Cake for the holidays is a must, specially in Dominican households like the one I grew up in. I’m excited to share my Mom’s Dominican Cake recipe!
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If there’s one dessert that’s a family favorite, it’d have to be a Dominican cake. And if you’ve never had said Dominican cake, you might be wondering what makes this cake different, what makes it delicious, why is it a favorite of ours? Well my friends, let me tell you: it’s my mother’s recipe, it’s a deliciously flavorful cake, and it’s covered in sweet Italian meringue! If you’re a dessert lover like I am, you’ll surely love this cake.
Last month, my husband and I spent two weeks on the West coast traveling through Napa Valley, San Francisco, and ending with Las Vegas. Vegas is one of our favorite places to visit, not only because the weather is always fantastic, but it’s packed with some of the best restaurants and bakeries, one of them being Carlo’s Bakery of Cake Boss.
Buddy Valastro is a fourth-generation baker born into the business owned & operated by his parents. Countless hours were spent in the bakery where his father, Buddy Sr., a master baker, taught Buddy everything about baking and running a business. They dreamed that together, they would make Carlo’s Bakery a household name. And I’m definitely sure you’ve heard of him, watched his shows on TV, and even visited one of his bakeries (locations in New York, New Jersey, and Las Vegas!)
Even better is the fact that I had a chance to tour the bakeshop and taste some treats. The bakery at the Venetian Las Vegas has been open for only 8 months now and has created a local and visitor following! Selling over 100 cheesecakes a day and their lobster tails and cannoli being the most popular baked goods, I can attest to that popularity. The cheesecakes are so light and perfectly sweet and their cannoli would make any Italian grandmother proud!
If you have the opportunity to visit Carlo’s Bake Shop at the Venetian in Las Vegas, definitely stroll by for a visit! In the meantime, I’m sharing my Mother’s recipe for her Dominican Dulce de Leche Vanilla Sponge Cake – a gorgeous cake to make for the holidays.
A huge thanks to my Mom for sharing this recipe with me – it’s been the recipe she’s used for every birthday cake I ever had, so I assure you, it’s tried and true.
Before you dive into this recipe, make sure to get out the necessary tools and set yourself up for success:
- Stand mixer – You can find some great options at Kitchen Aid
- Mixing bowls – I personally use OXO Mixing Bowls
- Offset spatulas to decorate
- To make frosting easier, I recommend using a Cake Turntable
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- to fill: 1 cup dulce de leche
- to decorate: 1 cup of chocolate sprinkles or cacao nibs, extra dulce de leche
- Preheat your oven to 350F and grease two, 9 inch round pans. Set aside. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy (about 5-10 minutes).
- Incorporate the eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and in a smaller bowl whisk together the milk, orange juice, and white vinegar.
- Add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, alternating each until everything is mixed in. Do not over mix!
- Pour batter into greased pans and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Let cakes cool all the way through before filling and decorating.
- To fill: spread the dulce de leche on top of cake and place the second cake on top (if cakes are domed, level with knife before filling).
- To make the Italian meringue icing:Place the egg whites in the mixer bowl and add 3 tablespoons of sugar. Start mixer on slow while you make the sugar syrup.
- In a small sauce pot over medium high heat, boil the 1½ cups sugar and the water, until syrup reaches about 240F degrees.
- Turn your mixer to medium speed and slowly drizzle in the syrup. Once all the syrup is added, turn the mixer to high and whisk for 5-10 minutes.
- Place cake on turntable and cover with icing on the sides and top. Smooth and coat the sides with sprinkles or cacao nibs. Drizzle with dulce de leche on top and serve. Keeps for 4 days unrefrigerated.