Friday Cake Time: Dulce de Leche Cake

Dulce de Leche Cake © Laura Madeleine

This cake has no shame; it’s a sticky, nutty, creamy, unashamedly cakey cake. A combination of mascarpone and hazelnuts keeps it from sliding into sugar-coma territory, but if you have a sweet tooth, this’un’s for you.

You can make dulce de leche yourself, if you’ve the patience, but otherwise just buy it in a tin. Spoon-licking lingerers will no doubt “help” you with the ingredients.

Dulce de Leche Cake
You will need:
For the cake
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts

For the filling and topping:

  • 300g mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or a few drops vanilla essence
  • 25g chopped hazelnuts, to decorate
  • 1/2 tin or about 5 tablespoons of dulce de leche (caramel)

Make it!
The cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each to help the mixture stay smooth.
  4. Gently fold in the remainder of the flour and baking powder, taking care not to over-mix.
  5. When just combined, stir in the chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the tin for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

The filling and topping:

  1. Spoon the mascarpone into a bowl. Add the vanilla and icing sugar (you might want a little more, to taste) and beat together. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop or give the hazelnuts a quick blitz with a hand blender.
  3. Tip them into a small, dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant – careful, they burn quickly. Set aside to cool.
  4. Carefully cut your cake in half.
  5. Spread the bottom half of the cake with a thick layer of the dulce de leche or caramel, followed by half of the mascarpone.
  6. Sandwich the top on and spread the remaining mascarpone over the top and sides of the cake.
  7. Swirl the remaining caramel over the surface and add the toasted hazelnuts to finish.
This recipe was first featured on the wonderful, much-missed Domestic Sluttery. 

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