Cakes are special, and they are meant to be shared. I may make a batch of cookies or pan of brownies on a whim or to satisfy a craving, but I usually reserve cakes for an occasion. Saturday night wasn’t anything extraordinary, just dinner with my in-laws. We started with spaghetti and meatballs. Later we played pinochle, an old fashioned card game our families still enjoy, and eventually cut into this cake.
I’ve made this burnt sugar bundt cake before, and it always elicits the same response. Ohhs and ahhs followed by silence as everyone takes it in.
It’s not an overly complicated cake, but it does have a few extra steps. Caramelizing sugar may seem scary, but it’s actually surprisingly simple. It’s just sugar in a saucepan that you watch melt and turn amber in color, that’s it! No stirring, no candy thermometers. The burnt sugar is the star of this recipe, showcased in both the cake and the icing. It would be great any time of year but I think that caramel desserts go with fall particularly well.
I hope you’ll serve this caramel flavored bundt cake at your next dinner party or family gathering. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure and will disappear faster than you can imagine. Which is why I sadly don’t have any left to have for breakfast this morning.
You may enjoy these other bundt cakes:
Apple Spice Bundt Cake from Mountain Mama Cooks
Brown Sugar Pear and Cherry Bundt Cake from Barbara Bakes
Banana Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache from My Baking Addiction
Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Pumpkin Glaze from Dine and Dish
A moist and dense caramel flavored cake iced with caramel buttercream
To make the burnt sugar liquid:
- Place the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let the sugar melt and turn an amber color. Do not stir, but swirl the pan around to make sure the sugar is caramelizing evenly.
- Once the sugar is all melted, remove from heat and add the heavy cream in a small stream. It's okay if it gets a little lumpy. Return the pan to medium heat and cook while stirring until smooth.
- Pour into a 2 cup or larger liquid measuring cup. Add the lemon juice and enough milk to measure 1 cup. Set aside.
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a bundt cake pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixing bowl in three additions, alternating with the burnt sugar liquid and ending with the flour mixture. Scrap down the bowl as necessary.
- Pour into the prepared bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 45-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Beat the butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla and the burnt sugar liquid until smooth. Add additional tablespoons of the burnt sugar liquid to reach desired consistency.
- Frost the bundt cake. Store in an air tight container at room temperature, it will keep for several days.