Southern Caramel Cake

Ten days from now I will pack up the apartment at which I have lived for the past 4.5 years. Currently I have a whopping 8 boxes packed, which means there’s a lot of work to be done between now and then. And what better way to start the festivities than baking a cake! That’s productive and a good use of time, right?

Southern Caramel Cake 1

The only caramel cake I have ever had was from Kroger and was quite delicious. Since then I have been meaning to make a homemade version and was finally inspired when Beth told me that she had been dreaming about caramel cake – although that was right before we left for the winter break so I didn’t make it until now. While baking it I texted her saying I was going to make her day tomorrow, since I was going to be bringing it by the lab the next day. She said it tasted just like her Great Aunt Sally’s from when she was a kid! Winner.

Southern Caramel Cake 2


Serves 12-16



3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract


2 cups sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

1 tsp baking soda

2-1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, beat butter until fluffy and then add sugar. Cream together for about 8 more minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, creaming together after each.
  4. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and beat well. Turn mixer on high once vanilla has been incorporated for about 10 seconds to lighten batter.
  5. Divide among pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Turn out of pans onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
  6. While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Add the granulated sugar, heavy cream, Crisco, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, and baking soda in a 4 quart pot. Stir with a wooden spoon while cooking over medium-low heat.
  7. Cook to softball stage (235-245 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. Pour into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter to the mixing bowl and whip.
  9. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments, stopping after each to scrape sides of mixing bowl. Adjust the amount of confectioner’s sugar to result in a frosting that will hold it’s shape. Turn mixer onto high for about 10 seconds to incorporate air into the frosting.
  10. Once cooled, cut the two layers of cake evenly into 4 layers. Frost cake and store on a cake plate covered with a dome or in an airtight container.

Source: Adapted slightly from Add a Pinch.


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