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


  • 1Preheat 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.
  • 2Beat butter in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add sugar to butter mixture and continue to beat until fluffy.
  • 3Beat syrup into the butter mixture until completely incorporated. Add one egg at a time into batter, completely incorporating each before adding the next.
  • 4In another large mixing bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking powder together.
  • 5In a measuring cup pour out milk. Mix vanilla extract into the milk.
  • 6Gradually 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.
  • 7Divide batter evenly between pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes our barely clean.
  • 8Cool cake for 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire wrack to finish cooling.
  • 9For 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.
  • 10Assembly:

    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