Hi friends! I am so excited to publish this Dulce de Leche Cake Recipe post because I am featuring a guest blogger for the very first time! This time, I am welcoming Blair from Baked By Blair, who will be sharing an amazing original recipe on a vanilla cake with a dulce de leche filling and candied pecans. I could eat this entire cake!
Hello, Find Your Cake Inspiration community! I’m so excited to be guest posting for Diana today. I hope you enjoy this easy fall cake recipe!
My favorite recipe to talk about is my vanilla cake with a dulce de leche filling. Why, you may ask? Vanilla cake is surprisingly challenging to perfect. Too dense, too dry, too sweet, not flavorful enough –these are all problems I encountered when I first started baking. It is perfectly moist, fluffy, and flavorful. This is not a boring old vanilla cake! I can’t wait to share my vanilla cake and dulce de leche recipe with you!
Keys to Success When Making This Dulce De Leche Cake
- Use room temperature ingredients. This helps to ensure your cake rises properly and that everything incorporates properly.
- Do not rush the creaming process. It is essential to cream your butter and sugar together to whip air into the butter. This results in a light and fluffy cake!
What is Dulce de Leche?
It’s very similar to caramel sauce but made using sweetened condensed milk. It’s sweet, smooth, and deliciously addicting! It’s the perfect filling for this vanilla cake.
How to Make Homemade Dulce de Leche
You will need one can of sweetened condensed milk. Place the entire can into a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Allow to cook over low heat for 2 hours. Done! Remove from pot and allow to cool.
How to Make a Soft and Moist Vanilla Cake
- Measure your Flour Properly to prevent a dry cake.
- Do NOT use your measuring cup as a scoop. Instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife. This prevents excess flour from being packed down into the measuring cup.
- Do NOT over mix your batter. Over mixing your batter results in a dense cake. Be cautious when mixing the batter to the only mix until combined. Never leave your mixer running while unattended.
- Use real vanilla extract. Vanilla is the dominant flavor in our cake, so do not skimp for the artificial extract. You will not have the same powerful delicious vanilla taste if you use artificial vanilla extract.
- Do NOT over bake your cake. Take care to monitor your cake closely in order to not over bake your cake. Over baking your cake will result in a dry cake.
Tips for Using This Vanilla Cake Recipe
This recipe calls for cake flour and buttermilk. Since I typically don’t have those kicking around the house, I always use these two substitutions.
Homemade Buttermilk Mixture
For every cup of buttermilk required, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to each cup of whole milk. You will add 1 and ½ tablespoons of white vinegar to 1 and ½ cups of whole milk for this recipe. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before using in the recipe. It will look curdled – this is okay.
Homemade Cake Flour
If you don’t have cake flour at home, have no fear! I have a full blog post written on making homemade cake flour with only two ingredients. Click here.
I’ve paired this vanilla cake with homemade (1 ingredient!) dulce de leche, candied pecans, and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. If you haven’t tried Swiss meringue buttercream, I highly recommend it! It is silky, light, smooth, and not too sweet. It is a little bit more labor-intensive than American buttercream, but I promise it’s worth it!
For a full guide on making perfect swiss meringue buttercream and how to troubleshoot problems, click here.
How to Assemble Your Cake:
- Place your first cake layer on a cardboard cake round and on top of your cake turntable.
- Pipe a ring of buttercream 1” top of layer from the outer border to the cake. This is referred to as out buttercream dam. It is going to prevent the dulce de leche filling from seeping out the side of our cake.
- Spread dulce de leche filling on the inside of the piped buttercream ring.
- Place the second layer on top.
- Repeat as above.
- For the final cake layer, place the cake layer bottom side up. This helps get a perfectly smooth and straight top.
- Crumb coat your cake and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Apply frosting.
- Garnish with candied pecans to the desired aesthetic!
I hope you try this delicious cake recipe for your next fall-themed cake. Enjoy, and if you have any questions, comment below, and I’ll be sure to answer!
- ½ cup of vegetable oil
- ½ cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 and ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 5 egg whites at room temperature
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups of cake flour sifted *see note about cake flour substitution
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 and ½ cups of buttermilk at room temperature *see note about buttermilk substitution
Dulce De Leche:
- 1 can (14oz) of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup of pecan halves
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 3–4 tablespoons of water (enough to dissolve the sugar)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature (I take my butter out of the fridge 1.5 hours before using it in my recipe)
- 3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 6-inch cake pans with non-stick spray. Place a parchment round in the bottom of each pan. Set aside.
- Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Into the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and oil together for 3-4 minutes until they are completely unified.
- Add sugar into the mixture and beat on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed add egg whites in one at a time allowing each to incorporate before the next addition. Scrape down the sides and add in the vanilla. Beat on high until mixture is smooth and light in colour, about 1 minute.
- With the mixer on low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture into the bowl and mix until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and add one-half of the buttermilk and again mix until just combined. Repeat this process. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Do not over mix or your cake will become quite dense.
- Distribute cake batter evenly between three 6-inch cake pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure batter is divided equally.
- Bake for 35-38 minutes, or until the knife comes out clean. Each oven is slightly different, so I suggest setting your timer to 30 minutes and watching carefully from there!
- Cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes before inverting and removing cakes from the can pan to cool completely.
Dulce De Leche:
- Remove the label from the outside of the can
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and place the can of sweetened condensed milk into the pot. Make sure that the can is completely covered in water. Lay the can on its side if necessary.
- Turn the heat down to low and allow the water to simmer for 2 hours. Make sure there is always water covering the entire can. You will need to add more water as some boils off.
- Empty the water and use your oven mittens to remove the can.
- Allow the can to cool completely before attempting to open. If you open when it is hot the pressure that has built up within the can may spurt out and burn you.
- Use at room temperature.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add brown sugar water, and butter. Allow the sugar to melt completely.
- Once mixture begins to bubble gently for 30 seconds, add in the pecans.
- Heat mixture for 2-3 minutes and coat pecans in sugar mixtures.
- Remove pecans from saucepan and place directly onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spread in a single layer to avoid the pecans from sticking to one another. Do not allow the pecans to cool in the pan or they will be very challenging to remove.
Swiss Buttercream Meringue:
- Wipe down the bowl of your electric stand mixing bowl, the whisk attachment, and the paddle attachment with a small amount of white vinegar.
- Create a double boiler on your stove by filling a medium saucepan with a couple of inches of water. Place your mixing bowl from your electric stand mixer on top of the pot of water (only if your bowl is glass or metal) Do not let the water touch the base of the bowl. Put your egg whites and sugar in your bowl and give them a whisk to combine.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat stirring constantly (I like to stir using a heatproof spatula to better control the mixture. Make sure to push the mixture off the sides of the bowl to avoid stray granules from ending up in your buttercream) until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer or until you can no longer feel any sugar granules between your fingertips. The mixture will be hot but should not burn you.
- Transfer the mixing bowl to the base of your electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place and whisk on high. Continue to whisk until the outside of your mixing bowl is no longer warm and you’ve achieved moderate to stiff peaks in your meringue. This can take between 8-12 minutes. If you achieve moderate to stiff peaks before the outside of the mixing bowl is room temperature, take an ice pack, bag of frozen peas or cold cloth and wrap it around the outside of the mixing bowl as you continue to whip your meringue. This will help it cool more quickly.
- One your meringue has reached room temperature, swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment. Turn your mixer to low speed. Add in your cubed butter (2 tbsp in size) one at a time, allowing each to be incorporated before the next addition.
- Scrape down the sides of your bowl making sure to get the very bottom of the bowl, turn mixer to low speed and add in your vanilla.
- Turn your mixer up to medium to high speed and mix for about 5 minutes until buttercream is completely incorporated, silky, and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Turn the mixer onto low speed for 10 minutes. This helps to remove air bubbles that may have formed when whipping your buttercream.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to push the buttercream into the sides of the bowl. This helps remove any remaining air bubbles.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30-38 minutes
Keywords: dulce de leche cake
Thanks so much, Blair, for your amazing vanilla cake with a dulce de leche filling and candied pecans! Blair has many delicious cake recipes on her website, Baked By Blair, Instagram, and Pinterest. She would be thrilled if you visited her!