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Caramel Buttercream Layer Cake

Four layers of light and airy sponge cake are stacked and assembled using a rich, caramel-based buttercream. Martha made this recipe on Martha Bakes episode 604.

  • Servings: 10

Photography: Mike Krautter

Source: Martha Bakes

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter, for pans
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line pans with parchment paper rounds and butter again. Dust with flour; tap out excess. In a small bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Transfer egg-yolk mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry mixer bowl and whisk attachment.

  3. Combine egg whites and salt in mixer bowl, and whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar; continue whisking until stiff and glossy, about 1 minute more.

  4. Fold egg-white mixture into egg-yolk mixture. In three additions, fold reserved flour mixture into egg mixture. Divide batter between prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula. Bake until light golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

  5. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool slightly; turn out cakes, remove parchment paper, and let cool completely.

  6. Using a serrated knife, halve each cake horizontally to form 2 layers. Transfer 1 layer to a serving platter and spread 1 cup frosting evenly on top. Set another cake layer on top, and repeat process with more frosting and remaining cake layers. Spread 1 1/2 cups frosting over entire cake. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Spread remaining 2 1/2 cups frosting over cake, smoothing the top and sides. Use a cake comb to give sides of cake a decorative finish, if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 2 days; let cake come to room temperature before serving.

Cook's Notes

The layer cakes can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Let cool completely before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and freezing. Thaw completely at room temperature before using.

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