So, the recipe for Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie Cookies contains a recipe that yields well over a cup of caramel sauce.
That is a lot more caramel than you really need. Never fear, I have an elegant solution for what to do with the extra caramel that does not require two pints of ice cream and a marathon of my favorite Marilyn Monroe movies. (How to Marry a Millionaire is my number 1 favorite!)
Use the extra caramel in a cake!
This is a lovely little cake is perfect for snacking but is also good to bring to a party. Since this cake has such deep flavor from the caramel and the frosting you can serve as few as 9 or as many as 12. It is very rich. For a bigger crowd you could very easily double the recipe and bake a two layer cake, just be sure to triple the frosting so you can frost the cake completely.
And while we are talking about frosting, I decided on a cream cheese frosting with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla beans after trying a caramel flavored frosting with the cake. It was too sweet and the flavor, I found, competed too much with the caramel in the cake. (I also had some ‘technical difficulty’ with the consistency of the caramel frosting. Frosting FAIL … so frustrating.) Ultimately I was happy with the cream cheese because it has a nice tang which really pops the deeper caramel notes.
Caramel Cake with Caramel Icing Serves 9-12
For the cake:
6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup caramel
For the frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or regular vanilla extract)
2 cups powdered sugar
Heat the oven to 350 F and spray an 8″ square cake pan with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until well blended.
In another bowl sift the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
In a mixing cup, or small bowl, mix the buttermilk and caramel.
Alternately add the flour and caramel into the butter and sugar in three additions starting and ending with the flour.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread it out evenly then bake it for 30 minutes or until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center springs back when gently pressed. The center of the cake may dip slightly.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out on a wire rack to cool.
While the cake cools prepare the frosting.
In a large bowl mix the cream cheese and butter until well combined. Whisk in the cinnamon, vanilla bean paste and powdered sugar until smooth.
Once the cake cools frost as desired and serve.