Brown Sugar Cake with Salted Caramel filling


Salted caramel is a phenomena like no other – it seems to set pulses racing at just the the thought of it and everyone wants a cake with a salted caramel filling. However a plain sponge just doesn’t set it off properly in my opinion and I feel chocolate cake can overwhelm it a bit so in search for the perfect accompaniment I found brown sugar cake.

You could of course just replace caster sugar with brown sugar but balancing the flavours and textures isn’t always that easy. This recipe has the added delight of buttermilk which gives a slightly creamy but slightly sour taste to the cake. It also seems quite sugar heavy but this adds structure to the cake which when you are making a multi layer cake is really important.

The recipe makes 1 deep 7 inch cake plus 12 cupcakes or 1 larger 8 inch deep pan cake.

Brown Sugar Cake 

350g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

300g light brown sugar ( or dark if you want a really deep colour/flavour)

150g golden caster sugar

225g softened butter

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

200ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 160C for the large cake and 175C top oven for fairy cakes.

Grease & line a deep 7 inch loose bottomed tin and line a muffin pan with 12 cases. Another little tip for you is to sprinkle dry rice in the base of cupcake tins, it helps absorb any unwanted fat and stops your cupcake cases being greasy.


Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a large bowl beat together the sugars and butter until they become light and fluffy, remembering to scrape the sides a few times to make sure all the mixture is incorporated.

Beat the eggs and buttermilk and vanilla together.

Add this slowly to the sugar mixture beating between additions, if the mixture splits add a spoonful of the flour mix .

Finally add the flour mix and beat until incorporated but don’t over beat it.

Fill the large tin just over half way and bake for 1hr 15- 1 hr 25 mins until it springs back and a cocktail stick comes out clean from the cake. If you are making one large 8inch cake then up the cooking time by about 15 minutes

For the small cakes ½- ¾ fill the cases with the remaining mixture and bake for approx. 15mins until springy to the touch.

Salted caramel filling

1 tin of condensed milk

115g soft brown sugar

75g golden syrup

175g butter

1tsp sea salt flakes


Melt all the ingredients  (except the salt) together in a large pan over a medium heat, keep stirring continuously until thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool completely before using. This makes a large quantity but don’t worry you will find lots of other lovely things to do with it and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

I also have an alternative salted caramel recipe here

Vanilla buttercream

250g butter

500g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Always start with the butter at room temperature.


Stir in the icing sugar and vanilla extract until combined.


Then beat with an electric mixer on a medium speed until light and soft, this can take about 3-5 mins, don’t skimp on this stage as this helps make a light creamy buttercream.


this should be enough buttercream to layer the large cake and top the cupcakes.

To layer the cake measure out even layers. Mark all round the cake with cocktail sticks and use these as a guide to cut the cake. Don’t try to cut all the way through in one go but turn the cake and gradually make your way to the middle.

I have uploaded a video to you tube showing how I did it.

The cocktail sticks were left in to show how to relayer the cake and make sure its even after you have cut it. Layer your cake with buttercream and salted caramel and sandwich together.


My recent uses of this cake were for fondant covered versions but there is nothing more delightful than to cut through a heavily decorated cake to find this treasure inside.

image image

but it looks just as fab when made without being covered as @Bakes-Cakes-and-Eats showed me when she used my recipe for her husbands birthday cake.

For the cupcakes use a cupcake corer or apple corer to remove the centres and fill with some of the salted caramel.


Replace the cores and top with a buttercream swirl and a final flourish of a salted caramel drizzle.


Link up your recipe of the week


3 thoughts on “Brown Sugar Cake with Salted Caramel filling

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