Dulce de Leche Pound Cake is a delicious way to enjoy the rich and indulgent flavor of milk caramel. Pictures of the whole cake were updated in November 2017.
Much like exercise, there is a rhythmic routine to cooking dinner for your family. Unlike baking, which I do to relax at my own convenience, dinner must be gotten to the table around the same time every day (running late carries all sorts of nasty consequences as the kids spend less time with Dad, get to bed late….), with certain healthy components present (do I have something green? Is there enough veggies? What about protein?) and with certain flavors avoided (ok in my case really just spicy heat; my kids are not picky). I love to cook (unlike exercise), but when something interrupts my dinner routine, it is hard for me to get back on track. Which is why you can expect to see more desserts around here for a while.
Since my appendectomy I have also gotten a bad cold and between both issues, I pretty much stopped making super interesting meals. We have had tortilla soup, chicken divan, and a straight-from-my-childhood taco salad made with iceberg lettuce and un-spiced ground beef (which I actually love but am not sure is blog-worthy). I am hoping to get back on track soon (and start working out again), but until then, indulge your sweet tooth with me.
Pretty much anyone who does any kind of volunteer work for any reason would probably agree that volunteering will be much more successful if you can find something you enjoy. Which is why I currently am planning to volunteer to bake (or cook) for just about any reason that my daughter’s elementary school needs. I had my first opportunity this past weekend when the school had its carnival. I provided 2 items to the Cakewalk–although now that I have experienced a cakewalk, I would not bake this Dulce de Leche Pound Cake for it again. The cake is perfectly delicious, but it was mostly little kids doing the cakewalk, and I am certain they had no idea what dulce de leche is–and my translation, provided on a piece of paper with ingredients for those with allergies, of “Argentinean Milk Caramel” probably did not help either. Plus, let’s face it, bundt cakes are beautiful in an elegant, restrained manner. They don’t compete with over the top desserts for little kids (nor, for that matter, did they compete with my pumpkin marshmallows, which were chosen early). But for a grown-up occasion, or just a run of the mill weekend dessert, you cannot go wrong with this Dulce de Leche Pound Cake.
I wondered how much you would be able to taste the dulce de leche after it was baked into the cake; the answer is you can definitely taste it, but in a mellowed out way. It is there, but unlike pure dulce de leche, it does not wollop you over the head with its intense caramelized sweetness. The bites with the swirled in dulce de leche are, of course, more intense. Those swirls also caused the cake to stick in places, so it is a toss up as to how I feel about the swirled part. Use a lot of baking spray is my best advice, I guess. [I experienced no sticking in November 2017 when I used a lot of baking spray.]
You will notice some comments in the recipe indicating I am not sure how large of a cake pan to use. This is because whoever copied the recipe for the website (where I got the recipe) clearly had a typo because they claimed you should use a 6 cup or small bundt pan. Well I doubled the recipe and ended up with 2 10-cup bundt cakes and 2 mini loaves. So I am not positive the recipe makes enough for a 12 cup bundt pan, although I suspect it might, and so I have written the recipe for a 10 cup bundt pan with extra batter. Plus we all know the 10 cup pans are the prettiest! [In November 2017 I used a 10 cup bundt pan and got all of the batter inside it–but as you may notice the bottom (top while baking) overflowed a bit so I stand by my recommendation of 10 cup bundt pan plus a mini loaf pan or two. The picture below is an original photo.]
- 14 oz dulce de leche (ounces by weight)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 4 eggs
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream (I used whole fat buttermilk)
- 1 T baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t fine sea salt (heaping)
- 3 cups (378 g) AP flour
- powdered sugar for sprinkling, optional
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Generously spray a 10 cup bundt pan (have some mini loaf pans handy in case you have extra batter--this recipe may or may not have been intended for a 12 cup bundt pan--if you linked to the recipe you will notice it claims a 6 cup bundt pan which is definitely not right) with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
Reserve approximately 1/4 cup of the dulce de leche in a microwavable container and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, and the salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter on medium low speed until smooth. Add the brown sugar and cream again, then add the bulk of the dulce de leche (all but the 1/4 cup). Cream until it is smooth; scrape down the sides as necessary.
Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each one. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla and blend it in.
On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk or sour cream, alternating, in 3 additions for the flour and 2 additions for the liquid. Blend until smooth--finish by hand, scraping along the sides and bottom of the bowl. Pour the batter 3/4 of the way up the pan (i.e., leave room for some batter on top).
Heat up the reserved 1/4 cup dulce de leche so that it pours easily. Drizzle the reserved dulce de leche onto the cake batter in the pan. Spoon the remaining batter into the pan (until it is full--do not overfill it; use mini loaves for extra batter). Place in the oven with a cookie sheet on the rack under it to catch any drips.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester comes out clean of batter (although it may have dulce de leche on it). Cool for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
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