I made a gluten free caramel cake to celebrate Let Them Eat Gluten Free Cake’s second year! If you love caramel, you’ll love this cake!!
I cannot believe another year has passed being able to do what I absolutely adore doing–sharing my successes in gluten free baking and cooking with all of you!
It seems like just yesterday that I had the idea to start this little blog. But time truly does fly when you’re having fun and I certainly am having a BLAST!!!! After spending the first half of my life in thankless jobs, I am forever grateful to be given this second chance at something I believe I was born to do–bake!
By the time I was born, or at least able to remember, my grandma was wheelchair bound with terrible arthritis. But my mom constantly talks about all the things my grandma used to bake back in her day and says that I get my love for baking from her. So I dedicate my blog to my grandma, who, without, I may not have had a baking bone in my body!
What I’ve Learned in the Second Year of Blogging
My brain has been exploding with all sorts of new things in the past year!! Who woulda thought I’d be creating videos and actually putting myself in them (something I wasn’t comfortable with at first)? Or that I’d be uploading those videos to YouTube of all places??? I mean, I’m 50 years old, not the usual 30 something that most bloggers are.
But apparently you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, haha! This old dog has been learning how to edit videos using Adobe Premiere Pro. Just the basics of course, but I seem to learn something new every day. So if this gig doesn’t work out, maybe I could work in the film industry. Haha!
What I Love the Most About Blogging
Aside from being in the kitchen baking, the thing I love the most about blogging is you all!!!! Your comments on the blog and throughout social media have, at some times, brought me to tears!
But they are happy tears! Hearing that your son and his cousin have had donuts for the first time in years, or that your daughter enjoyed her first cinnamon roll ever, or that you just had the “best pizza of my life” (in your own words) is absolutely priceless!!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support! I wouldn’t be here without all of you💗
I say it all the time. Being diagnosed with Celiac was a blessing in disguise for me. If I attempted to create a blog that was just a regular baking blog, I don’t know if I would have stood a chance (there are SO many food blogs!). But the gluten free niche gives me an edge that I may not otherwise have. And for that I am truly grateful!
Gluten Free Caramel Cake
Even though I technically live in the south (Virginia), I have never tried a traditional southern caramel cake. So for my second blogiversary, why not give it a go?
This is a simple vanilla butter cake that’s been filled and frosted with buttery, smooth, and rich caramel. If you’re a caramel lover like I am, this cake will fit the bill for a different cake than just the usual vanilla or chocolate. Not that those aren’t wonderful in their own rite.
Tips for Making Caramel
- Use a heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Don’t start the caramel over high heat. The sugar crystals need to completely melt before bumping up the heat.
- As soon as the mixture begins to boil, take a pastry brush dipped in water and brush the sides of the pot down. This will remove any sugar crystals that may be present, which will cause the caramel to be grainy.
- Clip on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have one, here’s a helpful article on how to figure out the proper temperature without one.
- Stir, stir, and when you think your arm will fall off, stir some more. The caramel will scorch on the bottom if you don’t continuously stir.
- The whole caramel making process will take approximately 25 minutes or so. It’s a lot of standing and stirring. Be patient. It’s worth it in the end 🙂
The Vanilla Butter Cake
This recipe is such an adaptable recipe in that it can be made into a cake or cupcakes with excellent results. It’s the same cake recipe that I used for my first blog birthday, minus the sprinkles.
After mixing the batter, make sure not to ignore the step to let the batter sit for roughly 15 minutes. It makes all the difference in the world in this particular cake batter as it allows the flour and starch in the blend to hydrate really well.
You can bake this in three 8-inch cake pans or two 9-inch pans. For the cakes, bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Putting Together the Gluten Free Caramel Cake
My suggestion when building the cake layers is to have them all ready before beginning the caramel. The caramel sets up pretty quickly and waits for no one.
As soon as the caramel is cooled enough to spread on the cake (about 5-10 minutes after taking it off the heat), pour about 1/2 a cup of it onto one layer and spread to the edges. Stack the next layer, pressing lightly to adhere to the bottom one. Repeat this through the third and final layer.
Take what’s left of the caramel and pour it over the top of the cake, letting it slowly cascade down the sides. You can fill in the sides using an offset spatula, or you can leave it rustic and just let the drips lie where they fall.
If desired, sprinkle a little bit of flake salt on top of the cake. The salt helps cut the sweetness from the caramel, allowing for a really balanced bite of yummy gluten free caramel cake!!
Thank you all for your support and wonderful comments throughout these past two years! I feel so connected to all of you as we’re all in this gluten free life together. I hope you can enjoy the fruits of my labor with this buttery gluten free caramel cake 🎂
Gluten Free Caramel Cake
- 2¾ cups (400 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend
- 2 tbsp (16 g) cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1¼ cup (300 ml) milk
- ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp (105 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (226 g) butter, softened
- 2¾ cups (550 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups (720 ml) heavy cream
- 1½ cups (300 g) lightly packed light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp light corn syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- flake salt for decorating, if desired
Bake the Cake Layers:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside. In a large measuring cup, whisk together milk, cream, and vanilla extract and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes, scraping the bowl down a few times in between. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated and light.
- Begin adding flour mixture and milk mixture in alternating additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Let the batter sit for 15-20 minutes. Before pouring into pans, give it a brief stir and scrape of the sides. Pour into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.
- Cool the cakes in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing and placing on wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Caramel:
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan (you'll need at least a 4-quart) add the heavy cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Stir over medium low heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to boil.
- Clip on a candy thermometer (see inside post for how to make without a thermometer) and allow the caramel to boil, stirring constantly, until it reaches 234° F. Immediately remove it from the heat and add the vanilla carefully (it will sputter and bubble significantly when you do this).
- Allow the caramel to cool until it thickens slightly, enough to be able to spread it, about 5-10 minutes.
- Spread about ½ cup between each layer and then pour the rest of it on top of the assembled cake and allow it to drip down the sides. You can smooth the sides or leave it rustic.
- Cake will keep at room temperature, well covered, for 2-3 days.
Adapted from Cleobuttera’s The Perfect Caramel Cake
20 thoughts on “Gluten Free Caramel Cake (And Let Them Eat Gluten Free Cake Turns Two!)”
Question on the caramel sauce – what is your opinion on swapping out the heavy cream for full fat coconut milk?
It could work, but I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure.
Could I use a 13 x 9 rectangular pan?
Yes, it probably could. I’m not sure on the baking time, so you’ll need to start checking early enough.
Oh! My! Gosh! This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever had, gluten free or not. The cake itself is so buttery and delicious and the caramel adds the most amazing touch of sweetness. I thought having to go gluten free would be the end of all things tasty but your blog gives me and my tastebuds so much hope. Can’t wait to try more recipes! Especially if they’re as good as this!
Yay!!! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Hello! My son can’t have corn. Is there anything I can use to replace the corn syrup?
Here is a substitute for corn syrup: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/corn-syrup-substitute-homemade/ I don’t think you can sub with honey or another syrup as they won’t help with crystallization.
Hi, this looks great! Question: can I make the caramel sauce a head of time and then reheat? Thanks!!!
Yes! You can make it 3-4 days in advance 🙂
It sounds like you had a wonderful grandma! That cake looks amazing! You are a terrific baker & y out also have a knack for writing! You know exactly what to say!
Thanks, Mary!! I DID have a wonderful grandma!! And thanks so much for your kind words. They mean a lot to me 🙂
Happy Blog-a-versary!!!!! Finding your blog has given me many baked goods I thought were gone from my plate forever. Edible chewy pizza, that is still tasty the next day. And your Hawaiian buns, absolutely perfect!!! Donuts that are yeasty and perfect. Italian bread that I’m still finding new uses for. I’m saving my favorite for last….Cinnamon Buns! Man oh man, the first one of yours I ate sent me to the moon.
Oh lordy mae, after being diagnosed trips to the grocery usually had me crying in the aisles. I bought the “bread”, “donuts”, “crackers” and most of them went right into the trash after the first bite. I’ve been struggling to make bread that I liked for 10 years. I got close-ish, but never the perfection that you have achieved.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for filling me up with yummy baked goods.
Gillie, you are too kind! Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments! I really appreciate the effort you put into them just to let me know how you feel. It’s because of people like you that I enjoy this job and continue doing it 🙂
Thanks, Gillie 😍
Happy Anniversary! I have been cooking GF since 2013 and your recipes are the BEST I have found. Believe me when I say that I have researched many recipes, blogs and books over the years. Your recipes have changed my family’s life for the better. Thank you for all you do. Here’s wishing you many more successful years!
Awe, thanks so much, Cecilia!!! I appreciate your kind words 🙂
Happy Anniversary. I love your recipes. I have made the focaccia bread several times & it is great. I am going to try your white vpbread recipe next & this cake sounds divine. Thanks for all your hard work.
Thanks so much, Karen!!
Happy Anniversary!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
Kim, you have totally changed my life sharing your magnificent recipes. Thank you thank you thank you 🥰🥰🥰
Thank YOU, Pam!!! I really appreciate your continued support and your kind words 🙂