No picnic is complete without a great dessert to finish it off. The Brown-Sugar Caramel Cake is certain to please.
-2 cups all purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-¾ teaspoon baking soda
-2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
-4 large eggs
-¾ cup vegetable oil
-1 pint fresh strawberries
-½ cup buttermilk
-½ cup sour cream
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon maple extract
-1 recipe Linda’s Cooked Caramel Icing
Heat oven to 350°. Spray three, 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line pans with parchment paper rounds. Spray paper.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat brown sugar and eggs at medium high speed with an electric mixer until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Add oil and beat until combined. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, and extracts.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches, beating well between additions. Pour batter into prepared pans and smooth the tops.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean (about 30 minutes). Let cakes cool in pans for 20 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
The icing will adhere to the cake better if the layers are refrigerated until cold to the touch before icing.
Spread icing between layers, on top and around sides of cake, working quickly. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
Want to taste it, but not bake it? Angela’s Cafe in Denison serves this recipe at lunch and to go.
Linda’s Cooked Caramel Icing
-4 ½ cups sugar, divided
-10 ounces evaporated milk
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
Before making icing, read the entire recipe, noting that two pans will be on the heat at the same time.
Place ½ cup sugar in a small saucepan or skillet. Set on stove. Place remaining 4 cups sugar, evaporated milk, and butter in a large saucepan. Set on stove.
Cook sugar in small pan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until caramelized or amber colored, approximately 4 minutes.
At the same time, bring ingredients in large pan to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. The objective is for these ingredients to come to a boil at the same time as the sugar in the other pan turns amber in color.
When milk mixture begins to boil, carefully add caramelized sugar, stirring constantly.
Cook mixture for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Be careful. Caramelized sugar is extremely hot.
Remove from heat. Let cool for 1 minute. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Use immediately.