Vanilla Cake with Coffee Caramel

Products Used
Vanilla Cake with Coffee Caramel Dixie


Vanilla Cake

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (256g) all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (220g) any type of vegetable oil, including non-virgin olive oil or avocado
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (108g) Dixie Crystals Dark Brown Sugar, well packed
  • 1 cup (240g) buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) hot water
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

Coffee Caramel Sauce

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) (169g) unsalted butter, super soft
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar (do not use Powdered Sugar)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (268g) evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (390g) walnut halves and pieces
  • *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour three, 8 or 9-inch cake pans and fit a round sheet of parchment on bottom to make removal from pans flawless.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand or handheld mixer or a sturdy hand whisk, mix oil and eggs until well blended. Add both sugars and whisk until completely smooth.
  4. Add buttermilk and vanilla.  
  5. Add sifted ingredients in one step and mix until batter is smooth. Do not mix more than necessary.
  6. Add hot water and vinegar and mix until combined.
  7. Divide batter evenly into pans and place in oven. Bake until center of cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with a finger and until you see cake retracting from sides in a few areas. About 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare caramel. Once caramel is completed, mix instant coffee with liqueur and mix into caramel. Let cool completely.
  9. Once cakes are removed from oven allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before turning them upside down onto plastic food film, a kitchen towel, or parchment paper. Do not remove parchment paper from cakes yet.
  10. For buttercream, whip soft butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and salt and mix until well combined.
  11. Add evaporated milk 2 tablespoons at a time, waiting for the previously added amount to be fully incorporated before adding next. If cream is no longer light and creamy or looks slightly curdled, heat mixture with a hairdryer while beating. Heavy or curdled-looking cream is a result of cold ingredients and is easily remedied by using heat. Add vanilla.
  12. Once cakes have cooled, remove parchment paper from 1 cake layer and place it on a serving platter.
  13. Spread cake layer with 1/4 of buttercream. Place some buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a medium size French star tip. On edge of cake layer, pipe a border of buttercream.
  14. Within the piped border, spread about 1/3 of cold caramel.
  15. Cover with another cake layer and remove parchment. Repeat with spreading 1/4 of buttercream onto cake layer, piping a border, and filling with caramel.
  16. Cover with remaining cake layer and remove parchment.
  17. Frost sides and top of cake with a thin coat of frosting. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes or until buttercream is no longer sticky. Frost cake with a second coat of buttercream and reserve some for decorating surface of cake.
  18. Press walnut halves and pieces onto bottom sides of cake reserving some for top of cake decoration.
  19. Spread remaining caramel onto surface of cake, allowing some to drip of edges.
  20. Pipe a circle of buttercream on surface of cake. Decorate with walnut halves and pieces.
  21. Sprinkle walnuts with powdered sugar.
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