Caramel Crunch Cake

Caramel Crunch Cake Recipe

Sharing is caring!

One of my favorite desserts to bring to family gatherings is the Caramel Crunch Cake. It’s not just a treat but also a centerpiece, sparking conversations and bringing back fond memories of caramel-making adventures with my grandmother. This cake beautifully balances the airy crispness of meringue with the rich, buttery sweetness of caramel and the delightful crunch of pecans. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, a holiday, or just a cozy weekend, this cake promises to be a hit.

I remember the first time I made this cake for my friends during a summer get-together. The anticipation of waiting for the meringue to bake, followed by the joy of layering the caramel and whipped cream, was an experience in itself. We all gathered in the kitchen, sharing stories and laughter, which made the final tasting even more special. The combination of textures and flavors was simply divine.

If you’re looking to tweak the recipe, there are a few variations you might find interesting. For a nut-free version, substitute the pecans with finely crushed graham crackers or a sprinkle of coarse sea salt for a sweet-salty twist. Adding a layer of dark chocolate ganache between the meringue layers can also add a luxurious depth to the cake. And for a fresh, fruity contrast, try topping it with berries or sliced bananas.

This Caramel Crunch Cake is not only a delight to eat but also a joy to make, creating memories as sweet as the dessert itself.

Making Caramel Crunch Cake

Ingredients

  • ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar (for tossing pecans)
  • 1 cup caramel or 1 can of condensed milk
  • 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans (very finely chopped)

Directions

  1. If you’re using condensed milk to make caramel, boil the unopened can in a pot of water for 3 hours, ensuring it’s fully submerged.
  2. Preheat your oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw three 6-inch circles on the parchment and flip it over.
  3. Finely chop the pecans, toss them with a tablespoon of powdered sugar, and set aside.
  4. In a mixer bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and beat on high speed until stiff, shiny peaks form. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Sprinkle vinegar and cornstarch over the meringue, then gently fold them in with a spatula. Fold in the pecans.
  6. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Using the drawn circles as a guide, pipe the meringue starting from the center and moving outward. Smooth the tops with an offset spatula.
  7. Bake the meringue for about 1 hour and 30 minutes until dry and crisp. Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly open, and let the meringues cool completely inside.
  8. In a mixer bowl, whisk the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
  9. To assemble, place a layer of meringue on a serving plate, top with caramel, and then whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining layers, finishing with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel on the top layer. Add chopped pecans if desired.

Making Caramel Crunch Cake

FAQs:

Can I use store-bought caramel instead of making my own?

Yes, you can use store-bought caramel or dulce de leche to save time. However, making your own caramel by boiling condensed milk provides a richer flavor.

What can I use as a substitute for cream of tartar?

If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can use lemon juice or white vinegar as a substitute. Use the same amount as the cream of tartar called for in the recipe.

How do I know when the meringue is done baking?

The meringue is done when it is dry and crisp to the touch. It should easily lift off the parchment paper without sticking. If it still feels soft, bake it a bit longer.

Can I prepare the meringue layers in advance?

Yes, you can bake the meringue layers up to two days in advance. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature to keep them crisp.

What is the best way to chop pecans finely?

To chop pecans finely, you can use a food processor, but be careful not to over-process them into a paste. Alternatively, you can chop them by hand using a sharp knife.

How should I store leftover Caramel Crunch Cake?

Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It’s best consumed within two days to ensure the meringue layers stay crisp.

Caramel Crunch Cake Recipe

Caramel Crunch Cake

Impress your guests with a Caramel Crunch Cake, a heavenly mix of textures and flavors perfect for any occasion.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Cake
Cuisine American
Servings 8
...

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup caramel or 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup pecans very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar for tossing pecans
  • ½ tbsp cornstarch

Instructions
 

Caramel:

  • If you don't have premade caramel or dulce de leche, you can make it by boiling a can of condensed milk in a pot of water for 3 hours, ensuring the can is fully submerged.

Meringue:

  • Preheat your oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw 3 - 6 inch circles on it. Turn the paper over. Finely chop the pecans and toss them in a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Set aside.
  • In a mixer bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and beat on high speed until stiff, shiny peaks form. Beat in the vanilla extract. Sprinkle vinegar and cornstarch over the meringue and gently fold in with a spatula. Fold in the pecans.
  • Transfer the meringue to a piping bag with a large round tip. Using the drawn circles as a guide, pipe the meringue starting from the center and moving outward. Smooth the tops with an off-set spatula.
  • Bake for about 1 hour 30 minutes until the meringue is dry and crisp. Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly open, and let the meringues cool completely inside.

Whipped Cream:

  • Whisk the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixer bowl until stiff peaks form.

Assembly:

  • Place a layer of meringue on a serving plate, top with caramel, and then whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining layers. For the top layer, finish with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel. Add chopped pecans if desired.
Keyword Caramel

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top