Vanilla & Caramel Popcorn Cake

Vanilla sponge paired with silky smooth caramel swiss meringue buttercream, drizzled with more caramel and finished off with a pile of popcorn. This gravity-defying cake looks pretty cool and isn’t too difficult to achieve either! 

For the anti-gravity cake, I found this toolkit from Hobbycraft, which made things a whole lot easier. I’ve heard others use straws or similar items instead, but I wasn’t sure that it would be sturdy enough to hold up the popcorn so invested in this kit that can be re-used. 

Vanilla & Caramel Popcorn Cake
Yields 8
For the sponge
  1. 480g plain flour
  2. 500g caster sugar
  3. 1tbsp baking powder
  4. 160g unsalted butter
  5. 2tsp vanilla extract
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 480ml whole milk
For the buttercream
  1. 5 egg whites
  2. 340g caster sugar
  3. 250g unsalted butter
  4. 2tbsp caramel (to taste, adjust as necessary)
For the caramel drip and popcorn decoration
  1. 300g caramel (I used Carnation's)
  2. Splash of milk
  3. Popcorn (sweet/salty/toffee..your choice!)
  1. ​Set oven to 180 degrees celsius, grease and line three 8" round cake tins and set aside
For the sponge
  1. Sift together the dry ingredients - sugar, flour and baking powder
  2. Add butter and mix at a medium speed until it turns into breadcrumb consistency
  3. In a jug, beat together eggs, milk and vanilla. With the mixer on a slow speed, add this to the dry mixture a third at a time until well incorporated
  4. Pour mixture into cake tins, splitting evenly between the three and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees
For the swiss meringue buttercream
  1. Whilst the sponges are cooling, start on the buttercream
  2. Set some water to boil in a saucepan on a low heat and place a glass bowl over the top, making sure it doesn't touch the water. In the glass bowl, add sugar and egg whites and mix well.
  3. The egg whites are ready once the sugar has dissolved and have reached 60 degrees celsius
  4. Once ready, pour into mixing bowl and whisk at high speed until it increases in size and stiff peaks form.
  5. Add cubed pieces of butter (make sure it's cold!) to the mixture slowly and keep mixing, this will eventually become thicker and creamier until it's buttercream / spreadable texture.
  6. Add caramel and mix until well combined
Caramel drip
  1. Add a splash of milk to the remaining caramel and combine, add a little more milk until it is runny enough to drip over the sides of the cake
  1. Set up the anti-gravity cake set according to instructions
  2. Level the sponges, then fill with caramel buttercream
  3. Stack sponges on top of each other, making sure the pipe sticks through to the top, then do a crumb coat of the buttercream
  4. Cover the rest of the cake in buttercream, then refrigerate for 15 mins
  5. Once cooled, slowly pour the caramel drip over the cake until the top half of the cake is covered
  6. You can attach the rest of the pipe, then use the leftover caramel to stick the pieces of popcorn to the pipe and finish off by perching an empty popcorn packet to the top
Sam's Cupcakery

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