If you’ve ever dreamed of a cake that is more frosting than cake, one that is decorated all around with creme-filled caramels, let me introduce you to the Caramel Candy Cake, the Cow Tales cake frosting lovers have been waiting for!
You might also enjoy my three-layer show-stopping butterscotch cake or its easier cousin, the butterscotch sheet cake.
For ease of browsing, you can find all my cake recipes in one place. Thanks for visiting!
Why Use Candy to Decorate a Cake?
I’ve seen all kinds of cakes decorated 100% with candies.
I even have a cake that I decorated with M&Ms for borders.
The great thing about using small candies to decorate your cakes is that, if you’re not good at piping (or don’t want to practice), you can make all sorts of striking designs just by placing different colors of candies.
Not good at frosting a cake so it’s nice and smooth? Easy fix: just line up tall, skinny candies all around the outsides, as in this very cake here or this Kit-Kat ice cream cake.
How to Make This Cake
It’s really more about the technique than the actual recipe.
You can make this cake in whatever size you’d like. You can even make cupcakes if you want.
But if you are a fan of Cow Tales® candy, you will be a fan of this Caramel Candy Cake, no matter what size or shape you make it.
- Make your favorite yellow or white cake, but substitute caramel sugar for the white sugar. Don’t worry, it’s easy to make. Or start with a boxed spice cake if you’d like.
- Make your favorite white frosting. Make sure it’s fairly stiff so it will hold up to slicing when chilled. The canned stuff won’t work here, because it’s too soft. I made used a double batch of my ermine frosting recipe and used almost all of it for a 4-layer, 6″ cake. I chose ermine both because it is very, very smooth and because it is less sweet than American buttercream.
- Cut each of your two cake layers in half horizontally for a total of 4 layers.
- Leave the bottom layer whole and then use a round cutter to cut out the center of the other three layers. What you choose to do with the cut-out pieces is totally up to you.
- Fill and frost as you would any cake, making sure to fill the voids where the cutouts are with plenty of frosting.
- You only need a very thin coat on the outside of the cake, just enough so the caramel candies will stick.
- Measure the height of your cake, and cut the Cow Tales so they just reach the top of the cake. My guy was 4 1/4″ tall. If you want, you can leave them full-length and then fill the space between the top of the cake and the Cow Tale fence with whatever you want, even with the trimming all snipped to about 1/4″ or so. Or just leave it alone.
- Press the trimmed Cow Tales all around the sides of your cake. For my 6″ cake, it required 36 Cow Tales, or one big box.
- And that’s it.
Here’s a list of all the equipment I used to make this cake, as well as a link to the big old box of Cow Tales candies.
Again, you don’t have to make yours like I made mine, but in case you do want yours to turn out like the photos, here’s how to make that happen.
- 6″ x 2″ cake pans. This is a specialty size, but I really like the proportions I get from 3 layers of 6″ cakes (see my vegan Christmas cake for an example) or from 2 split layers with tons of frosting in between like the caramel candy cake.
- Graduated round cutters: I don’t like to be tied to one dimension of circles for cookies, biscuits, or cake cutouts, so having graduated cutters lets me choose from a variety of sizes. I love mine and have had my set for probably 20 years.
- Cow Tales box of 36: You’ll probably have to cut off about 1-1 1/2″ of each candy. Or leave them full height and fill up the space behind the “fence” of candy that sticks up over the top of the cake with other candy. Or stick some candles in it for a birthday cake.
The Cow Tales® Caramel Cake is a decadent, delicious ode to the Cow Tales® candy I love so much. Enjoy it responsibly with friends!
Nutrition information is based on 12 slices, and since there are 36 candies marching around the outside of the cake, slice between candies so each piece of cake has 3 strips of caramel candy running down the length of the cake.
NOTE: It’s easiest to slice this cake straight from the fridge when the icing is firm.
Store your cake, and leftovers once cut, covered and in the fridge.
Cut slices and allow them to come to room temperature for about 45 minutes before serving. This will give your frosting a chance to soften up and have the best texture.
The cake will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. For longer storage, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 3 months.
If you have a question/questions about this or any other post, whether recipe or technique, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m happy to help.
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A Note About Measurments
NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids.
Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.
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For the Cake* (See Notes)
- 8.5 oz (2 cups, aerated, spooned and leveled) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter at cool room temperature
- 20 oz (3 cups) caramelized granulated sugar
- 1 scant teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 large eggs, beaten and at cool room temperature
- 1 cup milk at cool room temperature
- For the Filling/Frosting
- double batch of ermine frosting for a 4 layer, 6" cake
For the Cow Tales® Decoration
- 36 Cow Tales®, (for a 6" cake), trimmed to the height of the finished, frosted cake. You may need more or fewer depending on the size cake you're making. Each candy takes up about 1/2" of space all around the cake
For the Cake
- Set a rack in the center of your oven.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grease and flour four 6" cake pans and fit parchment circles in the bottom of each pan (See Notes)
- Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Cream butter until smooth.
- Add the caramel sugar, salt and vanilla and beat on medium to medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and pale in color, about 7 minutes. Scrape bowl and beater as necessary.
- With the mixer on low, drizzle in the eggs a bit at a time, scraping bowl as necessary, until all the eggs have been added and mixture is smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Alternately add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with the milk in 2 additions. Beat a few seconds after each addition and scrape bowl as necessary.
- Divide batter evenly among the four pans and bake until the cakes are well risen, deep golden brown and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes and then turn out on racks to cool completely.
To Fill, Frost and Decorate
- Trim each cake layer to 1/2". Use a 2" or 3" cutter (depending on how much frosting you want to ingest) to cut out the centers of three of the layers. If using my cake recipe, you will have a lot of cake left over. Enjoy it or send it to lunch with your kids.
- Place the whole layer in the center of your cake stand. Fill with a generous amount of ermine frosting.
- Add the layers with the centers cut out, one at a time. Make sure you're using roughly the same amount of frosting between each layer to get the prettiest look. Spoon the frosting in the hole in the cake first and sort of press it in gently so there aren't any air gaps. Then add filling to an even depth before continuing.
- Frost the sides with a fairly thin layer of frosting. The top layer can have a bit more--don't let any cake show through the top. Try to get the frosting as smooth as you can. You can also not worry about it and make any design you want on top.
- Trim enough Cow Tales candies to go all around the cake and then press them in place. Admire your handiwork.
- Store the cake in the refrigerator. Slice it while it is cold and then allow the slices to come to room temperature for 45 minutes or so before eating.
*I used a 1-2-3-4 cake recipe which makes a lot of cake. If you use a different cake recipe, you may only be able to fill 3 6" pans. Whichever cake recipe you make, remember to fill the pans with batter no more than halfway.
This is by no means diet food. It's more of a once-in-a-lifetime novelty. It's really tasty though, and you can save yourself some calories by not cutting holes in the center of the cake layers and just frosting as you would a regular cake.
Nutritional information based on 12 slices.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1/12 cake
Amount Per Serving Calories 671Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 122mgSodium 502mgCarbohydrates 107gFiber 3gSugar 30gProtein 14g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
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