****Excellent snacking cake or dessert. Soft texture and dreamy caramel topping.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray an 8-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
For the Topping: Combine the brown sugar, water, butter and salt in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. The sauce will be thin. Remove from heat.
For the Cake: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Combine the butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and combine until well blended on medium-high for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On medium-low speed, add 1/3rd of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, then the vanilla and 1/2 of the milk. Add another 1/3rd of the flour mixture to the bowl and the remaining milk. Finish with the final third of the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the batter for an additional 30 seconds on medium.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Pour the caramel topping over the top of the batter. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake until set, 45-50 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert it onto a large rimmed serving dish and serve warm. Let leftovers cool completely, then store in the refrigerator if needed.
Tips and Stuff:
Yes, the caramel sauce calls for 3/4 cup of water. It will be very thin, but will thicken while the cake is baking.
Spray the pan very well before pouring the batter in it. The top (i.e., bottom, then top) might stick if not well sprayed. If it does stick, use a spoon or spatula to smooth the stuck caramel over the cake.
A few changes I made to the original - I used salted butter (the recipe called for unsalted); I used 2% milk (the original called for whole milk).