Not an everyday cake, this Toffee Caramel Cake recipe is perfect for a special occasion.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line and grease three 9-inch cake pans with parchment circles.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Beat mixture until combined and smooth (about 1 minute).
Stir espresso powder into hot water. Add to batter and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into pans and bake for approximately 18 to 20 minutes. Do the toothpick test, cakes are ready when the toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove cakes to wire racks to finish cooling.
While cake is cooling, make frosting and caramel sauce.
Peanut Butter Meringue Frosting
Place sugar and water into a saucepan. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until temperature reaches 240 degrees.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking, whip egg whites in a stand mixer to stiff peaks. Slowly add hot sugar syrup and continue to beat for approximately 15 minutes or until mixture has cooled.
Add butter, a tablespoon at a time, whipping after each addition.
Add peanut butter and vanilla. Whip until fluffy.
Add confectioners sugar and whip until combined and creamy.
Place all ingredients except vanilla into a small sauce pan. Heat to a boil, stirring. Cook for 2 more minutes. Remove mixture from heat.
Carefully add in vanilla and stir to combine.
Let cool until thickened but still liquid enough to drizzle.
To assemble cake:
Reserve about 1 cup of frosting into a piping bag to be able to garnish piping decoratively on top of the cake.
Place bottom cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Sprinkle 1/4 cup toffee bits over top.
Place second layer on top. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Sprinkle 1/4 cup toffee bits over top.
Place final layer of cake. Spread and pipe remaining frosting over the cake. Place 3/4 cup toffee bits on top of frosted cake.
Drizzle with the caramel sauce while it is warm enough to pour.