Classic Southern Caramel Cake

Classic Southern Caramel Cake: A Sweet Slice of Southern Tradition

Indulge in the Irresistible Charm of Southern Caramel Cake

When it comes to Southern desserts, few can rival the sheer indulgence of a Classic Southern Caramel Cake. With its rich caramel frosting and tender, moist layers, this cake is a sweet slice of Southern tradition that warms the heart and delights the taste buds. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the steps to create your own masterpiece, capturing the essence of Southern hospitality one delectable bite at a time.


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Caramel Frosting:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Prepare the Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans or line them with parchment paper.

2. Cream Butter and Sugar:

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, which should take about 3-4 minutes.

3. Add Eggs:

  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.

4. Combine Dry Ingredients:

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Incorporate Dry Ingredients:

  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients.

6. Add Vanilla Extract:

  • Stir in the vanilla extract until the batter is smooth and well combined.

7. Divide and Bake:

  • Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.

8. Cool:

  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

9. Prepare the Caramel Frosting:

  • While the cakes are cooling, prepare the caramel frosting.

10. Cook Caramel Frosting:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, unsalted butter, and whole milk.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and turns a deep caramel color, which should take about 10-15 minutes.

11. Add Vanilla Extract:

  • Remove the caramel frosting from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

12. Frost the Cake:

  • Once the cakes are completely cool, frost the layers generously with the caramel frosting. Don’t forget to frost the top and sides as well.

13. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Slice and serve your Classic Southern Caramel Cake with a tall glass of cold milk or a piping hot cup of coffee. Savor the sweet, buttery, and caramel goodness with every bite.

Tips and Variations:

Customizing Your Classic Southern Caramel Cake


  • Make sure your cakes are completely cool before frosting them. Warm cakes can cause the frosting to melt and slide off.
  • You can check the consistency of your caramel frosting by dropping a small amount into a glass of cold water. It should form a soft ball when rolled between your fingers.


  • For a unique twist, add a pinch of sea salt to your caramel frosting. The combination of sweet and salty is simply irresistible.
  • Add a layer of chopped pecans or walnuts between the cake layers for some extra texture and flavor.


  • Customize the size of your cake by using different cake pans. You can make a larger or smaller version depending on your needs.


  • Store any leftover Classic Southern Caramel Cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to cover it to prevent the cake from drying out.

Cook’s Note:

  • The allure of a Classic Southern Caramel Cake lies in the rich, caramelized frosting that complements the tender cake layers. This beloved dessert is a symbol of Southern hospitality and a testament to the timeless appeal of homemade treats. So, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging your sweet tooth, savor every bite of this Southern classic.

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