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Brown-Sugar Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Recipe photo courtesy of Francesco Lagnese

This cake is even sweeter when embellished with handmade marzipan animal figures -- which aren't too hard to make if you have the patience.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2012
Total Time Prep Yield



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How would you rate this recipe?
  • Wanda116
    22 SEP, 2012
    Tried this icing...did not look or ice cake as in pictures...way too thin. Not sure I will try this again...very expensive to make and not the results I was expecting. Followed directions exactly so not sure what happened.
    • mjjordann
      20 OCT, 2018
      I believe too much sugar and too many eggs make this cake fall. One less egg reduce sugars to 2 and 1/4 cups total. Just might work!
  • faithnhome9615710
    13 MAY, 2018
    This is a fabulous cake recipe. I am not a baker but was able to make this cake with marzipan animals to the delight of my 2 year old grandson and rave reviews from the parents.
  • virgoo_mega
    4 MAR, 2017
    9 inches x 2 inches deep normally solved the problem for me because I couldn't find my 8 inches x 2 inches deep! Also "Brown Sugar Cake" you'd think it's sweet can't wait to taste!!! Wish I could post the pictures pretty pretty!!!
  • Janetb21
    20 MAY, 2014
    This was a wonderful cake! I have the standard 2" deep Wilton pans, and had no problem with overflow. The batter was delicious, it tasted like chocolate chip cookie dough. The cake itself had a nice fine crumb and a firm but moist texture. It made a beautiful tall cake. I didn't use the frosting, I used a quick penuche frosting from my old Betty Crocker cookbook from 1959, but the frosting recipe that goes with it sounds really good too. This is a keeper. My family raved over it.
  • Bixxels
    2 JAN, 2014
    This recipe makes far too much batter for two standard 8" layers. Unless you have extra deep pans, use three pans. I used 2 pans & the batter overflowed (burned) - I removed a considerable amount and got 2 usable layers. alternatively, back in a 10" tube pan. The cake is very sweet and has a good texture. I used a maple-walnut-coconut filling adapted from German Sweet Chocolate cake. My husband loved it, but it was quite sweet.
  • elfhaven13
    1 AUG, 2013
    I think I see what happened for one of you, it was 6 sticks butter and this is the way I like my butter cream , you might be a powdered sugar and butter person and they are very different. If you follow the directions on the icing it is perfect!! Good luck!
  • elfhaven13
    1 AUG, 2013
    I have never seen a cake that had the same amount of sugar as flour so I think maybe a mistake in the recipe? I would really like to find out so I am going to try to contact someone. I love brown sugar and I have a recipe for a brown sugar cake but it is to die for. I might compare it. I found it in a magazine or somewhere so I am going to check my recipe box.
  • StephA47
    16 JUL, 2013
    The cake is very good, the frosting not so much. It has no flavor. It feels like shortening on the tongue. It makes the cake seem less than good. We won't be making this again. If we do, we'll add fine chopped nuts to the cake and we'll find a different frosting altogether. Yuck.
  • MS10069865
    27 APR, 2013
    I was concerned by the previous posts of warning, but this turned out great for me. I made cupcakes instead of a layer cake, but it baked like any cake and yielded a tender crumb that was moist. It's very sweet, so pair w/ something that cuts and compliments the molasses flavor of the dark brown sugar.
  • elbiesmom0
    28 MAR, 2013
    OMG-I nearly cried-this was supposed to be for a very special birthday party at work-total disaster-it spilled over in the oven - so liquid-y that I just turned off the over and left it-Gosh-the cost of the cake and especially the icing-6CUPS OF BUTTER-LORDY-WAS THIS A JOKE?

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