Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gigi's Fabulous Caramel Cake. With A Bit Of The Bachelor.

Who's Gigi?

I have no idea - but that girl can bake up a caramel cake that'll make you swoon.

YES, swoon. Over a cake.

I made Miss Gigi's cake this weekend while my hubby's parents were here visiting. I made it as dessert after our Corned Beef and Cabbage Sunday dinner. Because Sunday dinner 'round here isn't complete without Sunday dessert.


Speaking of stars (or the like), any of you watch The Bachelor last night?

Let me put it this way - sitting there watching that show - I have never in my whole life been more thankful for the Jason that lives in this house with me. 'Cause all that "living in the moment" and "I can't control my head and my heart" and "I'm still falling for you" crap was hurl-worthy. That guy has MAJOR issues.

Dang, y'all. If I were Molly, I'd have run like wild fire from that train wreck. What a putz.

But, back to the fabulous cake.

Of which I have my friend, Emily, to thank. She and her precious family came to visit us last weekend and she, in true Emily fashion, brought me the cookbook (Southern Cakes - Sweet and Irrestistible Reicpes for Everyday Celebrations) that houses this most scrumptious recipe.

I love that Em knows me - 'cause a cookbook all about cakes? And, Southern cakes, made with butter and sugar and all the goodness that makes cakes SO utterly fabulous?

Be still my heart.

The caramel icing is what makes this one so good. The icing is like a brown sugar fudge - and sitting atop this cake it is pure heaven. The yellow cake, which is not too sweet, compliments the icing perfectly.

Really, it's ALL about the icing on this one. And, it's GOOOOOOOOOOD!

TRY THIS CAKE. Y'all will love it.

Gigi's Fabulous Caramel Cake
adapted from Southern Cakes...


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel Icing:

One 1-pound box (about 2 2/3 cups) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
7 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cake, heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13" pan. Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until the butter melts. Stir well and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, and beat well at high speed, scraping down the bowl often, until light yellow, smooth, and thick.

Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, using a large spoon or a spatula to mix only until the flour disappears. Add the cooled milk mixture and the vanilla, stir until smooth, and pour into prepared cake pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the cake is a pale golden brown, springs back when touched lightly in the center, and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Allow to cool before icing.

To make the icing, combine the brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla in a heavy, medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir well and then adjust the heat so that the frosting boils and bubbles gently. Cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Beat the warm icing with a wooden spoon until it thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Quickly spread the icing over the top of the cake, smoothing if needed.

*If the icing becomes too hard to spread, place the saucepan over low heat, add a spoonful or two of evaporated milk, and then scrape and stir well the until frosting softens enough to spread again. Dip a table knife in very hot water to help soften it and smooth it out once it is spread.


  1. my blood sugar went up just looking at this yummy looking cake =)

    the bachelor... yah, crazy! but i see it more as a flaw of the premise of the show than jason's problem. they set him up to fall for two girls. and there's so much pressure to propose to one of them.

    the only thing you can count on is broken hearts. that's why i don't usually watch the bachelor. but, for some reason i enjoy the bachelorette. could it be that women have a better handle on their emotions? anyways, that's how i ended up watching jason this season... because i liked him from the previous season.

  2. Just seeing 1 1/2 sticks of butter I knew it has to be a delight worth making.. Thanks for the tip.

  3. When you wrote "Ya'll gotta try this" I thought I heard Paula Dean. I will try it! Thanks for another delicious recipe!!

  4. Oh, Sar... I'm so glad you liked the book. It does my heart good.

    And the frosting takes me back to my great-grandma. She made this frosting as I remember it vividly as a little girl.

    Your boys are so fortunate to have a momma like you who cooks such fab food.

    And, btw... I'm totally salivating. So yummers.

  5. mmm, yet another good looking recipe to try. I gotta satisfy my sweet tooth!

  6. Sar...I am with you. I've made the caramel cake from the Southern Living cookbook a few times and it ALL gets eaten--nothing for the next night or anything. Though, I might try this one because the icing doesn't look like it takes as long. The one in the SL book takes like an hour it seems. But, oh so worth it!

  7. Oh Sarah! HAHA!!! Your comments about The Bachelor made me laugh out loud. Scott and I watched it last night, and I said the SAME thing: "That guy has MAJOR issues!" He is definitely a total CHUMP. And I can't wait to try the caramel cake recipe. Loved the post-nap shot too. :-)

  8. That cake looks absolutely delicious. Way to go, Emily, on the new cookbook!

  9. yumm! and that Bachelor is annoying; I think people are silly for going on that show. We want to go on the Amazing Race. :)

  10. oh yummy. i love me some caramel. can't wait to try it.

    yes i watched the bachelor drama - ugh! melissa should be thankful. there is a wonderful man waiting to sweep her off her feet.

  11. I made a cake like this recently. Seriously, it was one of the best things we've ever had. It melted in your mouth...like buttah. Yum!

  12. help! my icing was caramel-thick and chewy--not good on a cake. did i cook too long or on too high a heat? help!!