Bullseye Caramel Cake

Where did break go?!!?!!  I still have most of a week left, but still.  It went so fast.  So, so fast.

There are macarons to make.  Thank yous to write.  Succulents to plant.  Marshmallows to make.  Cookbooks to look through.  Blog posts to read.  So many cups of tea to drink.  A scarf to attempt to knit.  Sock monkeys to sew.  Friends and family to visit with.  A birthday to celebrate.  A presentation to plan!

My goodness.  So many things to squeeze into a short week.  Yeah, that's not gonna happen.  So yeah.

Anyway.  Way back last year around Christmas, I made veiled references to cakes.  I told you about one.  Then there was another.  The New Year cake wasn't actually the second cake I was talking about.  It was just too good of timing to not talk about it.  So here comes the third cake in a row.    

First of all, this is LS.  He's my dog-in-law, and since I met him, I have thought he should be named Bullseye.  Seriously.  He's exactly caramel colored with a white patch on his chest.  How does he not remind you of a bullseye caramel candy?

We also found out that these are dad S.'s favorite candy.
Enter Pinterest.  I found some caramel cream cupcakes and NES and I decided I needed to make them for dad S.  So, obviously, I decided to make them into a tiny cake.  I might have a tiny cake obsession.

But hey, we EASILY got 8 slices from a 4 inch cake.  Am I crazy for making such rich cakes? {Don't answer that.}

First of all, before we go any further, why had I not tried brown butter before this?!  It smells deliciously caramely and amazing.  And it's so easy!

So the cake was made of 3 tiny brown butter cake layers, a cream filling and caramel frosting.

The cake went pretty much as planned.  It made about 3 extra cupcakes, but that wasn't a big deal (especially since NES wasn't going to be around for cake).

The cream filling was super tasty, but might have basically been shortening and sugar.  I would suggest eating it by the spoonful, BUT it leaves that weird slippery fatty feeling in your mouth.  So maybe not.

Since I was transferring this recipe to a cake, I decided to cut the center of the middle layer out of the cake and fill that with frosting.  I'm still not exactly sure how I feel about that.  The frosting was kinda concentrated.  (One vote for leaving them as cupcakes.)

The frosting gave me some trouble.  So, first of all, it basically starts with caramel. I've never seen a frosting starting with caramel, but it sounded tasty.

I added the sugar, and it seemed a little melty still.  The frosting was still a little warm (odd), and I thought it was still soft for frosting.  So I didn't add milk.

Then I started frosting.  The cupcakes went fine.  Then I tried to frost the cake.  What I had was more like . . . well, maybe fondant?  I pressed it on the cake and shoved it in the fridge hoping it'd stay.  Hence the blobby cake.  Oops.  (Two votes for keeping them as cupcakes.)

Next time, I'll keep them as cupcakes.

Caramel Cream Cupcakes
from Life, Love and Sugar


3/4 cup butter
1 2/3 flour
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp. milk

Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces, and heat in a light colored saucepan on medium heat.  Whisk while the butter melts.

Keep whisking as the butter foams and bubbles.  After the foam begins to fade, the butter should be brown and smell nutty or caramely.

Once the butter is brown, remove quickly from heat, and pour into a different bowl to cool.  The butter can burn quickly, so watch it!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.

Add the egg whites, vanilla, sour cream and milk.  Mix on medium speed until smooth.  Add the butter slowly while mixing.

Fill each cupcake liner a bit more than half way, or fill 3 4-inch pans.

Bake 18-20 minutes (or longer) or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Cool for 1-2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

Cream Filling

1/2 cup shortening
 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. water

Beat the shortening until smooth.  Add the sugar, vanilla and water.  Mix until smooth.

Caramel Icing

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tbsp. milk
Caramel cream candies

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the brown sugar and cream and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved.

Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar, starting with 3 cups, and adding more until it reaches the desired consistency.

Add the milk to thin out the icing.  (Don't skip this step!)

Allow the icing to cool fully.


Core each cupcake and remove the center.  Spoon the cream filling into the hole.  Frost the cupcakes with the caramel cream frosting.  Place a caramel cream candy on each cupcake.


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