and remove cakes from pans and place on cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.

Caramel Icing 
4 cups sugar
2 cup buttermilk
1 cup shortening
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 tsp. baking soda

1) Place all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until ingredients have melted together. Stir constantly to prevent from burning at the bottom.

2) Continue to cook until you reach the soft-ball stage (place a drop of the caramel in a cup of cold water, the caramel should turn into a "soft ball.")

3) Remove from heat and place the caramel in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a whisk attachment, whip caramel until it holds when the mixer is stopped. Spread warm icing on cakes. Allow icing to cool before serving.

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