This recipe puts a special spin on the classic caramel cake. It has Frangelico, caramelized hazelnuts, and even date-infused caramel buttercream frosting to give it a taste that will surely leave you wanting more.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup of whole buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of softened unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of Frangelico
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt

 

* for the Date Caramel Buttercream

  • 5 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup of softened unsalted butter
  • Date Caramel

 

*for the Date Caramel

  • 1/2 cup of dried whole dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup of Frangelico
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise with the seeds scraped and reserved

 

*for the Caramel and Date Filling

  • 1 cup of chopped white pitted dates
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of warm heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons of softened and cubed unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of Frangelico
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

 

Instructions:

*for the Date Caramel Buttercream

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a single bowl. And with the use of a hand mixer that has a paddle attachment, beat all three of them together on medium speed until you get a light and fluffy texture. This should only take about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer the frosting to an airtight container and pop it in the fridge.
  3. Take the frosting out when you’re going to use it.

 

*for the Date Caramel

  1. Combine your Frangelico, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean seeds, dates, and water in a small saucepan. Put it over medium heat and let all of the ingredients boil together.
  2. Once the mixture starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer until the dates have started to soften, this should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Take out the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.
  4. Pour the mixture into a blender and press the start button until you get a smooth puree. Then add the maple syrup and stir.
  5. Let it cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container.
  6. Place it in the fridge if you’re not going to use it right away. This could last for up to one week.

 

*for the Caramel and Date Filling

  1. Put your sugar in a medium saucepan and cook it over a medium-level fire. Make sure to stir it from time to time so that it doesn’t get burned. Stop when the sugar melts, achieves an amber color, and gets a smooth texture.
  2. Slowly add your butter and stir until it completely melts into the sugar. Don’t forget to keep stirring the mixture so that it doesn’t get burned.
  3. Pour the cream bit by bit while still stirring the mixture.
  4. Turn off your stove and stir in your Frangelico, salt, and vanilla.
  5. Let the mixture cool completely before adding your dates.
  6. Put it in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge for the meantime.

 

*for the Caramelized Hazelnuts

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Get a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. If you have a silicone baking tray then you can just use that instead.
  3. Put your hazelnuts on the baking sheet and pop them in the oven to bake for 5 minutes.
  4. Take the hazelnuts out of the oven and wrap them in your kitchen towel. Rub the nuts in the towel to take out all the loose skins.
  5. Next, cook the sugar in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Once the sugar melts and achieves an amber color, add the freshly-baked hazelnuts. Stir the mixture constantly so that the nuts get coated, this should take you about a minute or so.
  6. Add the butter and stir.
  7. Transfer it back to your prepared baking sheet.
  8. You have to be quick on this one, with the use of 2 forks, separate the nuts from each other. Let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container that has room temperature.

 

*for the cake

  1. The first step you need to do is preheat your oven to 325 F.
  2. After that, get a 9-inch springform cake pan and spray it with some baking spray. Line the bottom part with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Put your sugar and butter in a bowl and mix them on medium speed using a stand mixer that has a paddle-shaped attachment. Do this for 3 to 4 minutes or until you see a light and fluffy mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl using a spatula.
  4. Turn the mixer on again then add your Frangelico, vanilla, salt, and oil.
  5. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time.
  6. Put your baking powder and flour in a separate bowl and whisk them together.
  7. Set your stand mixer’s speed to low and then slowly add your flour mixture and buttermilk. This should be done alternately with you starting and ending with the flour mixture. Allow the mixer to beat your mixture until all ingredients are combined properly.
  8. Next, transfer the batter to a large bowl then set it aside.
  9. Clean your stand mixer’s bowl and replace the paddle attachment with a whisk one.
  10. Put your cream in the bowl and beat it at high speed for about 3 minutes or until soft peaks start to form. Then add the whipped cream to your cake batter and mix the two. When you’re done, you can now pour the batter into the cake pan.
  11. Place the prepared pan in the oven and let the batter bake until it reaches a golden-brown color. Halfway into, cover the pan with aluminum foil to avoid the cake from getting too brown.
  12. Check if the cake is ready by inserting a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean then you are done.
  13. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove it from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack where it should be left to cool down completely.
  14. With the use of a serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally. Then take a silicone piping bag, attached to a medium-tip, and fill it with half a cup of Date Caramel Buttercream. Pipe the buttercream along the edges of one of your cake layers.
  15. Next, with the use of a spoon, fill the inner part of the buttercream circle with your Caramel and Date Filling. Then cover it with the remaining cake layer that you have.
  16. Now frost the top and side parts of your cake with your remaining Date Caramel Buttercream. Top with caramelized hazelnuts and serve!