13 Layer Caramel and Fudge Smith Island Cake

Makes one 13-layer 6" cake

For the Cake: 

  • 3 c. flour
  •  cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 c. evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. water

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line three 6" round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside. 

Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and powder; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla and water; set aside. Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating well between each addition. Add dry ingredients, one cup at a time. Add liquid ingredients and mix until just uniform.

Scoop about 1-1/2 c. batter into each pan. Bake up to three layers at a time on the center rack of the oven for 10-13 minutes. Layers are done when the edges are just slightly pulling away from the edge of the pan. Allow cake to cool about 5 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process until all layers are baked.

For the Filling: 

  • 1-1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 6 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. caramel sauce
In large mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. In a separate clean, heat proof bowl, whisk together egg whites and sugar. Set egg white bowl over pot of simmering water and continue whisking occasionally until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 160 F. Remove bowl from heat. 

With whisk attachment, whisk egg white mixture on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form. When bowl is no longer warm, reduce mixer speed to medium-low and add butter, about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. 

Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low, gradually add caramel sauce and beat until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. 

For the Frosting: 

  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3-5 T. whole milk

Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, vanilla and salt in mixing bowl. Add about 2 T. milk and beat on medium-low speed. Gradually beat in additional milk until desired consistency is reached; you want it to be spreadable but not soupy. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

Source: Cake adapted from Somerset County; Filling adapted from Sweetapolita