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Burnt Sugar Cake

Most southerner’s grew up eating Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house. To us, food is the center of social occasions and should be prepared to satisfy the taste buds, give comfort and to make the most of what’s available.  This burnt sugar cake originates from the colonial days and was a favorite dessert used to bring those old-time Sunday dinners to a close.

Burnt Sugar Cake's originates in colonial Williamsburg and bluegrass Kentucky.
Originating from Kentucky, Burnt Sugar Cake is made of pantry basics.
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsps. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
Heat 1/2 cup of the sugar in heavy 8-inch skillet, stirring constantly until sugar is melted and golden brown. Remove from heat, stir in boiling water slowly. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar lumps are dissolved. Add enough water to syrup, if necessary, to measure 1/2 cup; cool.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flow two 9-inch or three 8-inch round layer pans. Beat egg whites in small mixer bowl until foamy. Beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until very stiff and glossy. Reserve meringue.

Beat butter, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the egg yolks and vanilla 30 seconds on low speed in large mixer bowl, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 5 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in syrup. Beat in flower, baking powder and salt alternately with milk. Fold in reserved meringue. Pour into pans.
Bake until inserted wooden pick comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Cool completely.

Caramel Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2/3 packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat butter in 2-quart saucepan until melted. Stir in brown sugar, salt and cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm. Stir in enough powdered sugar gradually until of spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla. Frost the cake and top with pecans if desired.  Source:Betty Crocker’s Cooking American Style: A Sampler of Heritage Recipes

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