Salted Caramel Bundt Cake

I made this cake a few weeks ago when I was house sitting for Shane’s parents as they lounged on a beach somewhere in Mexico. I probably would rather have been there staring at the crystal blue water with them, but I really do enjoy my time alone at their house. It’s so peaceful and serene, and I often don’t notice just how nice that is until I come home. Aside from the fact that the beach is literally steps away, there’s very little traffic on their road and the trees offer some privacy from your neighbors which is in stark contrast to our busy road and the houses built right on top of one another.

You come to know your neighbors very well here, maybe too well. Though sometimes it can be amusing… Yesterday my neighbor’s dog got loose, and I watched as they chased him up and down the street trying to lure him home with a box of Trix. Now I don’t have a dog so what do I know, but Trix?! Probably wouldn’t have been my first choice…

Salted Caramel Bundt Cake

Anyway, I’ve gotten majorly sidetracked, let’s talk about this bundt cake. My friend Di posted it last year and the minute I saw “salted caramel,” I was sold. I don’t know that I’ve seen too many recipes incorporating salted caramel that I didn’t want to immediately make :) I just can’t get enough of its salty-sweet goodness!

You start off making a salted caramel syrup here, which is then incorporated right into the batter for the cake. Di had mentioned she wasn’t a huge fan of the original glaze for this cake so I used the icing from the apple bundt I made last year instead. The combination was delicious! This cake is moist and has a very tight crumb – the texture is similar to a pound cake, but not quite as dense. It’s also not super sweet as you might expect with both sugar and the salted caramel syrup in it. I tried one slice and left the rest on the counter for Shane’s parents to find when they came back from Mexico the following day. Hopefully it made the transition back to “real” life a little sweeter!

Salted Caramel Bundt Cake

Salted Caramel Bundt Cake
syrup and cake adapted from Cake Simple by Christie Matheson via Di’s Kitchen Notebook, icing from this cake

{Note: this recipe is made in a mini bundt pan (6 cup, as noted below). I haven’t tried doubling the recipe and baking it in a standard bundt pan so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out.}

Salted Caramel Syrup
1 cup (200 g) sugar
3/4 cup water, divided
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel

Cake
2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (144 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup salted caramel syrup
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Icing
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To make the syrup: Add the sugar, 1/4 cup of the water, and the corn syrup to a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, then cover the pan. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes with the lid on (this allows the steam to clean any stray sugar crystals from the sides of the pan). Remove the cover and cook until the sugar becomes dark amber in color, swirling the pan occasionally so the sugar cooks evenly. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining water – be *very* careful, it will bubble quite vigorously. Set the pan back over medium-low heat and whisk until the syrup is completely smooth. Stir in the salt. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof measuring cup and allow to cool to room temperature before proceeding with the cake.

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 6-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, gradually add the caramel syrup, mixing until incorporated (my batter looked slightly curdled at this point, so if yours does too don’t worry – it’ll come together in the next step). Alternately add the dry ingredients in three additions and the milk in two, beating just until incorporated.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and level the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the icing: Combine the brown sugar, butter and milk in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat, and bring to a boil, whisking almost constantly. Boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, until it is completely incorporated and the icing is smooth. Gently stir the icing until it starts to thicken, then pour it over the cooled cake. (The icing will set up quickly, so don’t make it in advance – wait until the cake has cooled completely.)