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Friday 31 January 2014

Let Her Eat Cake: Dulce de Leche Cake

Dulce de Leche is the embodiment of sweet, caramel comfort. It's also, essentially, just a fancy name for condensed milk that's been heated for a few hours until it becomes a rich, sticky goo. There are various ways of making it, but the easiest (and sluttiest) way is to buy it in the tin.

Hazelnuts and mascarpone make sure that this cake doesn't rocket off the sweeter-than-sweet scale, but you could replace with almonds if you so fancy. Warning: this involves A LOT of spoon licking.

Dulce de Leche Cake
You will need:
For the cake
  • 175g butter, softened 
  • 175g caster sugar 
  • 3 free-range eggs 
  • 140g self-raising flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts 
For the filling and topping:
  • 300g mascarpone 
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar 
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or a few drops vanilla essence 
  • 25g chopped hazelnuts, to decorate
  • 1/2 tin or about 5 tablespoons of dulce de leche (caramel) 
Make it!
The cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. 
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. 
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each to help the mixture stay smooth. 
  4. Gently fold in the remainder of the flour and baking powder, taking care not to over-mix. 
  5. When just combined, stir in the chopped hazelnuts. 
  6. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and a skewer comes out clean. 
  7. Cool in the tin for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
The filling and topping:
  1. Spoon the mascarpone into a bowl. Add the vanilla and icing sugar (you might want a little more, to taste) and beat together. Set aside. 
  2. Finely chop or give the hazelnuts a quick blitz with a hand blender. 
  3. Tip them into a small, dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat until fragrant - careful, they burn quickly. Set aside to cool slightly. 
  4. Carefully cut your cake in half. 
  5. Spread the bottom half of the cake with some of the mascarpone, then a thick layer of the dulce de leche or caramel. 
  6. Sandwich the top on and spread the remaining mascarpone over the top and sides of the cake. 
  7. Swirl the caramel over the surface and add the toasted hazelnuts to finish.


  1. This sounds AMAZING.
    Could you bake the cake in two shallow sandwich tins, as opposed to one big one? I'm crap at cutting them in half...!

    1. Me too, Lia. And as Pay has mentioned below, you just need to reduce the cooking time to 25-30 minutes. No tricky cutting for us!

  2. I made this yesterday, and I baked it in two sandwich tins. I just reduced the cooking time to 25-30 minutes. It was amazing!

  3. I found it needed a lot longer, mine was raw in the middle and a disaster :(

    1. Hi kjiv500, is it possible your oven temp is slightly lower than it should be? It's such a shame it was still raw - did you skewer it to check?

  4. I did skewer it but obviously not quite to the middle! Just knocked up emergency cupcakes, dug a small hole in each with an apple-corer and filled with dolche de leche, iced with the mascapone and dolche de leche mix I'd made up and the crushed hazelnuts - looks like this might be a tasty Plan B for charity cake sale tomorrow!

    1. Oh I'm pleased you could salvage something! But I'm sad the cake didn't work for you this time - we've had positive reports from lots of people. Try again! Or perhaps split it into two sandwich tins like Pat mentioned in her comment.


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