Drumstick Layer Cake

  • This Drumstick Layer Cake stands tall with four layers of cake filled with salted caramel, fudgy chocolate ganache and a crunchy layer covered in creamy vanilla buttercream frosting.

    This Drumstick Layer Cake stands tall with four layers of cake filled with salted caramel, fudgy chocolate ganache and a crunchy layer covered in creamy vanilla buttercream frosting. Courtesy of Penny Kazmier

 
Posted7/20/2022 6:00 AM

Salted caramel

1 cup (207g) granulated sugar

 

½ cup (120ml) water

¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter

½ cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream

½ tablespoon vanilla extract

½ to 1 teaspoon salt

Vanilla cake

2½ cups (325g) all-purpose flour

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil

1½ cups (310g) sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

1¼ cups (300ml) milk

Ganache filling

2 ounces (about 6 tablespoons) semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons (45ml) heavy whipping cream

Crunchies

1 cup sugar cone crumbs

2 tablespoons (26g) sugar

Pinch of salt

¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, melted

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1 cup (140g) peanuts, chopped

Vanilla buttercream

1½ cups (336g) salted butter

1 cup (189g) shortening

10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar (I only used about 6 cups)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2--3 tablespoons (ml) water or milk

Ganache topping

6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream

Just look at the layers of cake, fudge, crunchies and salty caramel in this cake when it's sliced.
Just look at the layers of cake, fudge, crunchies and salty caramel in this cake when it's sliced. - Courtesy of Penny Kazmier

Salted caramel: In a medium to large sauce pan, combine granulated sugar and water. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter; once melted, bring mixture to a boil. (Do not stir during this time to avoid crystallization. If needed, tip the pan from side to side occasionally to help things cook evenly.) Allow to boil until the mixture turns a deep golden copper color, about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as caramel can burn easily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Remove pan from heat and slowly add heavy whipping cream, whisking to combine. The caramel will bubble quite a bit, so be careful with this step. Add vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of salt; whisk to combine. Add additional salt if desired.

Sauce will seem fairly thin, but will thicken as it cools. Store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. When you're ready to build the cake, allow caramel to come to room temperature.

Cake: Prepare two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (176°C).

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Combine butter, sugar, oil and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well-incorporated.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined. Slowly add milk and mix until well-combined. The batter will look curdled, but that's OK. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well-incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between prepared cakes pans and bake 32-36 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove cakes from pans and place on racks to cool completely.

Ganache filling: Place chocolate chips in small bowl. Heat cream just until it begins to boil, remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips. After a few minutes, whisk until smooth. Chill until firm, but spreadable.

Crunchies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Combine sugar cone crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter and toss until well-coated. Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet and bake 6-8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled, add chopped peanuts and combine, breaking up any large pieces. Set aside.

Vanilla buttercream: (Penny's note: I used less sugar than called for in the recipe and felt the frosting was sweet enough.) Beat butter and shortening together until smooth. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until smooth. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar, mixing until smooth. Add additional water or milk, as needed to achieve desired texture.

Putting it all together: Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they're flat. Next, cut each cake horizontally to make 4 even layers. Place 1½ cups frosting in a zip-top or piping bag and cut a ½-inch opening in the corner.

Layers:

Cake

Spread ½ cup frosting evenly over cake. Pipe a "dam" of frosting around the edge of cake.

Spread ½ cup caramel sauce evenly inside of dam. Spread with frosting dam into an even layer.

Cake

Pipe a "dam" of frosting around the edge of cake.

Spread ganache filling inside of dam. Spread with frosting dam into an even layer.

Sprinkle ½ of crunchies in an even layer of the sugar cone/peanut crunchies over ganache.

Cake

Spread ½ cup frosting evenly over cake. Pipe a "dam" of frosting around the edge of cake.

Spread ½ cup caramel sauce evenly inside of dam. Spread with frosting dam into an even layer.

Cake

Frost entire cake with remaining vanilla buttercream, smoothing sides. Refrigerate.

Ganache topping: Place chocolate chips in small bowl. Heat cream just until it begins to boil, remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips. After a few minutes, whisk until smooth. Allow to cool until slightly warm and pour into a small measuring cup with a spout or zip-top bag.

To complete cake, gently pour cake topping near edge of cake, allowing some to drip down the sides. If using a zip-top bag, cut a ¼-inch hole in one corner and pipe onto edge of cake, you will have more control with the bag than pitcher. Once entire cake has drips, spread remaining topping evenly over the top of the cake until smooth. Top with remaining crunchies and decorate with extra whole sugar cones if desired.

Serves 12 to 16

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