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a churro cake on a cake stand.
5 from 7 votes
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Churro Cake

This churro cake is so easy to make and completely irresistible! Inspired by the classic fair dessert, it features moist cinnamon vanilla cake, dulce de leche caramel, crunchy cinnamon sugar, and cream cheese frosting!
Servings 10 servings
Prep 1 hr
Cook 20 mins
Total 1 hr 20 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American, Mexican
Author : Cambrea Gordon

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

For the Cake

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Large eggs room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream or greek yogurt room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup Buttermilk room temperature

For the Filling

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 oz cold full-fat cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon 2 % milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can dulce de leche store bought or homemade

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

To Make the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Lightly grease the bottom of three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.
    3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¾ teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • In a stand mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and oil together for 3 minutes until white and fluffy.
    ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature, ¼ cup canola oil, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing very well after each addition until completely combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
    3 Large eggs room temperature
  • Mix in the vanilla and sour cream.
    1 tablespoon vanilla, ¼ cup sour cream or greek yogurt room temperature
  • Add a third of the dry ingredients and mix until almost combined, then pour in half of the buttermilk. Continue alternating the buttermilk and dry ingredients until everything is combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well combined.
    1 ¼ cup Buttermilk room temperature
  • Evenly distribute the batter into all three cake pans. (About 471 grams in each)
  • Bake the cakes directly on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let them cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a spatula around the sides of the pans and turn them out onto the rack to finish cooling completely.

To Make the Buttercream

  • In a stand mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese on medium until smooth, then add the butter and mix to combine.
    4 oz cold full-fat cream cheese, 1 cup unsalted butter
  • Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time, mixing on low after each addition.
    2 cups powdered sugar
  • Add the milk and vanilla and mix to combine.
    1 tablespoon 2 % milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Increase the speed to medium for 30 seconds until it looks fluffy, but is still thick. Cover and keep the bowl in the fridge until ready to use. When you are ready to use it, mix the frosting briefly in a mixing bowl for 20-30 seconds, until it's just soft enough to work with but doesn't look wet (which is a sign it's over-mixed).

Assembly

  • Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl and set it aside.
    1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Use a serrated knife to thinly cut off the skin of each layer to expose the crumb.
  • Roll the sides of each layer in the cinnamon sugar. If the sugar isn't sticking, lightly brush the sides with melted butter or a simple syrup (recipe in notes) then roll them until coated.
  • Place one layer on a cake stand, platter, or cardboard round.
  • Use an offset spatula to evenly spread ¼ cup of the dulce de leche on top, leaving a ½ inch border on the edge clean.
    1 can dulce de leche
  • Fill a large piping bag with a large round tip with the frosting. Pipe a tire ring that is about 1 inch tall around the edge of the cake, then pipe a light zig zag layer of the frosting on top of the dulce de leche.
  • Use the spatula to smooth just the center frosting to cover the dulce de leche. Do not smooth the tire ring border!
  • Set the next cake layer on top. Do not press it down or the frosting will push out the sides. Continue assembling the cake, topping the final layer with dollops of frosting around half of the top edge.
  • Place the whole cake in the freezer and chill for at least 20 minutes, or until the frosting is set. Then serve and enjoy!

Notes

*Sometimes the cake layers will get too dry on the sides for the sugar to coat them. In this case, lightly brush them with some melted butter or a simple syrup. To make the simple syrup, boil ⅛ cup water with ⅛ cup sugar until the sugar is melted, then lightly brush sides of the cake.
 
  • Step by step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.
  • Use a kitchen scale: Baking with a scale is faster, easier, and overall much more accurate than cup measurements.
  • Use room temperature ingredients: Using room temperature ingredients creates a smooth, fully blended batter that will result in a uniform texture and even baking.
  • Make your own dulce de leche: Dulce de leche is incredibly easy to make from scratch! You can also buy your own can from the store.
  • Don't over whip the frosting: Cream cheese has the tendency to get liquid-y if mixed too much. It should be thicker than regular frosting so that it holds up in between the layers!
  • To Store: Keep in the fridge in a sealed container or individually wrapped in the fridge for 5 days or freezer for up to one month!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 837kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 1305IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 2mg