I am in charge of making the cake for my brother's birthday tomorrow. He's a HUGE caramel fan and I want it to be something a little special and more "grown-up" so I've decided upon a salted caramel frosting on a layer cake. I've baked cakes from scratch before and they're always fine, but I'd love to produce something a little better than "fine" for a fancy birthday cake.
When I make cakes, they often tend to be a bit dry and rounded on top and thin on the edges. I have good pans, the oven temp is correct, and my other baked goods (from simple quick breads to made-from-scratch babka) come out perfectly. I just seem to rate a consistent "meh" in cake baking.
Anyone want to offer up their tried-and-true recipe or some tips? I would consider something other than a white cake, but there will be someone with a severe nut allergy at the dinner and my brother has specifically requested a layer cake.
The dinner menu, for those who are as compulsive about overall meal planning as I am, will be grilled steaks, roasted sweet potatoes, and a salad. Suggestions? I'm tempted to admit defeat and get a box mix but it just seems like this shouldn't be that hard!