Salted Caramel Cake

When I tell a person that I’m allergic to milk/dairy, I can almost always guarantee the reaction. They usually get this blank look of,  “Oooookaaayyy” and they are having not very nice thoughts of dairy free food on the inside.  It is automatically assumed that if you can’t have milk, butter, cheese, etc. that you your diet is bland and boring. Whatever you make will not be very tasty. I love proving them wrong. Most people can NOT believe that what I cook or bake is diary free. Most of this is topic for another post, but this is leading up to the recipe that I’m posting today.
I was playing around with making macarons and reading about the various flavors and flavor combinations when I stumbled across a recipe for Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes. “But caramel has milk or cream in it,” you say. Well, I say, “Ha! I’ll prove you wrong!”  I first made this recipe in the form of a cupcake and it works and it’s awesome.  For my brother’s and his wife’s birthdays, I decided to convert this to a cake. It translates well to cake form.
This is not a cake for the faint of heart.  It’s rich, luscious, and decadent. It’s almost overwhelming. The flavor lingers on your palate like a first kiss. A word to the wise, cut very small slices.
            (This recipe has been adapted and altered from the Triple Salted Caramel Cupcake recipe by SprinkleBakes. Her treats are real pieces of art.)   
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½  tsp sea salt
2 sticks Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine sticks
2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs + 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups rice milk (soured*)
·      Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
·      In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt., whisk to incorporate.
·      Cream margarine and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
·      Add eggs and yolks one at a time. (If more than one slips by you, don’t worry it happens).
·      Add vanilla
·      Add the flour mixture alternating with the soured rice milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
·      Don’t forget to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.
·      Pour half of the batter into each cake pan.
·      Bake for 30 minutes.
·      Remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes on a wire rack.
·      Remove the cakes from the pans and completely cool them on the wire racks.
*Soured Rice Milk:Place 1 tbsp of lemon juice in a measuring cup and then add rice milk to the 1 cup mark. This works as a replacement for buttermilk.
For this recipe: Place 1 tbsp + ¾ tsp lemon juice in the measuring cup and then add the rice milk to the 1 ¼ cup mark.
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup rice milk
3 tsp vanilla extract
4 sticks Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine sticks
1 tsp  flaked Kosher salt or sea salt (optional)
6-6 ½  cups of powdered sugar
·      Combine  and stir together the sugar and water in a small saucepan.
·      Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
·      Without stirring, cook until it reaches a dark amber color.
·      Remove from heat.
·      Slowly stir in the rice milk and vanilla until smooth.
·      Cool for 20 minutes.
·      It should still be warm and pourable.
·      Place the margarine in a medium mixing bowl.
·      Add salt.
·      Slowing add the powdered sugar. Start at low speed or you’ll have powdered sugar everywhere.
·      Add vanilla.
·      Slowly add the caramel to the frosting.
·      Scrap down sides as needed.
·      Beat at high speed until combined.
Caramel Sauce
½ cup sugar
3 tbsp Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine sticks
3 tbsp rice milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
tsp kosher salt
·      In a pot, over medium-high heat, whisk the sugar until it melts and turns a dark amber color.
·      Add the margarine and stir until it’s completely incorporated into the sugar.
·      Slowly stir in the rice milk until smooth.
·      Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
·      Let cool until it’s barely warm, but you’re still able to drizzle the sauce.
Assembling the Cake
·      Place one layer on large plate or cake platter
·      Slip three 4 inch pieces of parchment paper under the cake to make cleaning up after frosting and applying the pecans easier.
·      Frost the top of the first cake.
·      Place the 2nd layer on top of the frosted first layer.
·      Frost the top and sides of the cake.
·      Before the frosting sets, gently press pecans into the side of the cake.
·      Drizzle the top with the caramel sauce. (You may have to slightly warm up the sauce in the microwave 5-10 seconds at a time. Just until it drizzles, but is not too runny).
·      Sprinkle with the flaked Kosher salt, if desired.
·      Carefully, pull out the parchment papers and toss.
·      Enjoy!
You will have sauce left over. You can serve it on the side for anyone who would like more drizzled on top of each individual piece or you can drizzle it over non-dairy ice cream or freeze it and save it for the next time you make the cake.
Gluten Free
Substitute rice flour for the all-purpose flour.
Add 3 tsp xanthan gum.
Egg Free – Adapted from the Crazy Cakerecipe on
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
¾ cup vegetable oil (I use regular olive oil, not extra virgin)
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
·      Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a large mixing bowl. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork.
·      Pour batter into two greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans.
·      Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.