Saturday, 1 February 2014

Caramel cake

Plum cake without any 'plums', aka caramel cake
An original Kerala Christmas cake got a few trimmings here and there, to became one of my favorite cakes - the caramel cake. I know, the whole renaming thing sounds just like the story of this chocolate vanilla marble cake that I posted earlier. :) While I was not so confident about recreating the perfect 'Zebra effect' (thereby taking an escape route using 'marble effect'), here I intentionally omitted adding raisins and plums (the obvious addition in a plum cake). The exclusion was only because my sister (this cake was for her) doesn't like raisins. Without dried fruits, nuts and wine / rum, the caramel flavor truly shines through in this recipe. 
I have tried the original recipe from Nags a number of times, in numerous ways - with or without dried fruits and nuts, adding wine or by soaking the dried fruit mix in wine for weeks. Every-time it tastes heavenly and gets better and better on ageing. Another important thing to note while making this cake is to get the right caramelization - not burnt, not crystallized but just the perfect amber hue will be great. 

Caramel cake recipe
Recipe Courtesy : Edible Garden 
Ingredients required:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 + .5 cups white sugar
1/4 cup water
150 gram unsalted butter at room temperature
3 eggs
1 tsp spice powder (1 small piece cinnamon + 1 clove + 1 small piece maze + 4 small green cardamom pods + 1 small part of star anise)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp honey
A pinch of salt
Handful of chopped cashew nuts for garnish


Preheat the oven to 180 °C (160 °C fan-forced). Grease and dust the cake tin.

To a thick bottomed pan on medium high heat, add the half cup sugar kept aside for caramelization. Once it starts to dissolve and then caramelize, reduce the heat to medium and gently stir or swirl the pan to prevent burning. Wait for the amber hue to appear, and then add 1/4 cup water, just before removing from heat. It will splutter in protest, making all sorts of sound. So just take care while adding water to the hot caramel. After cooling down, this will harden and has to be reheated again to a pourable consistency. Remove from heat and set aside.

To a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the spice powders and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale. Pour in vanilla and honey. Add eggs, one at a time and whisk till just combined, without over-beating). 

Stir in the dry ingredients in two batches, gently combining with the wet ingredients without knocking the air off. Now add the cooled caramel and fold in to the mix so that the batter is well-combined. Pour the batter to the prepared cake tin. Gently tap the sides of the tin to remove air bubbles. Dredge the cashews with one tsp of flour and arrange them on top of the batter.

Bake for 40-50 min  until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Don't be tempted to open the oven door in between due to the permeating heavenly smell or caramelized cake top. Also, try to resist the sweet temptation to eat this delicious cake immediately. Because, as I said earlier, it gets better and better on ageing :)


  1. That looks delicious! I have made caramel cake before but without the addition of the spices. The smell must be wonderful. And the taste too!
    Thank you for your words on my blog. I'm fine now and my younger son is home for a few days. Oh the joy of cooking for one's child....!:)

    1. Thank you Kanak :)
      The cake is very aromatic and tasty, and every-time it will be over within an hour of baking..
      It is always a pleasure to cook for the loved ones, enjoy and take care of your health:)
      Happy blogging and baking :-)

  2. hi, I have nominated you for The Liebster Award…

  3. Mmmmm... am back in the aromatic garden of Raji :) and so glad I am here :)
    The cake certainly looks delicious Raji ... sadly I don't have a convection oven... so I guess I can not bake it .. can you help dear ?