Guys, I have a confession to make: I drink a lot of coffee (ok, that’s not the confession. Just wait for it…) and it’s all… DECAF. I know. I feel like I’m going to be instantly booted out of the Pacific Northwest for this level of coffee blasphemy.
I went off the caffeine about 3 months ago, and after making it through the 3 day headache extravaganza that ensued, I haven’t looked back.
For a long time, I really thought I needed the caffeine to get me through the day. My “7am-4pm to 5pm to sometimes 6pm and OMG is it 7pm?!” job seemed like it necessitated a caffeine kick or two or sometimes even three. But what I actually discovered was that there’s no such thing as building up a tolerance to caffeine for me.
I’ve always known that I’m sensitive to high amounts of caffeine but I thought that it was mostly because I wasn’t used to it. If I built myself up, I reasoned, I would be free to partake in midday caffeine boosts, side effects-free.
I guess my body had other plans. To be fair, it let me do it for about 6 months before it pulled out the ol’ caffeine-induced heart palpitations. And let’s be honest, if there’s any organ in your body you don’t want to screw with, it’s probably your heart. Or any of them. But definitely not your heart.
So off the caffeine I went.
And now I secretly carry decaf in my little thermos to work every day. Shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone. I’m just not ready to give up my something warm and cozy first thing in the morning.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still love the taste of coffee. Because seriously, coffee is one of my all-time favorite flavors. And I mean coffee anything, really…
Which is exactly why I fell head-over-heels crushing on Hummingbird High’s Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cake. Seriously, have you ever seen a prettier cake?! I knew I needed that cake in my life the instant I laid eyes on it. But then I started reading Michelle’s post and she brought up caramel macchiatos and all I could think was “Girl, I need this cake but now I also need a caramel macchiato cake… Thanks Michelle…” <– Meant in the most loving “now I need to make two cakes but I’m down with that” sort of way
So now I pass the need to make two cakes onto you: Hummingbird High’s Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cake and my Hummingbird High inspired caramel machiatto cake.
and/or I’m sorry (not sorry).Print
Caramel Macchiato Cake
This caramel macchiato cake has everything you love about the classic Starbuck drink: 3 layers of rich espresso cake, sweetened milk frosting and dulce de leche filling.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: One 6" Cake - 14 slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
For the espresso cake:
- 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbsp espresso powder
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 1 can (14 oz) dulce de leche
For the frosting:
- 6 egg whites
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp water
- 3 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, cold
- 3–4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs and granulated sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and cook until the egg/sugar mixture is hot (about 10 minutes). While the mixture cooks, combine the milk and espresso powder. Microwave until the mixture is warm and then whisk the espresso powder in until it has completely dissolved. Place the bowl with the sugar/egg back on the stand mixer and whip until the mixture has cooled to room temperature (about 10 minutes). Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Add the remaining ingredients (milk/espresso powder, vegetable oil and vanilla extract) and mix on low until just combined.
- Grease and line three 6″ cake pans and split the batter between them (if you like to weigh out your batter like I do, you should have right around 9.3oz of batter in each pan). Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- For the dulce de leche, you can buy a finished bottle of it or you can make your own. To make your own, simply cook a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of boiling water (make sure the can is always submerged. This may mean adding more water to as it cooks) for 3 hours. Make sure you let it cool completely before opening or using to fill your cake.
- To make the frosting, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup is completely clear. While the syrup cooks, whip your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. On high, pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl and into the egg whites. Continue to whip on high until the mixture has cooled to room temperature (about 15 minutes). On low, begin adding small slices of the butter until all the butter has been added. Whip the frosting on high until it becomes a thick frosting (it’ll look curdled at first, but don’t worry. Just keep on whipping). Turn the mixer down to low, add the sweetened condensed milk, and continue whipping until the frosting is completely smooth.
- To assemble the cake, level your layers of cake, spread a thick layer of frosting and use a spoon to carve out some of the frosting in the center. You want to create a shallow area in the center to hold the dulce de leche and keep it from running out over the sides. Repeat for the second layer of cake. Once all three layers are assembled, give the cake a crumb coat and allow to crust in the refrigerator (about 15 minutes).
- Frost the rest of the cake with the remaining frosting. To create the dulce de leche swirl, spoon 2-3 tablespoons onto the top. Use and offset spatula to work it out towards the edges. Use an offset spatula to add dulce de leche to the sides of the cake, pulling it down diagonally. Repeat around the top edge of the cake until the whole cake is covered.
Cake recipe adapted from Miette (2011), pg. 26
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 557
- Sugar: 54.9g
- Sodium: 236mg
- Fat: 30.9g
- Saturated Fat: 17g
- Carbohydrates: 67.5g
- Fiber: .3g
- Protein: 6.4g
- Cholesterol: 106mg