Olivia Bogacki has shared a recipe for a layer cake inspired by creme brulee. Vanilla bean cake, custard, and crunchy caramel bits are covered in smooth vanilla buttercream.

In my entire life, I have only ever made creme brûlée once. It was during pastry school. I recall the process being quite picky. Although it was not difficult to make, I wouldn’t say I like anything that requires you to bake in a water bath. The creme brûlée might have been under- or over-done for a short time, but it’s not recommended to open the oven too often to inspect it. Stressful!! It can be stressful!

So I don’t have to rush to make the real deal, so I will continue the theme of making desserts cakes because the cake is always better. This month I present the Creme Brulee Cake. Are you as thrilled as I am??

Creme brulee, or burnt cream, is a smooth custard topped with crunchy caramel. These two textures work together beautifully. Vanilla is the most popular and traditional flavor, but you can now find creme Brulee with many delicious flavors.

I’ve had both very good and very poor creme Brulee. This one was from a local restaurant that I will never forget. It was curdled! It was full of chunks of stuff in this desert that were supposed to be smooth as silk. I only took one bite of the dessert and forgot about it. It’s still something I regret not returning.

This creme-brulee cake combines all the traditional elements of creme brulee, but it’s a delicious layer cake! Vanilla bean cake, vanilla custard, and crunchy caramel bits are all combined in this silky vanilla buttercream. Note about the sugar shards: Sugar work doesn’t hold up well over time. They will become sticky if left too long, so using them within 24 hours is best.


A recipe by Olivia Bogacki

Makes one 8-inch cake. 12 servings

Vanilla Bean Cake:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)

1 1/2 cups granulated Sugar

Three large eggs (room temperature)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake rounds. Line with parchment.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and water in a large bowl until well combined.

Use a stand mixer fitted to the paddle attachment to beat butter until smooth. Mix in sugar until it is pale and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).

Reduce speed and add eggs one by one, fully incorporating each addition. Add vanilla bean paste.

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk. Start and end with flour. After each addition, fully mix. Stay undermixed.

Place the batter in prepared pans. Use a spatula to smoothen the top

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean.

Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then let them cool completely.

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