How To Make Crystalized Sugar
And lets talk about the spectacular garnish! I had this crazy idea to add broken pieces of crystallized sugar on the sides and the idea turned out even better than I imagined! It takes this dulce de leche cake to a whole new level, making this cake simply epic! To make the sugar garnishes, youll need just 2 ingredients: sugar and water. The sugar is cooked over medium heat until it reaches a deep amber color, then its poured over a baking sheet and allowed to cool. Its super easy and fun to make! Here are a few more tips:
- Do not stir the sugar and water! Just pour both into a small saucepan and let the heat do the trick. Stirring the sugar will cause the crystals to form.
- Caramelized sugar will be VERY HOT! Handle the syrup with extreme care! Allow the sugar to cool completely before breaking it into smaller pieces.
- Add the crystallized sugar garnishes to the cake when youre ready to show it off! Dont leave them on overnight, otherwise they will start to melt.
What Is Dulce De Leche
If you have never tried dulce de leche before, you are in for a big treat. It is basically sweetened condensed milk that has been cooked into a fantastic, caramel-like substance.
Of course, you can buy it pre-made, but heres how you can make it at home. Transfer sweetened condensed milk into a glass jar and seal it with a lid. Place it in a pot, cover the jar with water and cook for 2.5 hours. Let the dulce de leche come to room temperature. Use this version in place of pre-made dulce de leche .
What Type Of Caramel To Use
For this recipe, I used three cans of dulce de leche! This thick caramel sauce is made by cooking sweetened condensed milk in the can over low heat for several hours. You can by the caramel premade and ready to use. Making this caramel yourself can be a bit dangerous as the cans do have a tendency to explode!
- If you cant find dulce de leche for this recipe, I recommend using myHomemade Caramel Saucerecipe instead.
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How To Make Tres Leches Cake
Begin by combining the egg yolks, oil, water and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Whisk to blend.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, part of the sugar, and the baking powder.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
Using an electric mixer, beat for one minute to aerate. Set aside.
Next, combine the egg whites and salt in a clean, dry bowl and beat until foamy and soft peaks form .
Add the remaining sugar in a steady stream and beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. As you can see below, the mixture will be glossy, and when you lift the beaters or whisk out of the bowl, the peaks will point straight up with just a tiny droop at the top.
Add the a quarter of the egg whites to the batter and stir to combine this lightens the mixture making it easier to fold in the remaining egg whites.
Fold in the remaining egg whites this is just a gentle mixing method that helps the batter retain the volume of the beaten egg whites. Its easy: use a large rubber spatula to cut down vertically through the two mixtures, then gently turn half the mixture over onto the other half. Continue cutting down the middle and turning a portion over. Dont stir. The egg whites should be fully incorporated but only just so try not to over mix.
Transfer the batter to an ungreased 9 x 13 x 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish . Its very important not to grease the pan a chiffon cake needs to grip the sides of the pan to rise. And the cake needs to stick to the pan since it cools upside-down.
Notes & Tips For This Chocolate Dulce De Leche Cake:
- You can make your own Dulce de Leche at home rather than using store-bought if you prefer.
- To enhance the chocolate flavor of the cake, you can use strong hot coffee instead of hot water.
- For the ganache, I let mine set overnight . It will be too thick at this point, so I microwave it for 10 secs and stir it until its the right consistency.
- The drip technique works best on a chilled cake so that the drips set quickly.
- Be sure to check my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting.
- Learn how to keep your cakes moist using Simple Syrup.
- To help ensure your cake layers bake up nice and flat, see my Flat Top Cakes post.
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How To Assemble The Dulce De Leche Cake
- Carefully flip each cake upside down and peel off the baking mat.
- Cut each cake evenly in half, for a total of four layers.
- Pour the soaking syrup evenly over the cake with the squirt bottle.
- Spread the caramel cream over one layer of the cake evenly.
- Add crushed hazelnuts to the top.
- Top with the second layer and repeat until you all four layers are done.
- Cover the entire cake with the caramel cream once all four layers are together.
- Finish with the decor of your choice then top with roasted hazelnuts.
- Let the cake sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors can meld.
- Serve and enjoy!
Dont Overbeat Heavy Whipping Cream
When you are making the cake cream, make sure you dont overbeat the heavy whipping cream. You will want to stop when the texture becomes soft and billowy. You will know that you have overbeaten the cream if it starts to curdle and separate.
Tip: Fix curdled cream by adding more heavy whipping cream and beating it until it has returned to a soft and billowy texture.
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Apple Dapple Cake Ingredients
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1½ teaspoons apple pie spice
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cups vegetable oil
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups peeled, cored, and diced Granny Smith apples
- 1½ cups chopped pecans
For the Caramel Topping
- 1 can dulce de leche caramel
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
NUTS: You can substitute any chopped nuts for the pecans. You can also add other nuts as well as the pecans. A combination of pecans and walnuts would be amazing.
BUTTER: You can substitute salted sweet cream butter for vegetable oil. You will need to reduce the amount of kosher salt to 1 teaspoon.
DULCE DE LECHE: You can substitute caramel ice cream topping for the dulce de leche if you cannot find the dulce de leche. Omit the heavy cream if using the ice cream topping.
APPLES: We like the Granny Smith variety of apples for this cake, but you can also use Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Gala instead.
My Dulce De Leche Cake Video Tutorial
Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions for making this stunning dulce de leche cake. Plus, learn how to make the caramelized sugar garnish! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
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Activate The Baking Soda
To make a knock-out sponge cake you are going to want to make sure that you use activated baking soda. Activated baking soda ensures that your cake rises and fluffs. You can purchase pre-activated baking soda, but if you dont have it on hand, add a touch of lemon juice or vinegar to it to activate it yourself. You will know that the baking soda has activated once it begins to make a fizzling sound!
How To Make This Pumpkin Dulce De Leche Cake
With relatively simple ingredients and instructions, you’ll have this comforting and delicious cake in no time!
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Substitutions Additions And Tips
- If you’re short on time, use a yellow boxed cake mix and add a cup of pumpkin puree.
- Use store bought dulce de leche. You can typically find this next to the sweetened condensed milk or in the gourmet section.
- Make it into a bundt cake! Pour the pumpkin mixture into a well greased 12-cup bundt cake pan and cook for 60-70 minutes. Top with dulce de leche once cooled.
- Add nuts! Top the cake with pepitas , walnuts, or pecans.
- Make this cake in stages. Start by making the dulce de leche a few days ahead of time. Make the cake layers and wrap cooled cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for up to 2 days. The frosting can be made and refrigerated in an airtight container 2 days in advance.
- Store finished/frosted cake in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Make The Dulce De Leche
In a large, heavy pot, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is reduced to 2 cups and is the consistency of warm caramel, about 40 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and let the dulce de leche cool to room temperature.
Transfer the dulce de leche to a blender and puree until smooth. Skim off the foam and transfer to a pitcher.
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Dulce De Leche Chocolate Cake
This rich, incredibly moist Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cake features a cocoa based olive oil cake and dulce de leche buttercream frosting. Its easy to whip up and perfect for any occasion!
You will love how simple yet decadent this dulce de leche chocolate cake is! It features two layers of chocolate cake and is topped with the most delicious dulce de leche buttercream frosting.
Keep Whipping Cream Very Cold
When it comes to baking, it is typically advised to work with room temperature ingredients. However, to make the perfect caramel cream for this cake you are going to want to work with very cold heavy whipping cream. Why? The fat globules in heavy whipping cream will emulsify faster and stay fluffy longer when they are whipped cold.
Tip: Stick your heavy whipping cream in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before you get to whipping.
How To Make Easy Homemade Dulce De Leche
Dulce de leche which is Spanish for “sweet of milk,” is a caramel-like sauce that is very popular in Latin American desserts. It has a smooth, thick consistency and toffee-like flavor. Unlike caramel sauce, which is made by melting and browning granulated sugar and then adding cream and butter, dulce de leche is made by slowly cooking milk and sugar together until its thickened and golden. Since sweetened condensed milk already contains the sugar and milk, it is the main ingredient now days to create this delicious caramel sauce.
I have made dulce de leche many times and have found that the crock pot method is by far the easiest. Simply remove the paper wrapper on the can of sweetened condensed milk and place it in your crockpot. Fill the pot with water, about 1 over the can. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Once done, carefully remove the can and allow to cool. Once cooled, open the can and be amazing at the deep caramel shade and delicious flavor. Transfer into an airtight container or jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. The unopened can of dulce de leche will stay good for up to 3 months!
Since you’re filling up your crock pot, go ahead and make a few cans! Dulce de leche is a wonderful holiday gift and ingredient! Make a dulce de leche pumpkin pie, add it to your pumpkin cheesecake, or just enjoy it with a spoon or some apple slices!
Making The Dulce De Leche Cream Cheese Frosting
Once the cakes are baked and cooled, and your dulce de leche ready to go, you can make the frosting.
Troubleshooting the frosting:
If the frosting is too runny, feel free to add some more sifted powdered sugar. However, consider if the issue is because the butter and cream cheese are too soft, due to the temperature of your kitchen. If thats the case, place the mixer bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes or so, remove and cream again.
If the frosting is too stiff, add some milk to it, about 1 teaspoon at a time, until you achieve the desired consistency.
Here are the steps to decorate this Dulce de Leche Cake:
Anyway, its very easy to make the swirled frosting.
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Make The Dulce De Leche Buttercream
Before you start on the dulce de leche syrup, its a good idea to make your buttercream frosting. That way its ready to go as soon as you finish the syrup layer and you dont have to work super quickly to pull everything together.
To make the buttercream add the room temperature shortening to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment OR a large bowl with a handheld mixer. Beat the shortening on medium speed until fluffy and creamy, which works out to about 2 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the powdered sugar, cup dulce de leche, and vanilla extract. Once the ingredients start coming together, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until completely smooth, which should take about 3 minutes.
If your frosting is really thick, you can add a few drops of milk or cream at a time, then mix, until you reach the consistency you prefer.
All sweet foods need a touch of saltiness to balance the flavor , so add salt to taste. I find that a simple pinch of salt does the trick.
How To Make Dulce De Leche Cake
- Measure your ingredients for the dulce de leche cake layer.
- Use a stand mixer to whip together the egg, sugar, and salt for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, dulce de leche and baking soda until there are no clumps remaining.
- Slowly fold in the dulce de leche batter to the first batter without deflating.
- Sift in flour and baking powder, then fold until incorporated.
- Pour the dough atop two baking sheets and spread each into an even layer, then bake and let cool completely.
- To make the caramel soaking syrup, combine the evaporated milk and dulce de leche until smooth.
- Add syrup to a squirt bottle.
- Roast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Let nuts cool, then skin and chop the nuts, set aside.
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How To Make This Apple Dapple Cake Recipe
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with Bakers Joy or a generic version. Set it aside.
STEP TWO: Add the flour, apple pie spice, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
STEP THREE: Add the vegetable oil and sugars to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to thoroughly incorporate.
STEP FOUR: Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.
STEP FIVE: Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over-stir, but be sure no streaks of flour are visible.
STEP SIX: Stir in the diced apples and 1 cup of pecans.
STEP SEVEN: Evenly spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean .
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.
STEP EIGHT: Add the dulce de leche to a small heat-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds, just to loosen the caramel.
STEP NINE: Whisk in the heavy cream until smooth. Evenly spread over the top of the cake.
Spread the dulce de leche over top of the cake while it is still warm so that it spreads easily and seeps into the cake in just the right way.
STEP TEN: Sprinkle the reserved ½ cup of chopped pecans around the edge of the cake. Slice into twelve 2-inch x 3-inch slices.