Dulce De Leche Cake

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It is so easy to make this delicious dulce de leche cake with swiss meringue buttercream and candied pecans!



Vanilla Cake:

  • 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

Candied Pecans:

  • 1 cup of pecan halves
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 34 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


Vanilla Cake:

  1. 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. 
  2.  Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3.  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. 
  4.  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. 
  5. 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.  
  6.  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. 
  7. Distribute cake batter evenly between three 6-inch cake pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure batter is divided equally. 
  8.  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!
  9.  Cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes before inverting and removing cakes from the can pan to cool completely.

Dulce De Leche:

  1. Remove the label from the outside of the can
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Empty the water and use your oven mittens to remove the can.
  5. 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.
  6. Use at room temperature.

Candied Pecans:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add brown sugar water, and butter. Allow the sugar to melt completely. 
  2. Once mixture begins to bubble gently for 30 seconds, add in the pecans.
  3. Heat mixture for 2-3 minutes and coat pecans in sugar mixtures.
  4. 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:

  1. Wipe down the bowl of your electric stand mixing bowl, the whisk attachment, and the paddle attachment with a small amount of white vinegar.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Turn the mixer onto low speed for 10 minutes. This helps to remove air bubbles that may have formed when whipping your buttercream. 
  9. 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.