Caramel lattes are arguably the best kind of coffee. But also I don’t even really drink coffee that often so I don’t know if my opinion even matters, but caramel lattes ARE NICE.
So I thought it would be fun to make a caramel latte cake. I cannot explain how good the flavour and the smell of this cake was. Also IT WAS SO SOFT, the softness of the cake surprised me to be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to be so soft.
If you like caramel lattes you need to make this immediately.
The cake layers
The first thing we are going to make is the cake layers, just because they need to be left to cool completely.
For these cake layers, I just used a vanilla cake batter but instead of using granulated sugar, I used brown sugar.
I mainly did this because brown sugar adds a nice caramely flavour to cakes, which would work perfectly for this. But also, brown sugar adds extra moisture, which is a nice bonus.
I also added some coffee to the batter. I used coffee twice in this recipe, I used it in the cake batter and in a milk mixture that I also made. I will talk about this later.
I just wanted to mention, you can use as much or as little coffee as you want. If you like a strong coffee flavour, use more, or if you prefer a milder taste, use less.
Here are the ingredients I used to make the cake batter:
- Unsalted butter – We’re using self-raising flour for this cake batter. A lot of self-raising flours have salt in them, so it’s best to use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, your cake could end up too salty.
- Oil – for moisture. Any flavourless oil works but I like to use vegetable oil.
- Brown sugar – use soft light brown sugar.
- Vanilla extract – for flavour.
- Self-raising flour – I will talk about how to use plain/all purpose flour in the next section.
- Whole milk mixed with instant coffee
Ingredient substitutions for the cake batter
There are a few ingredients that I used to make the cake batter, that I typically get ask if there are any substitutions for.
Let’s talk about them:
Cakes typically need some kind of fat, this can either be butter or oil. Butter adds flavour, whereas oil adds moisture.
When it comes to vanilla cakes, I think it’s nice to use both. This way the cake has nice flavour and a lot of moisture.
In the recipe card below, you will see that I used 125g of unsalted butter and 125ml of oil.
If you wanted skip the oil and just use butter instead, you could. Use 250g of unsalted butter instead.
The brown sugar
Like I mentioned, I used brown sugar mainly because it adds a nice caramel flavour.
However, if you only had granulated or caster sugar, you absolutely could just use this instead. Use the same amount!
The self-raising flour
I like to use self-raising flour for my vanilla cakes. It’s just easier because I don’t need to add any raising agents.
But if you live in a place where self-raising flour is hard to find, you can use plain/all purpose flour instead.
Use the same amount but mix 2.5 teaspoons of baking powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt into it!
After the cake layers had baked, and they were still hot, I poured a milk/coffee mixture over them.
This added a lot of moisture and so much flavour.
I’ve been pouring milk over a lot of my cake layers recently, it really gives you such a soft moist cake.
But this was the first time I added coffee to the milk. It was amazing, I feel like this was what made this cake so good.
Anyway for this, all you need is:
- Milk – any milk does work but I personally think whole milk is best.
- Instant coffee – I added 2 tablespoons, but you can add more or less.
- Brown sugar – just for a little sweetness.
You just want to heat these ingredients together, until the coffee has fully dissolved. Then leave these aside to cool.
Once your cakes have baked and are still warm, pour the milk over them. Then leave them to cool completely.
The next thing we are going to make is the salted caramel.
First of all I would like to say, you don’t have to make this you could just buy it, I won’t tell anyone.
Buying it will save some time, but if you are making it, here are the ingredients you will need:
- Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
- Unsalted butter – I like to use unsalted butter so that I can control the amount of salt in the caramel, but salted butter does work too, just don’t add any extra salt.
- Double cream – also known as heavy cream. You want this to be warm, so heat it in your microwave for about 60 seconds.
- Salt – I used 1/4 teaspoon but you can adjust this amount depending on how salty you want your caramel.
A few tips when making the caramel
Keep the heat on medium
The first step is to melt the sugar. When melting this, make sure to keep the heat on medium/low.
Don’t try increasing the heat to speed up the process.
Sugar can burn easily, we don’t want this to happen because you will end with a caramel that has a bitter taste.
So don’t increase the heat.
Constantly stir the sugar
This is also to prevent the sugar from burning.
Whiles the sugar is melting, don’t walk away, you want to keep stirring it.
Move quickly once the sugar has melted
Once the sugar has melted, we are going to take it off the heat, then mix in the butter and then the cream.
You want to move a little quickly when doing this, if the sugar cools down too much before mixing the other ingredients in, you will end up with clumps of sugar.
With that being said, even if this does happen DON’T WORRY. Just place the caramel onto low heat and heat it, whiles stirring, until the clumps of sugar have melted.
And if there are any that won’t melt, just sieve the caramel.
So yes move quickly, but don’t worry too much if things go wrong, it is fixable.
Use room temperature butter and warm cream
You don’t want the butter and cream to be cold when you add it to the melted sugar.
If they’re cold, the sugar will set up straight away, we don’t want this.
So use room temperature butter.
You don’t really have to wait for it to come to room temperature though. I just heat it in the microwave until soft.
And then I also heat the cream for about a minute in the microwave.
Make sure to do this before you start melting the sugar, you don’t want to start doing it once the sugar has melted.
The buttercream is the last thing we are going to make.
I made a Swiss meringue buttercream for this. You could use whatever kind of buttercream you like, but I felt like Swiss meringue buttercream would go great with this cake.
I haven’t included the recipe for this in the recipe card below, just because I have as separate blog post on this recipe.
Swiss meringue buttercream is not the easiest kind of buttercream to make, especially if it’s your first time, so I’ve included a lot of detail in that blog post.
Here’s the recipe:
In that recipe I use granulated sugar, but when making the buttercream for this cake, I used brown sugar.
I loved this so much, it was my first time using brown sugar in buttercream, THE FLAVOUR WAS AMAZING, it complimented the cake layers so well.
So if you are following my Swiss meringue buttercream recipe, make sure to remember to use brown sugar instead.
Decorating the cake
Once the cake layers have been made and cooled, the caramel has been made and cooled AND the buttercream has been made, you can put the cake together, then decorate however you want.
Now you can finally cut into it and dig in.
Cakes like this do have a lot of different parts, and it might feel like a lot, but it is so worth it at the end. They take a lot of time, but the time is worth it.
Here are few other cake recipes I think you might also like:
Caramel Latte Cake
- For the cake layers:
125g unsalted butter, softened
125ml vegetable oil
250g light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
60ml warm whole milk, mixed with 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- For the milk mixture:
350ml whole milk
2 tablespoons instant coffee (you can use as much or as little coffee as you want here)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- For the caramel:
300g granulated sugar
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
180ml double cream, warm (just heat it in your microwave for 30-60 seconds)
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional (you can adjust this to taste)
1 batch Swiss meringue buttercream, BUT replace the granulated sugar in this buttercream recipe with light brown sugar
- Making the cake layers:
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
- In a large bowl, add the butter, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat these together on high speed for 5 minutes. If you are making this by hand, just aggressively whisk for as long as you can.
- Add 2 of the eggs into this, whisk these in, then whisk in the remaining 2 eggs.
- Now add the flour and milk/coffee mixture, whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
- Pour this batter into your prepared cake tins, spread it out then bake in your pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Making the milk mixture:
- Whiles your cakes are in the oven, make the milk mixture.
- Add the milk, coffee and brown sugar into a pot. Place this onto medium heat.
- You want to heat this just until the coffee has dissolved, we don't need this to come to a boil, we just want the coffee to dissolve. You could also just do this in your microwave.
- Leave this aside to cool down.
- Once your cakes have baked, pour this over them whiles the cakes are still warm.
- Now let the cakes soak the milk and cool completely in the tins for a few hours.
- Making the caramel:
- In a pot, add about 1/3 of the sugar. Place this pot onto medium heat.
- Heat this sugar, whiles constantly stirring, until the sugar starts to melts. Once it starts to melt, pour another 1/3 of the sugar into the pot. Keep stirring until this starts to melt, then add the rest of the sugar. Make sure not to increase the heat during this process, you want to melt the sugar slowly, otherwise it can burn.
- Keep heating and stirring the sugar until it has all melted and turned an amber colour.
- Take it off the heat and whisk in the butter. Then slowly pour in the cream, whiles mixing. Now mix in the salt.
- Sieve this to get out any lumps, then leave aside to cool completely.
- Decorating the cake:
- Once the cakes and caramel have cooled, and the buttercream has been made, you can start putting everything together.
- Place one of your cake layers down onto a plate or cake board, spread some of the buttercream on top of this, then pipe a border of the buttercream around the edge of the cake. Add some of the cooled caramel in the middle of this.
- Add the second layer of cake on top.
- Now you can decorate however you want. I just iced the whole cake in the buttercream, added a drip with the caramel, then piped some of the buttercream on top and sprinkled a little bit of ground cinnamon on top too.
- Cut into it and enjoy!