June 30, 2017 DiklaLF 25Comment


Burnt Sugar Cake.

I did not forget the pan on the stove, I actually meant to do that.

As for the rest of the design?  Why don’t you keep reading and tell me yourself?

It all started the first time I noticed few “deep lines” on my face.  Naturally, it was accompanied by some “salt” in my hair.  I remember how I was caught off guard, and for a while, I was in a state of shock. Come to think of it, I should have known better.  After all, my generation actually watched music videos on MTV.

I’m happy to report that I snapped out of it shortly after.  You see I strongly believe that a little salt makes everything better.  As for the “deep lines”?  Well these, I EARNED, they were kindly given to me as a “Great Job, Mom” certificate, so I wear them proudly.


As I embraced my journey into the 35-40 age box I realized it comes with other side effects that are beyond my control.  Like neatly folding a gift bag so I will reuse it, or always have stamps in my wallet.  Also, lately I have been drowning towards flowers patterns.

buttercream roses


To make my point clearer, think about your parents or grandparents home decor. Flowers are everywhere, rugs, lampshades, tea cups, kitchen towels, your mom’s nightgown?.  Now think about your younger cool self-home decor (and I am not talking about the bathroom tiles the landlord put!).



The latest flowers fetish is mostly piping buttercream Chrysanthemum or molding gum paste roses.  Thus, this cake design.  I have yet to purchase a “rosy” table cloth or purple violet linen, but I know where I am headed.  You know what? I am A-OK with it.   I still have all my teeth and a very cool tattoo!  Besides getting old beats the alternative…

To learn how to make Drift Wood Panels

5 from 4 votes

Burnt Sugar Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Did you know that before the days of extracts bakers used to burn sugar as a flavoring agent? 

This moist cake gets a caramel essence from the burnt sugar and a unique flavor combination from the maple frosting.

Feel free to omit the frosting with an old fashion Chocolate fudge, or a plain vanilla buttercream. 

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 15
Author Adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson


Burnt Sugar Syrup

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar Cup Sugar ( 100 g / 3.5 oz.)
  • 1/2 Cup Hot Water


  • 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour ( 350 g / 12.5 oz.)
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter at room temperature (170 g / 6 oz.)
  • 1 3/4 Cups Sugar ( 350 g / 12&1/4 oz.)
  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil Canola Oil
  • 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk at room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter at room temperature ( 230 g / 8 oz.)
  • 1 LB Cream Cheese at room temperature, cut into 1 inch cubes (454 g / 16 oz).
  • 1 Tsp Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup Maple Syrup

Simple Syrup to Soak the cake (Optional)

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar ( 100 g/ 3.5 oz)
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. Preheat Oven to 350F. 

    Line 3 "8 cake or 4 6" pans with parchment paper. Spray with oil and set aside.

To make the Burnt Sugar Syrup

  1. Add the sugar in a heat resistant pan and place it on the stove, medium heat.

  2. Let the sugar melt while gently swirling the pan (do not stir) when the sugar gets an amber color and release some smoke remove it from the heat and add the hot water few drops at a time.

  3. Put the pan back over medium heat to reduce the syrup for an about 10 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon.

  4. Remove from heat and let cool.

To make the Cake

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.

  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment place the butter and sugar and cream on high until fluffy. About 5 minutes.

  3. Change the speed to low and drizzle the oil and vanilla extract. Mix until combine.

  4. Add the egg yolks and eggs one at a time, waiting for the egg to completely incorporate into the batter before adding the next.

  5. Mix the Burnt Sugar Syrup with the Milk.

  6. Add the flour Mixture to the batter in three parts alternating with the Milk up syrup beginning and ending with the flour.

  7. Before the last part of the flour has completely incorporated, stop the mixer and with a rubber spatula complete the blending.

  8. Divide the batter into the prepared pans and place in the oven.

  9. Bake for 25-30 Minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after inserting in the middle of the cake.

  10. Set the cake aside and let cool.

To Make the Cream Cheese Frosing

  1. Place the butter in a bowl of a stand mixer and with the paddle attachment beat on medium speed for about 1 minutes, until the butter is smooth.

  2. Add the cream cheese and keep beating until the frosting is combined and lump free.

  3. Ass the espresso powder and vanilla extract to the frosting and allow to dissolve.

  4. Drizzle the maple syrup in the frosting and continue beating until fully incorporated.

To Make the Simple Syrup

  1. Place the sugar and water in a pot over the stove. Bring to boil and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

To Assemble the cake

  1. Lay a cake layer on a flat plate and using a pastry brush brush the cake layer with the Simple Syrup.

  2.  Spread 3/4 cup of cream cheese frosting. (1/3 of a cup if baking 6" cake)

  3. Repeat the above two steps with the remaining layers.

  4. Apply a thin layer of frosting around the cake and place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

  5. Frost the cake with the remaining of the frosting.

Recipe Notes


  • Make sure to use a good brand of cream cheese like Philadelphia and not artisan cream cheese to prevent it from curdling.
  • If the frosting is too soft, put it in the refrigerator for few minutes and let it firm up.
  • It can be kept in the refrigerator 5-7 days. In that case, it needs to go back to room temperature and re-whipped.


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25 thoughts on “Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

    1. Thank you! my guests felt bad about me cutting into it, but they got over it very fast. LOL

  1. This looks stunning and sounds absolutely delicious!!! Cakes with big frosting flowers on top are my favorite (I’m the person who ALWAYS asks for the slice with a flower, even at age 27), and the burnt sugar flavor sounds so intriguing!

    1. Thank you! The cake is truly delicious!!! I have to admit, flowers make everything look, smell and taste better! I even have a rose tattoo on my arm (inspired by the Dark Tower books).

    1. Thank you! Vintage is my favorite! It is so much fun to look for vintage items at flea markets!

    1. I miss MTV too!!! This generation has no idea what they are missing! Thou I find it hard to picture Kanye doing UNPLUGGED…

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