This vintage recipe uses caramel syrup. It makes an attractive straw-colored cake with an unusual flavor.
See the caramel syrup recipe. If you make one half recipe of caramel syrup, you will have just what you need for the cake and the frosting.
For the frosting
1 large egg
1/3 cup hot caramel syrup
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons butter
4 cups powdered sugar, more or less
Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Drizzle the hot caramel syrup through the egg while continuing to whisk. It is important that the syrup be right-off-the-stove hot to temper but not cook the egg. The desired temperature is to be more than 140 degrees to kill any bacteria in the egg and less than 160 degrees so that the egg does not cook. (The frosting has enough sugar to inhibit any bacterial growth.) Stir in the extract and whipping cream. Set aside in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to frost the cake, beat in the butter with one cup powdered sugar. Then add the caramel syrup from the refrigerator and the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat together. Add more cream or powdered sugar to get the desired consistency. When the frosting is smooth and fluffy, it is ready to use.
For the cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2/3 cup caramel syrup
1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
2. Cream brown sugar and shortening together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add the extract. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Add one-third of the flour mixture, then the milk, then another third of the flour, then the syrup, and then the remaining flour. Beat until well combined. Scrape the batter into two 8-inch layer cake pans.
4. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until it tests done. Let the cakes cool in the pans for several minutes and then remove them from the pans and let cool on wire racks. Let them cool completely before frosting.
Baker’s note: We made a variation of this with almond extract instead of vanilla. It was very good.