Vanilla Malt Cake with Salted Nuts & Caramel

For the Cake
3/4 Cup cake flour
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp malted milk powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
2 eggs
3/4 Cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp Vanilla Paste

For the Frosting and Topping:
3 egg whites
1 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but cool
1 tsp Vanilla Paste
1/3 Cup store-bought Caramel Sauce
about 1/2 Cup whole roasted cashews
1 tsp Vanilla Salt

Bake the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 6-inch diameter round cake pan, and line the bottom with a circle cut from parchment paper. Next, line the sides of the pan as well, with a long strip of parchment paper about 5 in wide.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flours, sugar, baking powder, malt powder, and salt, and stir to combine.

Add the butter to the dry ingredients, and use an electric mixer on low speed, just long enough for the mixture to resemble moist crumbs. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating one minute after each addition, and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl between additions.

Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla paste, and beat with the mixer on medium speed for another 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula, and continue to mix for another minute, to ensure that all the ingredients in the batter are thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the oven for 40 min, or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out with moist crumbs.

Remove the cake from the oven to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before removing it from the pan. Wrap cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Make the Frosting:
Separate the eggs, and put the egg whites and granulated sugar in a clean, dry mixing bowl. Put the egg/sugar bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Whisk continuously for about five minutes, until the mixture is hot, opaque, and the sugar is completely dissolved.

Remove the mixing bowl from the hot water bath, and whip the mixture with an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, on high speed, until stiff peaks form and the mixture has completely cooled. Mixing bowl should not feel warm at all – refrigerate for ten minutes if necessary.

Add the room-temperature butter, one Tbsp at a time, whipping well after each addition. If frosting it begins to appear as though it is curdled, continue to beat the mixture until it smooths out, before adding the remaining butter. Mix in the vanilla paste and stir to thoroughly combine.

Assemble the Cake:
Use a serrated (preferably long bread) knife to cut the cake horizontally into (3) 1-inch thick layers.

Place the bottom cake layer on a flat plate or cardboard round, and spread about 1/2 Cup of frosting in an even layer, slightly overlapping the sides.

Top with another layer of cake and repeat.

Top with the final cake layer, and spread the remaining frosting on the top and around the sides.

Mix Vanilla Salt and purchased caramel sauce together, then drizzle salted caramel on the top of the cake, about an inch in from the outside edge of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. YUM.

Top frosted cake with cashews.

Do NOT use warm caramel sauce. It will melt the frosting and deflate the egg whites! If your caramel sauce is too thick, thin it with a little water (only 1/8 tsp at a time), until the proper consistency is reached.

Adapted from baking a moment.