My birthday is coming up. Therefore, two things have been on my mind. The first being cake. The second being age, biological clocks, and grey hairs. I made this Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake for my 30th birthday (a few years back) and decided that the post needed a little nip and tuck. This cake has been made numerous times since its inception, and it was high time to give it a proper chance to be viewed and not stuck way back in the archives never to be seen again. Which, in all honesty, I’m happy all my older posts are safe and sound in obscurity.
I’ve been thinking a lot about aging gracefully. Sure, I get insecure as well as the next millennial female who has extra poundage. I don’t know, maybe it’s my age and all the wisdom that comes with it, (joking) but I agree with the adage “age is a privilege few are granted.”
I care, now, about a good A1C > BMI. I care about drinking enough water > whether it’s tap or not. I care about avoiding chemicals where I can > the grey hairs that are starting to frame my 32-year-old face. I wear those things proudly, in a size large, of course, and I am healthy.
Dyeing my hair—for the longest time—it just co-existed with my style. Hey! It’s 2003 and highlights are all the RAGE! Let’s do it! Girl! It’s 2000 and dyeing your hair slightly purple is so hot right now! Okay, I’m in. I moved with it, and I don’t regret it. Going grey was never a statement. It was just something I decided to do.
However, my greying hair has been a point of conversation at dinner parties and Instagram stories. People are baffled by my choice to go grey, and they find it in themselves a requirement to complement my bravery. I mean, please, complement me, I love it! I find it weird since I dug up no strength to go where my body was naturally taking me. It brings up internal questions of worth.
Am I good enough? Pretty enough? Skinny enough? Branded enough? Empowered enough? Strong enough? Quiet enough? Empathetic enough? Young enough? Successful enough? Meek enough?
I just don’t know. Because those are things I don’t really care about. What I do care about is this:
Am I kind enough? Am I thoughtful enough? Do I add value to the people around me? Does my life point towards hope?
My worth is not my hair. My worth is not my weight. No matter how many times my friend Connie has to remind me of that (luv you, boo). All we can hope for as we age is to be able to eat cake on our birthdays sans judgement and with JOY.
As to the other thing that have been on my mind, Cake. I love making cake. It’s my job to make cake. I realized I just don’t have enough cake recipes on the blog. Maybe it’s because I make cake all the time? Maybe they just don’t seem as special? I just can’t answer that for you. What I can do is make more cake for the blog—with your permission of course. So, I bring you this favorite recipe of mine to you, again. Here it is with flair, passion, and a little essay about the importance of aging as I see fit.
Definitely make this cake. It’s warm, full of caramel, and probably my favorite cake of all Olive and Artisan time.
Excerpt from my original post about turning 30. Yep. Not too much has changed.
I am writing this post in my twenties and I will be posting this at age thirty. The Karlee of the past hopes that the Karlee of the future will welcome 30 with dignity, but the Karlee of twenty-nine knows better.
But, thirty? That one scared me. This year was not an easy age to come to terms with. I’m still fighting the urge to buy anti-wrinkle cream and start upping my 401k contributions. I don’t want to invest in my future; I want to buy that designer leather purse. Does this mean I’m going to need to start caring more about public education and healthcare reform?
Browned Butter Cake Salted CaramelPrint Recipe
- Browned Butter Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (two sticks) butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- -For the buttercream-
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 3 tablespoon water, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Pinch of salt, generous
- 4–5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
- Jacobsen flaked sea salt for garnish
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter In a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl the butter in the pan so the solids won’t remain in the bottom and burn. The butter will eventually start to froth and boil. As soon as this happens keep moving the pan around until the center of the butter starts to brown. Remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. This process can take about 5-10 minutes.
After the butter has cooled for about 5 minutes add the brown and granulated sugar and stir. Add the room temperature eggs one at a time and stirring rapidly.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt together, and stir to combine ingredients well. Add the flour mixture to the browned butter mixture and stir on low while slowly adding the buttermilk. Keep mixing until combined.
Divide batter evenly into three buttered 6-inch pans, and place in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove cake from pans after they have cooled to a handling temperature and place on a cooling rack.
For the buttercream
In a standing mixter, whip the butter and salt on high for 6 minutes adding a tablespoon of cold water every two minutes. Scrape down the sides and whip again for another 3-5 minutes. Set the mixer to low and add in 4 cups of powdered sugar a slowly increasing speed until combined. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar at a time until you teach your desired texture. Add water a tablespoon at a time if frosting is too thick.
Level the cakes before frosting.
Layer and the cakes with the butter cream in between layers. Frost cake. Drizzle cake with a half cup of caramel sauce along the top edges. Sprinkle lightly with Jacobsen sea salt.