Salted Caramel Popcorn Cake
This Salted Caramel Popcorn Loaf Cake is made using homemade caramel. It has a light brown sugar and caramel cake, caramel buttercream and is decorated with popcorn and, yep, you guessed it, more caramel.
I made this cake using my Homemade Caramel Sauce all I did is once I had taken it off the heat just stir in some sea salt chunks to the caramel and stir in before popping it into your container to cool.
If you don’t want to make your own caramel, you can use a shop-bought caramel, but it needs to be thick and gloopy like Carnations Caramel. If you want to make it salted caramel just stir in a pinch of sea salt chunks.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
Loaf Cakes are such an easy and simple cake to make and decorate. A bit like making cupcakes mix all your ingredients pop them into the loaf tin and bake in the oven. Once it is done baking leave to cool and then decorate the top with buttercream or leave plain.
Salted Caramel Everywhere! Of course, everything in these recipes is optional so it is completely up to you how much caramel you use. I had to go OTT as always so used it in every place that I could think of, but you could use it only on the buttercream and drizzle or only in the cake if you prefer.
It has popcorn on it! Who doesn’t love popcorn? Again, you can use any flavour of popcorn you fancy I just went with plain popcorn and then added a drizzle of caramel sauce over the top.
What is a Loaf Cake
Loaf Cakes were originally known as Pound Cakes because they were made using 1lb of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. Over the years they have been customised and changed slightly, but I still bake them using the same amount of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. Because they are quite a plain cake it makes them a lot easier to customise and flavour. For example, my Love Heart Loaf Cake, Vegan Raspberry & Coconut Loaf or Lemon Gin Drizzle Loaf Cake.
A defining feature of a loaf cake is its shape. It is long and rectangular compared with a traditional square or circle cake. The shape comes from baking it in a loaf tin. In all my recipes I use a 2lb loaf tin. If you are using a 1lb loaf tin just half the recipe.
To make the salted caramel sauce I used my Homemade Caramel Sauce recipe and before pouring it into a container I add a pinch of sea salt chunks. Pour the caramel into your container and leave it to cool. When it is completely cool is should be thick and gloopy.
If you don’t want to make your own caramel, you can also use a store-bought caramel such as Carnations or a thick caramel sauce. I wouldn’t recommend using a runny sauce. To make it salted caramel just the same as above add some sea salt chunks and mix them in.
To Make the Loaf Cake
Before you start baking, line your loaf tin. I do this by using baking parchment, but you could also use premade loaf tin liners. You also need to preheat your oven. This way the oven will be the correct temperature for baking your cake and will ensure that your cake bakes at the correct speed.
First off start by creaming together the butter and sugar. In this recipe, I used light brown sugar as it adds a caramelly taste to the cake, but if you don’t want to or can’t find any you can replace this with caster sugar.
Once you have creamed together the butter and sugar add in the flour, eggs, baking powder and vanilla extract and mix until it is fully combined and smooth. The mixture shouldn’t take too long to incorporate you want to stop mixing as soon as it is smooth, and all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Pour half the mixture into your preprepared loaf tin. Now randomly add some teaspoons of caramel over the top. Using a skewer swirl the caramel around in the cake mixture. You don’t want to mix it because you want to see the distinctive caramel swirls. Add the remaining cake mixture and again add a few teaspoons of caramel over the top and swirl.
Bake the cake in the oven for 50-55 minutes.
How Do I Know When the Cake is Baked?
You will know when the cake is baked because it will be golden brown in colour. If you use a cake skewer and test the thickest part of the cake it should come out clean. If there is still cake batter on it then pop the cake back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and check again. Repeat until the skewer comes out clean.
Another way to tell if the cake is ready is to listen to it. If you can hear it popping and crackling when you take it out of the oven it isn’t ready. As above put, it back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and check again. Repeat until the cake is completely silent when you remove it from the oven.
Leave the cake to cool in the cake tin for 15-20 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool fully.
How to Make the Buttercream
The buttercream on this cake is American Buttercream. I find it the simplest to make and quite frankly it is my absolute favourite.
To make the buttercream start by beating the butter for around 5 minutes until it is soft and pale in colour.
Next, add the icing sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated. Finally, add in the caramel and mix again.
The caramel is completely up to you, if you want more caramel flavour to add a little more, if you want less add a little less.
If you find the buttercream is too thick add a teaspoon of milk and mix again. Repeat until the buttercream reaches the desired consistency.
If you are making your own popcorn follow the instructions on the packet and leave to cool fully before adding it on top of your cake.
Put the cake onto your favourite serving plate and pipe the buttercream on top. I normally pipe two layers of buttercream horizontally across the top. Next, add your popcorn on top and press it onto the buttercream for it to stick.
To finish the cake off add a drizzle of caramel over the top. If you find the caramel is a little too thick for it to drizzle pop it into a bowl and in the microwave for 5-10 seconds until it is lovely and runny. Put it into a piping bag with a small round nozzle or if you are using disposable piping bags snip the tip of the piping bag off and drizzle away.
You could even drizzle some caramel over the top and then add more popcorn on top as it will stick to the caramel. Again, the beauty of this recipe is you can add as much or as little caramel as you want.
Instead of popcorn, you could decorate the top with any salted caramel flavoured chocolates or sweets. You could also leave the popcorn off altogether.
The beauty of this recipe is how customisable it is. You don’t need to have the swirl of caramel through the cake if you don’t want to, just add all the cake batter to the loaf tin and bake in the oven.
You could make this cake chocolate flavoured. Just follow the recipe on my Chocolate Caramel Loaf Cake.
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Salted Caramel Popcorn Loaf Cake
For the Cake
- 200 g Unsalted Butter or Stork
- 200 g Light Brown Sugar
- 200 g Self-Raising Flour
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 100 g Salted Caramel
For the Buttercream
- 200 g Unsalted Butter
- 400 g Icing Sugar
- 150 g Salted Caramel
For the Decoration
- 100 g Popcorn
- Drizzle of Salted Caramel
To Make the Loaf Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan) and line a loaf tin with baking parchment. Leave to one side.
- In a bowl mix together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the flour, eggs, and baking powder and mix again until combined.
- Half fill the loaf tin with the cake batter. Now add some teaspoons of caramel randomly over the top. Using a skewer swirl this into the cake batter.
- Add the remaingin cake batter on top and repeat again adding the caramel randomly over the top and using a cake skewer to swirl it into the cake.
- Bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown in colour.
- Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack too cool.
To Make the Buttercream
- Add the butter to your mixing bowl and beat for around 5 minutes until it is soft and pale in colour.
- Gradually add the icing sugar to the butter until it is fuly incorproated and thick.
- Add in the caramel and mix again until it is fully combined. If your mixutre is too thick add a teaspoon of milk and mix again. Repeat until the buttercream is the desired consitency.
- Add the buttercream to a piping bag with your favourite pipng tip.
Putting it all together
- Place your cake onto your serving plate and pipe the buttercream on top. Add the popcorn pressing it down into the buttercream to ensure it sticks and drizzle over the caramel.