Southern-Style Caramel Cake

Step into the heart of the South with Southern-Style Caramel Cake, a dessert that embodies the rich traditions and warm hospitality of Southern cooking. This sweet masterpiece, boasting layers of moist cake draped in velvety caramel frosting, is a delightful indulgence that invites you to savor the flavors of the region. Join me on a culinary journey as we explore the art of crafting this Southern classic—a cake that’s not just a dessert but a sweet ode to Southern charm and tradition.



For the Southern-Style Caramel Cake: Gather the ingredients that will orchestrate this sweet symphony:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour: The foundation for a tender cake.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder: Adding lift to the layers.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda: Ensuring a light and fluffy texture.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt: Balancing the sweetness of the cake.
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened: Infusing richness and flavor.
  • 2 cups granulated sugar: Providing sweetness and structure.
  • 4 large eggs: Offering structure and moisture.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract: Enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • 1 cup buttermilk: Adding a tangy richness to the batter.

For the Caramel Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter: The base for a velvety caramel frosting.
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar: Creating the caramel’s sweet and rich flavor.
  • 1/2 cup whole milk: Achieving the desired consistency.
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar: Providing sweetness and structure.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract: Enhancing the caramel with a hint of vanilla.



Step 1: Preheat the Oven Begin the journey by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans by greasing and flouring them, ensuring easy release.

Step 2: Sift and Combine Dry Ingredients In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. This step ensures an even distribution of leavening agents and a uniform texture in the cake.

Step 3: Cream Butter and Sugar In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This process creates a smooth and aerated base for the cake.

Step 4: Add Eggs and Vanilla Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Incorporate the vanilla extract for a touch of aromatic sweetness.

Step 5: Alternate Adding Dry Ingredients and Buttermilk Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. This method ensures a well-incorporated and smooth batter.

Step 6: Divide and Bake Divide the batter equally among the prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula for even layers. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Step 7: Prepare Caramel Frosting In a saucepan, melt the butter for the caramel frosting over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and milk, bringing the mixture to a gentle boil. Allow it to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

Step 8: Beat in Confectioners’ Sugar and Vanilla Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract, continuing to beat until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.

Step 9: Frost the Cake Place one cake layer on a serving platter and spread a generous layer of caramel frosting over the top. Repeat with the remaining layers, creating a frosting layer between each.

Step 10: Frost the Entire Cake Apply a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake, creating a “crumb coat” to seal in any loose crumbs. Allow it to set for a few minutes, then generously frost the entire cake with the remaining caramel frosting. Smooth the frosting for a polished finish.

Step 11: Garnish and Serve For a finishing touch, you can garnish the cake with chopped nuts or additional caramel drizzle. Slice and serve this Southern-Style Caramel Cake, savoring each delectable bite.



Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that the butter, eggs, and buttermilk are at room temperature. This promotes even mixing and a smoother batter.

Proper Mixing: Avoid overmixing the batter, as it can result in a dense cake. Mix until just combined after each addition.

Consistent Frosting: For a consistent and polished appearance, apply a thin crumb coat before the final layer of frosting.


As you cut into the layers of this Southern-Style Caramel Cake, relish in the sweet Southern tradition—a dessert that encapsulates the warmth and charm of Southern hospitality. Whether served on special occasions or as a sweet ending to a family meal, this cake invites you to experience the joy found in a well-crafted and indulgent Southern dessert. So, let each bite be a celebration of the sweet elegance and tradition embodied in a Southern-Style Caramel Cake—a dessert that leaves a lasting impression on both the palate and the heart.

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