P&Q: Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

Caramel, Peanuts, Brownie oh my!

46 thoughts on “P&Q: Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

  1. Not sure about anyone else but first time I made the caramel I waited 10 minutes like Dorie said, added the cream and butter but it was a soupy mess so the 2nd time I did it I followed her suggestion of dropping it on a white plate and it didn’t become amber color until about 14-15 minutes. But wow that caramel tasted amazing! Definitely worth the extra few waiting minutes!

  2. I was going to top this with the caramel a day ahead, but wanted someone’s opinion – would the caramel harden up too much? I know she says to top it 10-20 min before serving, but I can’t do that if I’m bringing it into work.

  3. Caitlin, I think it would be ok. Mine did harden but it was more chewy than teeth breaking. haha. Maybe don’t refrigerate after putting the caramel on? I think your CWs are gonna love you with this one.

  4. I made this last Tuesday and Wednesday and, oh my gosh, was it amazing. It took longer than Dorie said for the caramel sauce to get to the right color, but it was so so good. I topped it with the caramel right before serving, but Caitlin- I think you’d be fine if you don’t refrigerate it. I kind of want to make this again now that I’m thinking about it.

  5. chocoltechic, I thirded the recipe and baked it in one 4 inch ramekin which was too small. The thing rose like nobody’s business and got a little too big for it’s housing. Perhaps four 4 inchers would do for the whole recipe? Just don’t fill it too much, you know. I lined the bottom with a parchment paper circle and then buttered and floured the whole thing. The baked cake came out fine. I just turned it upside down before putting the caramel on it and skipped the part where she holds it all together with the sides of the pan.

    But I think if you were thinking about leaving it in the ramekin and just adding the caramel on top and eating your way down still in the ramekin, that would be pretty awesome too.

  6. Am looking forward to making this Monday evening – I’m going to use hazelnuts rather than peanuts. I think they’ll taste good with caramel and I’m a bit tired of baked goods with peanuts for now (no doubt I will recover from my tiredness in the near future).

  7. My cake is in the oven now. I halved the recipe and baked in a 6″ springform pan. It rises a lot — don’t fill your pans or ramekins more than half full, maybe even a little less!

    Will be using pecans for the topping. So it will be a “turtle” cake.

  8. I made it using crushed oreos and marshmallows, per the family’s request since DD can’t have nuts or peanuts. The only one who liked it was DH. The caramel took at least 25 minutes to get amber for me, and I think it went a little too long giving it a burned taste which is why the rest of us didn’t like it. The actual cake part was fabulous and I think I will try it again sometime, trying to get the caramel right and playing around with toppings.

  9. My cake sank a lot when I took it out of the oven and the caramel took probably 20 minutes or so to come the a nice amber color. I also put way too much caramel on top so when I sliced it (even after waiting the 20 minutes), the caramel oozed off the cake and onto the serving plate. No one really seemed to mind, but it was a tad bit messy!

  10. I made this in my round stone baking pan and it turned out wonderful . I also made my own fudge pecan topping. I don’t know but something about the carmel topping made me nervous…I wasn’t in the mood to fiddle around with it. I too was tired of peanuts and thought the fudge topping with pecans was super!

  11. Just a caution-if you wait until the caramel is a deep amber, it will more than likely taste burned. Take it off the heat before that point and it will continue to darken some. Caramel can go from light to burned very quickly. I made the cake today in two smaller springform pans thinking I would freeze one without the topping. No way!

  12. I had to make mine twice, as I mucked up the caramel first time round – I took it off the heat too soon as I was scared it was going to burn, and then added golden syrup to make it a darker colour, but all that did was crystallise the toffee and make it like fudge (yummy still, but not what i wanted!!). When I made it again I made 1/3 of the recipe and make little cupcakes.

  13. I made cupcakes and a mini cake- both came out a little dry. Took almost 20 minutes to achieve that amber color and avoided burning but just barely. For the cupcakes I made a salted caramel frosting drizzled with leftover caramel- deeevine!

  14. i made this in a 9″ springform pan. it also took me longer to get the sugar to caramelize. as lynne points out, if you make it too dark, it will be bitter… but if you get it just right, it will taste amazing! i was eating up the leftover sauce by the spoonful :)

    my cake sunk in the middle quite a bit after i took it out of the oven. i poured the caramel and nuts on top after it cooled and brought it to work the next day – it sets a little bit after the caramel cools but it’s still very sticky (not brittle at all)… b/c it was sunken in the middle, all the caramel and nuts would spill into the empty space after each slice was removed. not a huge issue, just messy

  15. If you make a half-recipe in a 6″ pan, I’d recommend you start checking it around 25 or 30 minutes into baking. I baked mine for about 35 minutes and it was a bit dry.

    The edges rose a lot and the middle hardly rose at all, so I had a “crater cake.”

  16. I’m glad I’m not the only one that experienced the longer cook times for the caramel topping. Mine is currently in the fridge hoping for the caramel to firm up enough that I’ll be able to bring this to work without making a total mess.

    Gretchen – mine sunk in the middle before removing it from the oven too. I’m not sure if I’m a good example or not though, I didn’t have the right size pan so I actually had to increase the recipe slightly to fill the larger spring form pan. But from the other comments it sounds like we are in good company.

  17. Like Lynne said, if you said, if you wait too long the caramel may taste burnt! I waited until it turned deep amber and then my son and I tasted it. Wasn’t very good. Looked pretty, but tasted a little burnt. I was a little disappointed. Once we put it on top of the cake, it tasted better, but I really think I waited too long. :( Oh, well, I just won’t cook it as long next time.

  18. This cake was fun to make! It also took me a lot longer to make the caramel than Dorie suggested, but after reading the comments I’m worried it may taste burnt. I made it/frosted it last night thinking we would eat it after dinner, but we were too stuffed. Hopefully we’ll be able to eat it today!

  19. I also experienced the sunken cake effect. Next time I make this, I will do it in ramekins or smaller cake pans. We loved the taste but the cake came out a bit too dry, even though I cooked it for about 5-10 minutes less than the recipe called for.

  20. I experienced the sunken cake, but Dorie said that might happened, so I wasn’t concerned. That and it was covered up by the peanuts.

    For the caramel, one – be very careful! I burnt myself on making caramel last year, and I had a nasty burn on my finger for about a month or so. Two – it will go from amber to burnt in about 30 seconds, so lower the heat about a few shades before because it will continue cooking. I had to make it twice because it burnt the first time. And burnt caramel SMELLS.

    I wasn’t crazy about this cake. My family liked it, so I think I just don’t like salty peanuts with caramel sauce. Pecans probably would’ve been better.

  21. I almost burned my house down waiting on the caramel to turn amber colored. The second time I made it, I watched it so carefully, and then it started to turn back to sugar so I took it off before it turned dark. My caramel was not good. :(

  22. Yes, Erin I did put the recipe for the fudge topping in my post…it was so easy and it had way less sugar..that 2 cups in the caramel topping scared me! I had no problems with my cake sinking in the middle..I used my stone pan and it worked perfectly!

  23. I wasn’t pleased with the cake itself, and I let the caramel go too long (totally my fault) and then the caramel oozed all over the place. so – won’t be making this again!

  24. my cake was very dry. were you supposed to whisk this by hand? I used the mixer with the whisk attachment, but I didn’t mix it very long at all so it should have been okay right?

  25. Mine is done. The caramel is dark but not burned. I only got one finger blister – and it is a small one. The cake is sitting in it’s ring with the caramel on it, waiting for family to come home and adore it. Hope it tastes good!
    I kept licking up the caramel off of the spoons, spatulas, fingers, etc. So good.
    I have never made caramel before and am proud to have conquered a kitchen fear!

  26. I’m in awe of anyone that can do caramel. I bomb big time on it everytime. Will be watching to see how others do with it!!Thanks for inviting me!

  27. I had to make 2 batches of caramel – my first one burnt horribly! Smoke all throughout the kitchen! But the 2nd batch seems to have gone ok. I haven’t tasted it yet – it’s too hot right now – but unless it is out of this world I would just rather buy caramel sauce than have to babysit a pan. My cake sank too, but since that was forewarned in the recipe it doesn’t bother me. I can’t wait to try it and see how it went, though!

  28. I am new to TWD, so I’m a little tardy. I will actually be making this tomorrow (Tuesday) so I should be ok. I also have to skip the peanuts, but not because of allergies. My father in law doesn’t have any teeth and can’t eat them, hubby has an upper plate, but won’t eat with it. LOL! So we are going peanut-less. I’m glad I read all these first, especially because of the carmel sauce. Hope this comes out!

  29. Does using a teflon pan maybe increase the cooking time for the caramel? It is just a thought so I was curious what everyone else thought about that one.

    I was lucky to get dark karo syrup and now we are hunting down the light karo syrup…I knew I should have got that when I saw it.

    Do you think dark will work? You guys are still sleeping and I am out the door to get our ingredients. It’s nice to be back! Look forward to your great works of art everyone!

  30. Haven’t made it yet . . . still on the fence – still trying to finish the backlog of the weekend’s desserts! If I have time, may turn this out after lunch.

  31. Just wanted to say, I made it, and it was so yummy! My cake also experienced the crater in the middle, but I think that’s just par for the course with a cake with such amoist brownie-like texture. I took mine out of the oven when it still had moist crumbs on the toothpick when tested. No problems with the cake being too dry or with the caramel, but I’ve made lots and lots of batches of caramel so it wasn’t new to me. Reading everyone’s comments is so helpful!

  32. I made the recipe! My family loved it! It did take me a little longer for the color to turn amber for the caramel… but it came out fantastic! I didn’t have ice cream at home to add nex to the cake. I am new and really excited to be a part of this group!

  33. I found the caramel exciting to do as hadn’t made any in years and had to admit it took a lot longer than Dorie estimated. In the end I lost my patience and upped the heat and watched it turn a lovely dark colour :o)

    Found the cake nice and the nutty caramel nice but for me the 2 didn’t really do a lot for each other.

  34. Hi all,

    I just tried to make the cake yesterday and had a bit of trouble with my caramel. What should be the consistency of the caramel? Mine hardened so much that I had trouble cutting the cake. It’s almost like peanut brittle. Thought I measured something wrong so I made another batch of the caramel and it turned out the same. How do I fix it? Add more cream?

    Thanks in advance!


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