Traditional Southern Caramel Cake

Maggie May Schill


Having grown up in New England, I've never had a caramel cake ever! So when I decided to try a caramel cake out I decided it should be the most traditional Southern variety as I can get. That included dense sweet sponge and thick gooey brown butter frosting. (A type of frosting I've previously not tried.) I'm still not sure if I love caramel cake or not, but boy is it sweet!


★★★★★ 1 vote

45 Min
40 Min



  • 3 c
    cake flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp
    baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1 c
  • 1/4 c
    caramel syrup
  • 1/2 c
    unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c
    whole milk
  • 3 large
    eggs, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp
    pure vanilla extract

  • 1 c
    unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 c
    confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 c
    heavy cream, cold
  • 1 Tbsp
    pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp

How to Make Traditional Southern Caramel Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 375'F
    Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, line each with a parchment paper round. Spray again over parchment rounds.
    Set pans aside.
  2. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add sugar to butter mixture and continue to beat until fluffy.
  3. Beat syrup into the butter mixture until completely incorporated. Add one egg at a time into batter, completely incorporating each before adding the next.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking powder together.
  5. In a measuring cup pour out milk. Mix vanilla extract into the milk.
  6. Gradually add flour mixture into butter mixture, alternating between flour and milk mixture; beginning and ending with flour mixture until both the flour and milk mixtures are complete incorporated into batter.
  7. Divide batter evenly between pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes our barely clean.
  8. Cool cake for 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire wrack to finish cooling.
  9. For Frosting:
    1- in a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter until nutty brown. Be careful not to scorch. Immediately pour butter into a large glass mixing bowl. Let butter cool for 15-20 minutes.

    2- With an electric mixer, mix in vanilla and salt.

    3- Gradually add confectioner's sugar until completely incorporated. You will have a clumpy mess at this point.

    4- With your mixer on low gradually at cream. Add more cream as needed to get desirable creamy frosting texture, but don't over do it, or you'll have a mess.
  10. Assembly:

    Level off any doming on the cooled caramel cakes. Place the first cake on a cake platter and frost the top of it. Stack the second on the first and frost entire cake as desired. I chose to garnish with extra caramel syrup.

Printable Recipe Card

About Traditional Southern Caramel Cake

Course/Dish: Cakes
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Southern
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian

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