I have no words to describe how happy I am with this cake.
Macarons = Perfect. Caramel = Perfect. Butter Cake = Perfect. Cream Cheese Frosting = Perfect. Overall Design = Perfect. Just everything is perfect. And so far social media has agreed with me– I have never gotten more likes on Instagram than I have within this cake!
I’ve always adored the look of cakes that are topped with macarons, so I’m not sure why it took until now for me to make one…. But seriously, the doors of creativity have been opened. And there is no going back. I am sensing many more macaron topped cakes in my future.
The macarons come from a recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction that I blogged about recently, the Butter Cake is from Miette’s cookbook, and the frosting is adapted from La Peche Fraiche.
The combination and styling was from my own imagination, since I think everything should be a caramel-white-chocolate-butter explosion lightly dusted in cinnamon.
Here is a short video of me putting together the cake (ignore the part where I fail to film the piping of the caramel over the top of the cake and the part where I place a macaron on the top and then decide to move it…taking half of the buttercream with it!)
I added the macarons to the top of the cake when the cake was still at room temperature. I’m not sure why I thought that would be a good idea, but if I made this cake again I would definitely let is sit in the refrigerator for a solid 30 minutes to allow the caramel sauce–which was fairly soft–to firm up a bit. Nothing tragic happened, but for awhile I was worried that my buttercream swirls topped with macarons were going to slide right off the cake! Luckily I had kept the macarons in the refrigerator overnight so they were firm and easy to work with.
If you are looking for an absolute overload of sugar, I have seen recipes where they sneak macaron shells in with the layers of buttercream while building the cake. I think that would have overwhelmed this cake, but it is definitely something I am open to trying in the future, especially now that I know how easy they are to work with.
This cake was also photography gold–all it needed was a simple black backdrop and it didn’t even matter that I had crapy lighting, every picture I took was still lovely! I’ve been noticing lately that I tend to prefer my cakes to be ombre/monochromatic….Hmm… Maybe I should try and force myself to expand my color horizons as well as my cake horizons.
Caramel Macaron Cake
Butter Cake Ingredients (Recipe from the Miette Cookbook)
1 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
10 large egg yolks, at room temperature (This is a great time to use the egg whites for the macarons!)
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1) Butter two 6×3 cake pans and dust with flour, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3) In the bowl of stand mixture combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium speed for 10 minutes. Add the yolks in three additions, beating about 2 minutes after each.
4) Stir the buttermilk and vanilla together. Alternately add the buttermilk and the flour mixtures, beating until just combined.
5) Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 35-40 minutes.
6) Let the cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then remove from the pans and allow them to cool completely to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
White Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients (Recipe adapted from La Peche Fraich)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
4 cups powdered sugar
4 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
*heavy cream or whole milk as needed to even the consistency*
1) Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixture and beat for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
2) Add the cream cheese, vanilla and salt, and whip for another two minutes.
3) Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, then add in the white chocolate.
4) Scrape the sides well and beat on high until everything is incorporated. If the frosting is not at the consistency you are looking for, add heavy cream or extra powdered sugar as needed. Set aside as you prepare your cake.
Putting the Cake Together
**Prepare a batch of Caramel Cinnamon Macarons to decorate the top and sides of the cake**
**Make or buy Salted Caramel Sauce**
–> Cut each chilled cake into two layers
–> Stack the cake, alternating layers of cake with layers of the white chocolate buttercream. Add a thin crumb coat, refrigerate, then add a final coat of buttercream. Don’t worry about the top being perfect, as it will be covered with caramel.
–> Put about one cup of salted caramel sauce at room temperature into a piping bag, and squeeze it around the edge of the top of the cake, allowing it to spill over. Squeeze the remainder in the center of the cake and carefully spread out in a thin layer with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate the cake.
–> With a star piping tip, pipe 8 rounds of buttercream on the top of the cake, equally spaced out, placing a macaron on the top of each one.
–> If you like, drizzle or pool caramel around the base of the cake, and stack up macarons in and around the caramel.