This is a very special cake, for a very special lady, Jessica Merchant of How Sweet It Is! Through the wicked organisational skills of the lovely Bev of Bev Cooks and Ashley of Edible Perspective we, the Invisible Internet Friends of Jessica are throwing her a bebe shower.
And when I think of the neon-loving, epic-recipe-creating, ass-kicking genius that is Jessica, I not only think that her baby doesn’t know how lucky it is to have such a cool mom, but somehow this ridiculous cake straight up jumped into my brain.
Let me run you through this thing. We’ve got a light, buttery vanilla cake, split in two and filled with salted caramel rippled vanilla ice cream, topped with a heaping pile of salted caramel popcorn, and drizzled with yet more salted caramel.
Did I mention that maybe Jess likes her recipes just a little over the top? Or maybe it’s just that I do. OK, maybe it’s both. Whatever, I feel like the spirit of crazy creativity was flowing through me when I was building this thing. More ice cream? Yup. More popcorn? Sure. More caramel? Pass me the jug!
Aside from being a major showstopper, this cake is super fun to make, almost as much fun as it is to eat. And you can feel free to put in as much effort as you like. I made the cake and the caramel, but bought the ice cream and the popcorn. You could easily buy everything, or make everything from scratch. Do whatever suits you.
The whole point is that the buttery salted caramel, the sweet creamy ice cream, the tender cake and the salty popcorn are absolutely made for each other, and will blow the minds of whoever you serve this to!
Congratulations Jess! Your kindness and support and just general awesomeness are an inspiration to me and I bet you’re gonna be an amazing mama. Many internet hugs. And not just from me, check out all the other incredible recipes inspired by and for Jess below the recipe!
- For the cake:
- ¾ stick (75g) butter
- ¾ cup (170g) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup (190ml) milk
- For the caramel:
- 1 cup (225g) sugar
- ½ cup (125ml) cream
- ½ cup (115g) butter
- ½ - 1 tsp sea salt
- To assemble:
- 1 quart (1 litre) of vanilla ice cream
- 2 cups popped popcorn
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and grease and line an 8 inch/20 cm springform cake tin.
- To make the cake, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
- Stir together the flour and baking powder, then mixing slowly, add the flour and milk alternately in two or three additions. Mix until everything is just incorporated, and then scrape into your cake tin and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly, and a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely, and then chill it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight - the cake is easier to assemble if everything is cold.
- To make the caramel, place the sugar into a medium saucepan with a splash of water and place over a medium heat. Do not stir the mixture at all, just tilt the pan if it is melting unevenly.
- Cook until the sugar is melted, and then let it boil until the mixture turns a dark amber colour, about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the caramel from the heat, and very carefully add the cream and butter. The mixture will bubble up furiously, but just leave it to calm down, and once it's calm, place it back on the heat and stir until everything is melted and amalgamated. Add the salt, to taste, and then leave the sauce to cool completely, and then chill in the fridge.
- To assemble the cake, get the ice cream out of the fridge for about 15 minutes to soften. While it's softening carefully slice the cake into two even layers, and line a springform cake tin with plenty of plastic wrap.
- Place the bottom layer of the cake into the tin, and then scoop in the ice cream, adding dollops of the chilled caramel as you go, to create a ripple effect. You should use about half the caramel. Once all the ice cream is in, quickly add the top layer of cake, very lightly press down and then cover it with plastic and place in the freezer for at least four hours to set.
- When you're ready to serve the cake, heat the remaining caramel, and place the popcorn into a mixing bowl. Pour over about half the caramel, and toss with the popcorn. Unwrap the frozen cake and place it on a serving dish. Carefully pile on the popcorn, drizzle with the remaining caramel and serve!
Trashed up salads
- Gimme Some Oven – Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Sauce
- The Lemon Bowl – Brussels Slaw with Tahini Dressing and Za’atar Crostini
- With Style & Grace – Kale Salad with Apple, Hazelnuts & Bacon
Trashed up cocktails
- Dine & Dish – Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail
- Food For My Family – Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy Cocktail
- Minimalist Baker – Bourbon Pumpkin Milkshakes
- Stylish, Stealthy & (sometimes) Healthy – Apple Cider Shandy
- A Spicy Perspective – Preggy Punch Mocktail
- Girl vs. Dough – Boozy Maple Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake
- Honestly Yum – Maple Bacon Pisco Sour
- Cookin Canuck – Pink Grapefruit Margaritas
- A Thought For Food – Mezcal Citrico Cocktail
- A House in the Hills – Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer
- The Novice Chef – Ginger Bourbon Apple Cider
- Bran Appetit – Citrus Cider Punch Floats
Trashed up burgers
- Edible Perspective – Meatloaf Veggie Burgers with Mashed Potatoes + Gravy
- The Little Kitchen – Salmon BLT Sliders with an Avocado Aioli & Brie
- Daisy At Home – Balsamic Beef Burger with Mac and Cheese
- Cookies & Cups – Candied Bacon Maple Cheddar Burger
- Climbing Grier Mountain – Trashed-Up Steak Burger with Chicken Fried Bacon & Dijon Gravy
- Dessert For Two – Bleu Cheese Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries
- Country Clever – Fig Rosemary Roast Chicken Brie Brussels Sprout Panini
- Foodie Crush – The Best Cheeseburger Soup
- Lady and Pups – Spicy Sambal Chicken Meatball Sub with Eggs
- Two Peas & Their Pod – Sweet Potato and Kale Grilled Cheese
- Bake Your Day – Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich
Trashed up tacos
- Spoon Fork Bacon – Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos
- The Fauxmartha – Boozy Beef and Butternut Tacos
- With Food + Love – Harvest Hash Breakfast Tacos
- Mountain Mama Cooks – Crispy Kale and Brussels Sprout Tacos with Bacon
- Heather Christo – Bahn Mi Tacos with Spicy Sriracha Honey Sauce
- A Couple Cooks – Loaded Huevos Rancheros Tacos
- Fitnessista – San Diego Lobster Street Tacos
Trashed up desserts!
- Table for Two – Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, and Brown Butter Shortbread Bars with Sprinkles
- My Name is Yeh – Mini Vanilla Loaf Cakes, All Trashed Up
- Picky Palate – Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch Sprinkle Cupcakes
- Sprinkle Bakes – Cake Batter Confetti Cupcakes
- Averie Cooks – Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
- Sweet Phi – Trashed Up Shortbread Cookie Bars
- Love & Olive Oil – Loaded Junk Food Brownies
- Lauren’s Latest – Bakery Sugar Cookies
- Cookie + Kate – Peanut Butter, Banana, Honey and Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Flourishing Foodie – Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- The Sugar Hit – Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream Cake
- Hummingbird High – Breakfast Cereal Cake Donuts
- Top With Cinnamon – Triple Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake
- Bake at 350 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sundaes
- Simple Bites – Lemon Layer Cake
- Bakerella – Baby Block Cake Pops
- She Wears Many Hats – Chocolate Covered Grapefruit
Trashed up pizza
- Bev Cooks – Beer Battered Fried Calamari Pizza
- Rachel Cooks – Apple and Chicken Sausage Pizza with Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Crust
- Foodie With Family – Trashed Up Barbecue Turkey Pizza
- Shutterbean – Pesto Potato Bacon Pizza
- i am a food blog – Grilled Cheese Pizza
- My Life as a Mrs – Chili Cheese Dog Pizza
- Simply Scratch – Steak + Blue Cheese Pizza with Crispy Fried Shallots and Honey Balsamic Drizzle
- The Beeroness – Beer Cheese Tater Tot Pizza
- Yes I Want Cake – Roasted Pumpkin Pizza
- Two Red Bowls – Bacon Mashed Potato Pizza
- Dula Notes – Pork Bahn Mi Pizza
- Weelicious – Trashed Up Mexican Pizza Pockets
- Take a Megabite – Roasted Beet Pizza
- Hungry Girl Por Vida – Hard Cider Braised Pork with Sour Cherries and Cheesy Polenta
- Bakers Royale – Trash’d Street Tacos