Baking is one of my favorite hobbies and I especially love it during this time of year. During the summertime I can talk myself out of a rich dessert for something a little healthier, but during fall and winter, I’m like bring it on! There’s something so comforting about a delicious dessert when it’s cold outside. The kind folks at Paco Rabanne sent me their popular Olympéa perfume and asked me to create a recipe inspired by the scent. The first thing I noticed was this rich vanilla scent- a little sweet and a little salty. I immediately thought a cake would be the perfect dish to make to showcase the scents of this perfume. Here’s a recipe for a Sweet and Salty Vanilla Bean Cake with Caramel Frosting.
Sweet and Salty Vanilla Bean Cake with Caramel Frosting
1 cup white sugar
12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ vanilla bean, cut lengthwise and seeds removed
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup whole milk
optional: flaky Maldon sea salt
Caramel Buttercream Recipe
1/3 cup caramel sauce, cooled
2 sticks of unsalted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
DIRECTIONS FOR THE CAKE
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line 2 9×9 round baking pans with parchment. Butter and flour the inside. Set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat on high for 2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla.
Add in the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the milk. Be careful not to over beat the batter.
Pour batter into the prepared pans, evenly, and smooth the tops.
Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
DIRECTIONS FOR FROSTING
Cream butter until smooth and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat until well combined. Add caramel and beat until smooth and fluffy.
TO ASSEMBLE CAKE
Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake stand. Top with a thick layer of frosting. Add the second cake layer with the flattest side facing up. Add the remaining frosting and sprinkle edges with flaky sea salt.
This cake is so delicious, especially when you want to mix it up from your typical pumpkin pies and Christmas cookies. I love that it echoes a lot of the same scents as the perfume-sweet and soft, yet still holding a richness. This Paco Rabanne Olympéa perfume is such a lovely scent to wear anytime of the year, but the cashmere wood note is especially perfect during winter. The bottle is also soo stunning! I feel like when you buy a perfume you need to have a gorgeous bottle to go with it. This is one that would dress up your vanity and look so luxe.
Happy Holidays and Happy Baking everyone!
Disclosure: Thank you Paco Rabanne for partnering with me on this post. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.
photos by Kimber Brown