Simple and Sweet Caramel Cake

[Caramel cake, July 2011.]

Monday. I am marooned at work without a slice of the delicious cherry pie I baked yesterday (the flaky crust! The not-too-sweet fruit!) and consequently counting the hours until I can return home to devour a slice for afternoon snack. Or dinner? Either one.

This is just a quick post today because life! it is rushing. But I couldn’t let it rush past too quickly to mention this caramel cake.

I dreamed this cake before I baked it. You don’t dream about food? I certainly do. I’ve dreamed dinner party menus and woken up with them fresh in my mind, but all too often in that sleepy, still-slumbery state let them slip away (there’s never a dearth of ideas, however). At some point I absolutely must make this caramelized shallot-shiitake mushroom-tossed-with-roasted-carrots dish I dreamed one night last fall; I know it will be delicious. And in regards to that un-fancy yet tasty cake up there, I went to sleep early on July 3 with plans to attempt an Independence Day pie and dreamed all night of cool rivers and sunshine and something called a ‘caramel cake,’ though I’d never tasted one before. No matter. Whatever it was, I had to make it. So after I threw together dough and put it to rest in the fridge, I dug around on the Internet to find a recipe.

And … here ’tis. It’s simple and unfussy and light with buttermilk and smoothed over on top with a fudgy, caramel-y glaze that rescues the cake part from being just the tiniest bit humdrum. It’s simple and unfussy, yes, but I like it for that. Sometimes you just need a solid, basic cake, you know? And if you use brown sugar in the topping, as I did, along with good vanilla, the word boring will never cross your lips.

I like this with tea, I like it with milk, I like it with a cold glass of lemonade. I like it with vanilla ice cream, I like it with strawberries. It’s really a perfect summer dessert — when you’re not baking pie, that is.

I hope you like it, too.

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  1. i love that you dream recipes!

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