Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe


4.91 from 31 votes
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Southern Caramel Cake. It’s just hard to beat it. It is one of my family’s all-time favorite cakes – especially for holidays, birthdays and major celebrations.

You can just count on it appearing to make those special occasions even more special.

Memorable even.

It’s odd to put that much significance on a cake, but you know, that’s just the way it goes around my house.

Southern Caramel Cake
my family’s original Southern Caramel Cake Recipe

I’ve talked about this cake before and how much the recipe means to my family.

The original cake will forever be a family-favorite.

Anything used for my baby’s first birthday cake has to be extra special. Don’t you think?

Oh my goodness. Just seeing that photo makes my heart melt.

Where has the time gone?

But thankfully, we weren’t celebrating my baby’s birthday this past weekend. I’m not exactly ready for him to be 11 yet. It was my Mama’s turn.

So, since my Mama has given the world to me, I thought it was only fitting that I make her very favorite cake for her on her birthday. But, I did something we’ve never done in my family. I changed the recipe!


I did. I really did.

And I wasn’t struck by lightening.

I went to bed and slept well.

I woke up and pinched myself because I hadn’t gone to…. well, you get the picture.

Before I go on. You really can’t go wrong with the original Southern Caramel Cake recipe that I’ve shared and made a thousand and one times. It’s perfect. No kidding. Perfect.

But, if you want to have a little fun with this cake and change things up a bit, you might just fall in love with this version, too.

So. Here’s what I did.

I made the cake recipe and the frosting recipe both just a touch lighter.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Cake

And I mean lighter as in texture, not as in calories. Just to be clear.

Just look at that texture!


Let me just say, no one refused a piece.

And the birthday girl loved it.

Please note that this recipe makes a three layer, 9-inch cake. I used the batter from one of the layers to make my Little Buddy some cupcakes. He couldn’t wait.

Here’s the recipe for my Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting that I think you should make for your next special occasion.

Like a birthday, anniversary, engagement, shower, or just because it’s Wednesday.

That’ll do, too.

Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe

4.91 from 31 votes
Southern Caramel Cake is always a favorite. This version with Salted Caramel Buttercream is out of this world!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 24


Butter Cake Recipe

  • 3 cups (360 g) flour, all-purpose
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) baking soda
  • pinch (0.4 g) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (226 g) softened butter, 2 sticks
  • 2 cups (396 g) sugar
  • 4 (200 g) eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (227 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (9.4 g) vanilla extract

Salted Buttercream Frosting Recipe

First Stage

  • 2 cups (396 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (227 g) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (92 g) shortening
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) baking soda

Second Stage

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3.25 g) sea salt
  • 2 cups (227 g) confectioner’s sugar


Butter Cake Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare 3 9-inch cake pans with shortening and flour.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream butter until fluffy and then add sugar. Cream together for about 8 more minutes.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, and cream together after each.
  • Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Combine each addition of flour and then turn mixer on high to add air into the batter.
  • Add vanilla and beat well. Turn mixer on high once vanilla has been incorporated for about 10 seconds to lighten batter.
  • Divide among pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until set. You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.
  • Turn out of pans onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Recipe

  • Add all ingredients from the first stage of the frosting recipe in a 3-4 quart pot. Stir ingredients with a wooden spoon as cooking over medium-low heat.
  • Cook to softball stage (235-245 degrees on a candy thermometer as well as using the cold water test).
  • Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a whip attachment, whip the caramel until it has cooled enough to touch lightly.
  • Add the butter and salt from the second stage of the frosting recipe to the mixing bowl and whip.
  • Add confectioner’s sugar in 1/2 cup increments, stopping after each to scrape sides of mixing bowl. Turn mixer onto high for about 10 seconds after each addition to incorporate air into the frosting.
  • Adjust the amount of confectioner's sugar to result in a frosting that will hold shape.
  • Frost cake and store on a cake plate covered with a dome or an airtight container.
  • Best served within 1-3 days.


For easier frosting of cake, wrap tightly in parchment and aluminum foil and freeze overnight. Brush the cake with a pastry brush to remove loose crumbs and then frost the cake with a light layer of frosting to create a crumb coating. Then, frost the cake as normal.


Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

4.91 from 31 votes

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Recipe Review


  1. Victoria Tallman says:

    5 stars
    I have made this cake at least six times and never reviewed the recipe. as a two layer cake and as a bundt cake. I’ve been making it for the last 9 years I think. Boy what memories were brought to my life making this cake. Love love this recipe! It’s so versatile too. have not tried the frosting though, maybe soon. XOXO Robyn love you and your recipes.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks so much for letting me know how long you have been making this cake recipe, Victoria. I hope you do try the salted caramel buttercream frosting with it sometime.

  2. Nichole says:

    I like dense cakes. Should I skip the extra beating to add air when I make this?

  3. Ashley says:

    5 stars
    Hi, do you know if you can freeze this cake? I have a party Thursday but want to bake it ahead.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      You can freeze it if you wish. I suggest freezing the completely cooled cake layers. Wrap each with freezer wrap and place in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and when completely thawed, can proceed with frosting the cake. Thanks Ashley!

  4. Vida says:

    4 stars
    Hi, thanks for sharing these awesome recipes.
    I’ve read the reviews on this butter cake and decided to make it. Made 2×12″ round pans. Followed the instructions. Flavour is great and it rose well. But it’s dense. Is it because it’s a large cake ? I was going for fluffy. Added five extra minutes to the recommended baking time since it’s bigger than 9inch. I like making big cakes cause I like to serve a lot if cake. But I didn’t get fluffy I got dense. Please help!

    Thanks so much.

    PS – gonna try this with your strawberry buttercream frosting. Thank you so so so much for sharing. My baking experiences are so rewarding and fun after coming across your site.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m so happy you enjoy the cake and the recipes, Vida!
      I’m sorry your cake seemed dense though. I’ve not had that problem and can’t be sure what caused it. It is possible that it had something to do with it being larger and baking longer than the recipe, but can’t be sure.
      I love the strawberry buttercream frosting too! Hope you like it as well! Thanks Vida! xo