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caramel cake
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4.6 from 5 votes

Southern Caramel Cake

An old fashioned Southern Caramel Cake with deliciously sweet and rich caramel frosting.
Prep Time2 d
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time2 d 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel cake
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Marianne


  • 9" cake pans
  • Heavy Duty Stand Mixer


Caramel Frosting:

  • 2 pounds light brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter sliced into 1 tablespoon pats


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 ⅓ cups self-rising flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1   cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.

For the caramel frosting

  • Find the heaviest saucepan you have that is at least 6 quarts.  I like to use the bottom part of my pressure cooker.  Stir together the sugar and cream in the cold pan, turn the heat to medium, and bring to a rolling boil ( see picture on the far left from the below photos; there will be lots of bubbles and a sort of lighter foam to go along with them).  Do not stir once the boil has begun.
  • Boil exactly one minute.  Add baking soda and boil for exactly one more minute. Be careful: the mixture will foam up as in the picture on the right.
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter, but Do Not stir the butter as it melts.
  • Once the butter has completely melted, stir the mixture just enough to combine the melted butter, and let it cool to room temperature.  Next, cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator.  Let it sit overnight.
  • A small note here: it will be ugly.  It will look nothing like the final pictures.  You will be worried.  Trust me, it's going to be okay.
  • After the frosting has thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator, beat it using the whisk attachment (if you have one) on your blender.  This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.  If after this time your caramel still hasn't whipped into a thick frosting, chill it for another hour and beat it again.

For the cake

  • Grease and flour three 9" cake pans.  If you've never done this before, it's easy.  Rub the inside of the pan with butter.  Throw a handful of flour in the pan, and shake the pan around like you're panning for gold, making sure to turn it on its side in order to get the edges and nooks and crannies of the pan.
  • Beat the butter until it becomes fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until completely combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is thoroughly mixed in before adding the next.
  • Mix in ⅔ cup of flour, followed by ¼ cup of milk, repeating until all flour and milk have been added.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the batter into the three pans, and bake for 25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean).
  • Once the cakes have cooled, place the first layer of your cake on a cake stand or plate, and line the edges of the stand with parchment paper.  This will let you go crazy with frosting without ruining your clean stand.