I tried to make a vanilla cake with caramel swirls in it last week. It sounded like such a great idea, but I wanted to try making it in advance so I wouldn’t be disappointed on my birthday if it failed—it failed. The yummy caramel sauce I made to swirl into the cake melted into the bottom of the cake and made the cake soggy, greasy, and overly dense.
I realized that swirling caramel sauce wouldn’t work because no matter what, it would melt. Instead, I’d have to choose a simple but dense cake to go with my caramel sauce. The obvious choice was a pound cake. I read through a number of recipes and decided on this one for cream cheese pound cake: http://www.marthastewart.com/315556/cream-cheese-pound-cakes
I halved the recipe since this makes two pound cakes and I only needed one. I’m including the measurements I used because in the comments section, there were some people who noted mistakes in the original recipe:
1 ½ sticks butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
I have to say this recipe turned out really well. The batter looked like freshly-churned ice cream. It was light, fluffy, and flavorful. (My son and I always try a lick from a spatula once we put a cake we’ve made in the oven).
Our cake only needed 60 minutes but I did need to cover it with foil after about 40 minutes to keep it from over-browning. Between the flavor and the texture, I don’t think I could have picked a better recipe. It included helpful details (instead of simply saying “beat until light and fluffy, it included estimates for how long that should take) that made the end result the success that it was. Instead of icing, I paired it with homemade caramel sauce for my birthday, but it would go great with sliced strawberries, compote, or simply a cup of coffee or tea. I will definitely be using this recipe again!