Vanilla Cake with Hazelnut Buttercream

Destin is an amazing place to live, but one thing it desperately needs is a Trader Joe’s! On our drive home from Tampa a couple weeks ago we stopped at TJ’s in Tallahassee and I was like a kid in a candy store. EVERYTHING looked so good! We stocked up on some of our favorites and also bought a few new items. I was also excited to see that they had a great selection of figs because I had been wanting to try a fig recipe (mainly because they are SO pretty). I didn’t have a specific recipe in mind and had to work fast since figs are very perishable. Since I’m a fig newbie I started out by using them for decoration. They are the perfect toppers for this vanilla cake! I used this recipe from Chelsweets and then made my own hazelnut buttercream. The moist cake paired perfectly with the smooth, silky frosting. Although that combo tasted great, it looked a little boring, so I added salted caramel drips! Then last but not least—the figs! This cake was almost too pretty to eat… almost ;)

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Vanilla Cake with Hazelnut Buttercream

A classic vanilla cake topped with hazelnut butter cream, salted caramel sauce and fresh figs. 

Course Dessert
Servings 8 people


  • 1 vanilla layer cake from Chelsweets (linked below)
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. hazelnut extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt to taste
  • salted caramel sauce
  • Sliced figs


  1. Prepare small batch vanilla layer cake using this recipe from Chelsweets. Once cooled, level them if needed and then wrap each layer individually with plastic wrap and place in freezer until you're ready to frost. 

  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Turn speed down to low and gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with the heavy cream. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary, then mix in the extracts and salt. Turn speed up to medium-high and mix for an additional 2 – 3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. 

  3. Remove the cake layers and begin assembling the layers/frosting. Once your cake is fully frosted and smooth, place in the freezer for about 10 – 15 minutes. The salted caramel drips will hold their shape better when the cake is cold. 

  4. Scoop some salted caramel sauce on top, starting in the middle and smoothing it out towards the edges, letting it drip over the sides. Once the caramel sauce has settled (2 – 5 minutes), arrange the sliced figs in a circle on top. Serve and enjoy!