Salt and caramel is a hard combo to resist. It’s something about the way that saltiness contrasts with the sweet, sticky caramel, but also manages to bring out an extra layer of flavor from the dessert. It’s one of those situations where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So fold that classic combo into one sticky, sweet, irresistible bundt cake… and you’ve pretty much made magic happen. Pinky swear, this bundt cake is simple to make, but ever so moist and full of salty caramelly goodness. You just might say it’s the best ever. (And that wouldn’t be hyperbole.)
The cake itself is pretty basic: eggs, butter, sugar, flour, and so on, but the caramelly flavor comes from brown sugar. (Use dark for deeper flavor or light for a lighter touch.) Five whole eggs and three whole sticks of butter ensure that this bundt cake is rich and moist.
But the key to the whole thing is the salted caramel drizzle.
Sweetened condensed milk is simmered with more brown sugar, butter, and a little bit of salt until it forms a delectable sauce that’s all at once creamy, salty, and sweet. When the cake comes out of the oven and is still hot, you poke holes into it and pour the warm drizzle over while the cake is still in the pan. Let the cake cool, and give the sauce a chance to seep down into the cake and infuse it with flavor. But we’re not done there… After you invert the cake onto a plate, you pour the rest of the glaze over the top so that no bite goes without that sweet, salted caramel flavor. It’s as decadent as an indulgent dessert should be, but not much trouble at all to make.
(A note: The sauce will harden as it cools; if you find it starting to harden before the cake has cooled enough to invert, you might want to warm it up a bit in the saucepan.)
Salted Caramel Bundt Cake
Serves 6-8; 1 hour 30 minutes
- For the cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the salted caramel drizzle:
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add brown and white sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
- Alternate adding in flour mixture and buttermilk, beating until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel drizzle:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 8 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and salt, until melted.
- Once cake is done baking, poke holes throughout using a toothpick. Pour 1/2 of the hot caramel drizzle mixture over the cake. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.
- Drizzle the remaining mixture over the cake, serve, and enjoy!