Sticky Caramel Mini Cakes

So tonight we are going to a friend’s house for dinner.  And this is one of my favorite ways to have a dinner party – semi-pot-luck. (As long as the people we’re doing it with sort-of know their way around the kitchen!!)  They are handling the main dish and a side…and we’re bringing another side and dessert.  No one has to work too hard and chances are you get to try something new…and, like tonight, we get to meet new people, too.

On to dessert – Sticky Caramel Mini Cakes

I love these because they are easy and they taste like cake made from caramel.  I’m taking them plain with an assortment of ice cream (ginger, pistachio or chocolate fig) and a big bowl of fresh berries for garnish.  Oh, and caramel sauce, of course.

Aren’t they super cute?

Mini Caramel Cakes

Yes, there’s a special little cupcake pan (silicone) that I adore which turns just about any cake batter into these little gems.  Love it.

Silicone Floral Cupcake Pan

How would you take your mini caramel cake… with ice cream and berries or ice cream and sauce or sauce and berries…oh, the options!

Mini Caramel Cakes

Sticky Caramel Mini Cakes

Butter 1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup

Pecans 1/2 cup toasted (I consider these optional)

Flour 1 1/2 cups

Baking Powder 1 teas

Salt 1/4 teas

Brown Sugar 1 1/4 cups firmly packed

Eggs 2

Vanilla 1/2 teas

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare cupcake pan with butter/flour or cooking spray.  Melt butter in microwave (about 90 seconds) and set aside to cool slightly.  Finely chop pecans and combine with flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Set aside.  To cooled butter add brown sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk well until smooth.  Fold butter mixture into flour mixture until just combined – don’t get crazy here and overmix.

This amount of batter makes one dozen of the floral cupcakes.  Bake 20-22 minutes or until the edges are turning golden.  Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes before inverting pan.

Serving idea: arrange five banana slices in a circle in the center of each plate.  Drizzle plate with caramel sauce (recipe to follow.)  Top with one cake.  Garnish with powdered sugar and fresh berries.

Caramel Sauce

Heavy whipping cream 1/2 cup

Sugar 1/2 cup

Light corn syrup 1 TB

Water 1 teas

Vanilla 1/2 teas

Salt pinch

Microwave cream on high for 30-40 seconds until hot – set aside.  Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan and cook over med-high heat until sugar dissolves (about 4-5 minutes.)  Reduce heat to low and continue stirring (wooden spoon is best, I prefer bamboo) until syrup is honey-colored.  (An easy way to check color if your pan is dark is to dribble a little drop onto a white paper plate or napkin.)  When honey color is achieved, remove from heat and stowly add warm cream, stirring constantly.  (Mixture will bubble dramatically.)  Add vanilla and salt.  Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

OK – now on to make my infamous Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes…yes, yes, I’ll be back.

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