Dulce de Leche Cake
Will this post be offensive to some? Possibly… but I mean no offense.
As a born and raised Californian girl, I love all things “Mexican.” Margaritas, tequila, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips, burritos, tacos, chipotle peppers, and Whitney Reyes—to name a few. But flan is not one of them.
When I think of flan I think of a snot-rocket that accidentally ended up on my dessert plate. Not appetizing. And also not the ideal food I want to consume when I stumble into my house at 3AM this Saturday.
Since Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, I wanted to bake a themed dessert to celebrate. My initial response was flan, but then I remembered, “Oh wait, I hate that stuff and I’m the one eating this… So no.” I do what I want.
Instead, I let Dulce de Leche be my guide and stumbled across this Dulce de Leche Cake. Cook’s Illustrated’s White Layer Cake sandwiched between drizzles of dulce de leche and dulce de leche frosting. Fiesta in my mouth.
Someone find me a piñata.
2 ¼ cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (12 T), at room temperature
1 pint heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ cup dulce de leche
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
- Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
- Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
- Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 ½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
- Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
- Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 ½ hours.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or using a hand mixure, mix heavy cream, cinnamon and confectioners sugar until cream holds stiff peaks. Fold in dulce de leche until incorporated and there are no streaks remaining. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the bottom layer and drizzle with dulce de leche. Repeat process with remaining layers. Then frost the outside of the cake and drizzle with remaining dulce de leche.