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Glorious Dulce De Leche Cake

My Most Delicious Cake Yet

My mother's birthday was last week, so I set out to make her the perfect birthday cake. I suggested a layer cake filled with dulce de leche and she delightfully obliged. When searching for a specific recipe, I couldn't find one that matched the cake in my mind, so naturally it ended up being my own creation. The end result was better than I could have imagined!

The melt in your mouth vanilla-almond cake layers were light and fluffy. The caramel colored dulce de leche filling was thick and rich. The buttery caramel frosting was smooth and creamy. The three parts came together perfectly to create a divine birthday cake that even impressed the pastry chef of the restaurant where we dined! To see the recipe,

PartySugar's Dulce De Leche Cake
Modified from Williams Sonoma, Martha Stewart, and Emeril Lagasse

For the dulce de leche filling:
1 quart whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds scraped
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. water

For the cake:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup milk
5 egg whites, at room temperature

For the frosting:
12 tbsp. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 package (16 oz.) confectioners sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
sliced almonds, optional for garnish


Make the Dulce De Leche Filling

  1. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean, and seeds and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the milk begins to get foamy on top, stir to incorporate the foam.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the water, and add to the milk mixture.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Let cook, stirring occasionally without working the foam into the milk. After 1 hour remove the vanilla bean.
  4. Continue cooking, skimming occasionally, until tan, very thick, and reduced to about 1 cup, 1-1/2 to 3 hours depending on the heat of your stove. The milk will continue to darken as it cooks. Strain into a clean container and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The dulce de leche will thicken as it cools, and will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Make the Cake:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter and flour two round cake pans each 9 inches in diameter and 1-1/2 inches deep.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light.
  4. Gradually add the sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  5. Reduce the speed to low and, dividing the flour mixture into three batches, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk just until combined.
  6. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with clean, dry beaters and set on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten whites into the batter just until incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans; smooth with the spatula.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cakes. Invert onto racks and let cool completely.

Make the Frosting:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Carefully slice each of the two cooled cakes in half to make four layers. Set one layer on the cake plate. Generously spread about 1/3 cup of the dulce de leche on top. Top with another cake layer and spread with another 1/3 cup of the dulce de leche. Repeat with another cake layer and top with the final forth cake layer. Set dulce de leche aside.
  2. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. If using the sliced almonds, press into the sides of the cake. Drizzle with remaining dulce de leche. Refrigerate until serving.

Serves 8–12.

Note: The cakes and dulce de leche may be made in advance.

Join The Conversation
Candydiva04 Candydiva04 8 years
The recipe isn't here anymore. Can someone let send me the recipe or let me know where I can find it.
Maggie100181 Maggie100181 9 years
I made this last night and everyone loved it at work...some of them said it was one of the best cakes they ever had. I am def. going to make this again.
reeeeka reeeeka 9 years
I'm going to make a version of this on monday...I'm so excited!
sweetk8ty76 sweetk8ty76 9 years
YUM!!! Looks amazing. Maybe I'll add this to my holiday menu.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
and as always great photos
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
facin8me facin8me 9 years
I made this cake and reviewed it here.
catita85 catita85 9 years
mmm dulce de leche i thought we Argentinians were its creators? Lol.. it´s one of the most delicious things ever.
ladyliz ladyliz 9 years
Wow! That looks devine. I usually make Tres leches cake for my dad. It's his fav. I just may have to upgrade to this one though.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
This cake looks sooooo goood! I agree, dulce de leche es muy sabroso.
michichan michichan 9 years
It is the best in the philippines though.
sunnynight sunnynight 9 years
Omg, Americans know about dulce de leche... and I thought it was one of the Philippines' best-kept open secrets :p
bugn bugn 9 years
Oh My Gosh . . . It looks heavenly. Yum! :-)
michichan michichan 9 years
How did you get the lines like that?
Casasailer Casasailer 9 years
Maybe I will make this over Christmas break sometime
misslarue misslarue 9 years
Yum! I want to try this!
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
Wow! How do you come up with stuff like this...that's insane that this is your own creation! Looks fantastic! :)
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I'm drooling...
Chica8a Chica8a 9 years
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
OH.... MY.... GOD!! I love caramel, dulce de leche, and any kind of similar brown sugar sticky stuff. This looks soooo good! I think I just gained 5 pounds from reading the recipe. Thanks!
emalove emalove 9 years
Wow, that sounds so good!
Angelica Angelica 9 years
I've had this window open for hours. Ditto with the above. When can we try?
Food Food 9 years
When are you going to make me this cake?! It looks luscious.
Monoka Monoka 9 years
MMMM... i wanna make this for rum rum rum
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