Burnt Sugar Caramel Cake

For the cake:
Shortening and flour for the pans
1 (18 1/4 oz.) box  yellow cake mix without pudding in the mix
4 eggs
1 (3 1/4 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding
1 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 t. baking soda

For the icing:
3 1/2 C. granulated sugar, divided
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. light corn syrup
1 C. milk
3/4 C. butter
1 T. vanilla extract

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 300F.

Grease and flour two 8 1/2-inch cake pans. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, vanilla pudding mix, buttermilk, oil and baking soda. Mix with electric mixer until smooth.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake cake for 30 - 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Run knife around sides to loosen and turn out onto aluminum foil to finish cooling.

For the icing:
Use a small cast-iron skillet about 6 1/2 inches across. Add 1/2 cup sugar but do not turn on the heat.

In a large pot, without turning on the heat, add remaining sugar and flour. Mix well. Add syrup and milk and mix well. Turn on heat under large pot. Cook on high, stirring constantly, until it boils for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Turn on medium-high heat under small skillet. Constantly stir the sugar until you see it begin to melt and turn brown. It will get lumpy but stir until it is a deep caramel-brown.

Hold the skillet over the big boiler. Remove about 1/2 cup of the mixture from the big pot and add to skillet, mixing well. Now pour the skillet mixture into the big pot and replace pot on heat. Stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes. Mixture is ready when syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball.

Remove pot from heat. Add butte in pieces. Stir to mix well. Partially cover pot and let stand until ready to stack cake layers.

When ready to ice cake:
Add vanilla extract to icing. Using electric mixer, beat 7 1/2 minutes until it goes from a shiny to dull glaze. Frost cake.

Note: Icing spreads easier when warm, but stays on the cake better after it has cooled to room temperature.

Makes 10 servings


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