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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.

4.75 from 32 votes

Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Dessert โ€” 55 mins

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Servings 12
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Southern Caramel Cake is always a favorite. This version with Salted Caramel Buttercream is out of this world!


Butter Cake Recipe

  • 3 cups flour all-purpose
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup softened butter 2 sticks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Salted Buttercream Frosting Recipe

    First Stage

    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

    Second Stage

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 2 cups 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 forย 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 ½ 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.

    Shout Out

    Did you make this recipe?

    Mention @addapinch or tag #addapinch!

    Share it with the world!

    Robyn xo

    Frosting / Icing Recipes

    Robyn Stone

    Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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    Recipe Review


    1. This looks delicious! But the frosting recipe doesn’t make sense. Step 1 says add all ingredients. Then you add the second stick of butter and powdered sugar later?

      1. Thanks so much for catching that, Jordan. I’ve updated the recipe to clarify the two stages of the frosting recipe. I really appreciate it! xoxo

      2. Still confused about icing. Is it three sticks of butter total–one in first phase and two in second phase? The directions say to add one stick in second phase, but the ingredients list says one cup which would be two sticks.

      3. Help! How much and what kind of carmel is added to the frosting! The version of frosting currently posted does not have Carmel listed….I am in the process of making the cake and need the Carmel requirements for the frosting. Thanks!


      4. You know what…I think I just realized that I am making Carmel….too funny! I am so new to this from scratch stuff…but I love!

      5. That’s what it says.. It’s simple, follow the directions and you have a delicious cake!

    2. oh my… that looks scrumptious. i think i just fainted out of amazement little haha. that frosting!!!! yum!

      1. Thanks, Erica. I actually used one of the layers that this recipe makes (it makes a three layer, 9-inch cake) for cupcakes when I made this cake. The baking time for the cupcakes is about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. I will say that the batter is so light, you’ll want to make sure not to fill the cupcake tins too high.

    3. Totally sighing over here, Robyn. THAT is one amazing looking cake! Let’s see….the next birthday in our family is….MINE. Think my boys will make this for me? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    4. Caramel cake is such a fantastic old southern classic. It’s one of my family’s favorites, too, Robyn. I don’t think we could have a birthday, a reunion, Thanksgiving, or Christmas without a caramel cake. Love your addition of the sea salt. Gotta try that next time I make one!

    5. Between you and bridget this morning…I am bound to be in the kitchen all day baking stuff to shove in my face. This looks and sounds AMAZING!!!

    6. Mercy is right! That cake is unbelievably gorgeous. My birthday is in March, are you taking orders this far out? ๐Ÿ™‚

    7. This looks really delicious! I’ve never had a Southern Caramel Cake, but this makes me want to go into my kitchen right now and make (and eat) one for breakfast!

    8. I always get requests to make Caramel Cakes on birthdays, but I always cheated w/cake mixes and my caramel frosting recipe was terrible to work with- always kept hardening before the cake was frosted unless I kept it on the heat. Your original and this version look and sound amazing, but I’m not sure which to try first! Do you guys like the updated version better? Still a little unsure about the updated frosting instructions w/the stages though… Can’t wait to try one or both versions! Thanks!

      1. Hi Christy! Thanks so much for your comment. I recommend making a caramel cake, either recipe, once just for the fun of it with absolutely no pressure at all. That way you can get a feel for it before birthdays roll around. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Caramel frosting does harden rather quickly. The salted caramel buttercream doesn’t harden nearly as quickly though.

        Please let me know if you have any other questions on making it and definitely let me know how you like it!

      1. Thanks, Dorothy! The original was always my go to recipe for butter cake, but now, I’m definitely loving the light and fluffy texture of this version.

    9. I can see why no one complained! Smooth frosting and moist cake… if you have a leftover slice, feel free to send it my way ๐Ÿ™‚

    10. That frosting sounds and looks so yummy and interesting. I love anything caramel and ca’t wait to give it a try ๐Ÿ™‚

    11. This looks delicious! This is my first visit to your blog, and of course the first thing I see is one of my favorite things in the world-salted caramel! Something about caramel screams autumn to me, so comforting, and warm. Yum!

    12. Oh my!! What a gorgeous cake!! I am in love with this delicious confection! A suggestion if I may, in the directions, step 10 should read “add all the first stage ingredients to pot”. Slightly unclear otherwise! Sorry for the OCD!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Hi Lisa, Yes, you are cooking the ingredients in the first stage of the frosting recipe, starting at step 10 in the instructions.

      1. Hi Sharon,
        When cooking the caramel, it will eventually turn that nice golden, caramel color as it gets closer to the softball stage. Watch it closely as it can burn quickly from this point. Good luck!

    13. I tried making this cake recipe (it tasted fantastic!!!), but I had some issues. (It probably is just me).
      When I tried frosting this cake, it was too hard to frost but @ the same time it
      was falling off, when I was trying to fix it the cake just cracked. For the future,
      what can I do to prevent this.

      1. I’m so glad it tasted great and that you loved it! I’m thinking that the frosting may have gotten just a little bit too stiff before you started spreading it. One way to know is to run a knife through the frosting before you start the crumb coating. If it is too stiff, you can add a little bit of heavy cream or whipping cream into the frosting and whip.

        If you are already to the point of spreading the frosting and it is beginning to dry on you, wet a tea towel with warm water and place over the frosting for a little bit to warm it and to loosen it just a bit. Also, keep a glass of hot water beside where your are frosting your cake and dip your offset spatula or knife into the hot water to heat it as you repair any areas where the frosting is too hard to spread.

        I hope these little tricks help you!

    14. OMG! I was so intimidated by this recipe, but went ahead and made it…it was f a b u l o u s! Brought a piece to my 93-year-old neighbor. She swooned. thank you

      1. Hi Amanda. It could be that the caramel wasn’t cooked long enough on the stove and it could also be that you need to whip it longer when in the mixer. The technique of increasing the mixer speed after every little bit definitely helps to incorporate more air as well.

    15. This looks so amazing, but I don’t cook with Crisco. I was wondering if I could substitute anything for it in this recipe?

    16. Ok so I found this cake on Pinterest and we made it. We used a normal cake box cake just because we actually like Pillsbury and were really excited about getting started on the icing. THIS ICING IS TO DIE FOR!!!! Literally, my sister could not stop making noises as she ate every bite. It was so delicious!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. We absolutely love it!!!!

    17. This cake would have no flavor without the frosting. I was careful to make sure I did it right and it just didn’t taste good at all. Am I the only one who didn’t like it?

    18. My caramel keeps separating when I start to whip it, and I’m nervous about adding in the extra butter. Won’t it just melt and increase the layer of oil on top>

    19. I found this recipe on Pinterest. Made the frosting exactly as directed, and it’s fantastic! I think we have a new family favorite. Thanks!

    20. Thank you for this recipe. I just made it and OMG it is so awesome. It was simple to make. This has now become one of my favorite recipes.

      1. Yay, Robin! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for letting me know, too. I really, really appreciate it.

    21. Hi! I plan on making this delicious looking cake for my friend’s birthday coming up this Sunday! I’ve never made caramel buttercream before (my usual go-to buttercream is the Italian Meringue), but I’m assuming the temperature reading on the candy thermometer is in Fahrenheit?


      1. Hi Laura,
        Oh, I hope your friend loves this cake! It’s perfect for a birthday! My candy thermometer displays both Fahrenheit and Celsius. It also shows the different temperatures for thread, soft ball, firm ball, hard ball, as well as soft and hard crack.

      2. Hi again, I had recently bought unsalted butter and then I saw your post for the original southern caramel cake recipe! Would the cake still come out delicious despite using unsalted butter? I’m going to making this cake tomorrow and I’m super excited!

        For the caramel, once it reaches the temperature, I’m not really sure of what process I should do next… I know I should test for the soft-ball, should I remove the pot and put it in an ice water bath to stop the cooking of the caramel? or just immediately pour it into the mixer bowl? So sorry for asking so many questions.

    22. I really wanted to like this cake. But I had a terrible time with the frosting – it took over an hour to get to the right temp, and even then, it would not set up properly on the cake…the layers just keep sliding off. Sorry…wish I had had a better experience.

      1. Hi Cindy,
        Sorry you had a hard time with this cake. I’ve not had the issue of the frosting sliding off of the cake with this salted caramel buttercream frosting, but have had that issue when it was raining with the original Southern Caramel Cake of all things. Hope you have a great week.

    23. Hi, this recipe looks great! I tried making the caramel for the frosting twice though, and both times it crystallized. Any thoughts as to why? Usually you don’t stir caramel at all while cooking to avoid crystallization, but you said you stir continuously, so that couldn’t be it. Help – I must make this cake, it looks so delicious!

      1. Hi Kaela,
        If you are finding that your caramel crystalizes, then I would use the swirl technique that I included in the original Southern Caramel Cake recipe. The method used with the Salted Caramel Buttercream does use stirring with a wooden spoon, which could be causing the issue for you. Good luck and I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!

    24. 5 stars
      I am so glad I found this recipe! I ditched my regular caramel glazed cake, and tested this out today, for Thanksgiving. To.Die.For. I’d’ve been happy to have just eaten the batter and frosting straight from the bowls.
      Did the frosting take a while to make? Sure, but it was SO worth it. This might be be best caramel frosting I’ve come across. You’ve hit this one out of the park!

      1. Yay! I’m so glad you loved it, Karen. The frosting does take a little while to make, but you are right that it is so worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    25. 3 stars
      Ok, so I was really excited to make this! But my icing turned out nothing like your photo! It ended up in hard little balls. I ended up salvaging it by putting it back on the stove and mixing milk in it, but I was about to throw it away. The cake part is delicious, but a big bland (but that makes sense with such a strongly flavored icing). I don’t know, not sure what I did wrong but if it’s this hard it might just be above my head! ๐Ÿ™‚ All in all, it was edible, but just not what I’d expected for so much time invested.

      1. Hi Chelsey, It sounds like you may have overworked your frosting for it to have ended up in hard little balls. This frosting really ends up as a light, fluffy buttercream consistency. Thanks so much and good luck if you try it again!

    26. Hi this is the first time I’ve seen your webpage and it looks beautiful. I was looking for a great slated caramel cake becasue I was challenged recently to make one. While I love to cook, I tend to like to find ways to cheat with the recipes I use. I was wondering if you ever considered, or tried, using store bough caramels and melting them rather than making the caramel from scratch. I know it’s not much work but my past epeiriences with creating caramel has not been the best. Thanks so much.

    27. I just made this cake and it was pretty good but I have a few questions / comments.

      The cake was the consistency of a pound cake and not light and fluffy like most layer cakes I make. I made the recipe as directed except I put all the batter in 2 nine inch pans instead of 3. Could this have contributed to the dense texture?

      The salted caramel frosting had an amazing flavor. However, it was difficult to ice the cake. The frosting was a bit stiff and it was tough to work it around the cake. I probably should have added some milk or cream to loosen it up a bit but didn’t think of that until it was too late. Is the frosting supposed to be a bit stiff given its base is soft caramel?

      Thanks for sharing! Amazing flavor.

      1. Hi Lisa,
        I’ve never had this cake with a texture of a pound cake. It always is light and fluffy for me. It could have been that you combined all of the batter into 2 pans. I’ve not made it as a 2-layer cake – only a 3-layer and also as cupcakes. Both without any issues. For the frosting, it sounds like it may have been worked just a wee bit too long. To rescue frosting that has hardened like that, just add a bit more cream to lighten and loosen it. Thanks so much!

    28. Robyn this is such a great looking cake! Nothing beats a soft, moist, tender butter cake – loaded with buttercream. Of the caramel variety. Pinning!

      1. Hi Ana,
        I’ve not tried it in french macaroons, but if you do please come back and let me know how it works for you.

    29. I am wanting to make this recipe for a Christmas time desert. I am confused where the caramel comes into play and how much is desired. It is not in the list of ingredients so if you could let me know how much you used id really appreciate it!


    30. Two things, my cake batter fit into two 8 inch square pans. If you were to put it into three, would you only have an inch thick cake?
      Also, for those of us that know nothing about candy but do about baking, the caramel process is different. I have made homemade caramel but with brown sugar and/or condensed milk. So, I didn’t know you kept the pan on the burner to “brown” it.
      Just for those of us not familiar with that type of caramel. Thanks!
      Otherwise, it was good!

    31. This cake came out yummy! I made a 9 x 13 for ease of sharing with another family. It baked in just about the recommended time. I can’t wait to try this frosting on something chocolate! Thanks!

    32. 5 stars
      Hi! Found this on Pinterest a bit back and made it yesterday for my granddaughter’s 21st birthday. It came out perfect and everyone loved it. Has already moved to the top of the hit list! Thanks!

    33. Just made the cake and went exactly by the recipe and it came out PERFECT! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

      1. 5 stars
        The note said freeze overnight, is that the frosting or the cake you freeze? If it’s the frosting, how long does it take to thaw? Why do you need to freeze it, is it runny?

    34. 4 stars
      Saw this recipe on Pinterest and KNEW I wanted to give it a try – first, I live in a high altitude setting and it’s difficult to make layer cakes that bake well. I did not alter the ingredients, but did bake @ 325 for a bit longer (about 35 min) and it baked perfectly.

      Second, I was a bit nervous about the frosting because I don’t have a candy thermometer. However, I kept a bowl of chilled water next to me and tested the mixture every now and then. Just when I thought it would never brown (or form a soft ball in the water), both happened. Consistency of the final product was excellent.

      If the recipe makes you nervous because you don’t have all the equipment – just give it a try, trust the process, and be patient. It’s delicious! Best way to celebrate an Aunt’s 60th birthday!

      1. Thanks for your post. I found it very helpful. I too don’t have a thermometer and am on my second try at the frosting. I rushed it the first time and never got it to a soft ball in water. I’m being more patient this time.

      1. I always substitute butter. Crisco is just so unhealthy. Sometimes you need just a bit less butter as compared to partially hydrogenated oil.

    35. Just stumbled upon this recipe via Pinterest. I hardly ever bake, but I was just looking for something sweet and fun to make my husband and son after I get off work today as a nice surprise. “Just because it’s Wednesday.” How perfect. Thanks for the smile, and the recipe; can’t wait to try it!

    36. Hi… I’m new to your blog, and I’ve decided to try may hand at making this cake ๐Ÿ™‚ My problem is that I only have 2 nine inch pans… my other 2 pans are slightly smaller. Any suggestions? Can I make this with only 2 layers? Thanks!

    37. 5 stars
      Hi Robyn! I just wanted to tell you how amazing your cake is! I’m new in my boyfriend’s family, and there have been a lot of issues of us being together (long story), but this cake truly broke the ice with them. My boyfriend’s sister, who went to culinary school to become a pastry chef/baker, was blown away by this cake, and everyone in their family has been requesting I make birthday cakes and dessert for family events even though his sister is a professional. No jealousy here though as she happily gobbles up this cake. The reason I was writing was because I followed your directions to a ‘T’ the firs time, and ended in tears. You see, I sat in my kitchen crying because I needed to take this cake to a 70th birthday party, and this was nearly identical to what the birthday girl enjoyed from her mama as a child. My frosting had stiffened up into what appeared to be a giant soft caramel chew. I stared at it for about 20 minutes wondering what I did wrong, and bemoaning the fact I was going to have to rely on an overly sweet back up, when I threw the big ball in my Kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment, and began adding milk a TABLESPOON at a time. Wouldn’t you know, that that did the trick and the milk allowed my frosting to become a spreadable consistency?! Being an absolute perfectionist, I also was taking too long to frost the cake, and my frosting hardened. As long as you add milk and stir it well, your cake won’t tear and your frosting will spread beautifully. No one even knew what troubles I had had, and the cake was gone within 10 minutes. Thanks!

      1. What a great story, Lacey! Isn’t it amazing how food really can bring people together? Especially cake! Love your tip on saving the frosting. xoxo

      2. Can the cake be put into cupcakes? Going to try this for my college aged son. His favorite is caramel cake and he is going to visit his girlfriend this weekend and wanted something portable. If so, how long to cook a dozen pan cupcakes?
        Nervous to try the icing which is why I thought I would start on cupcakes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      3. Hi Angie,
        I would recommend baking between 20 and 25 minutes. I sure hope your son loves them! What a sweet Mama!!! xo

      4. Hi Robyn,
        I made this cake yesterday and it was delicious. I would like to make cupcakes with this recipe, is there anything I need to change or add? Thank you so much.

    38. Hello!

      I came upon your recipe during a late night pinning binge, and had to make this cake! So, yesterday while my daughter dyed Easter eggs with her best friend and grandparents, I whipped my best with my kitchen aid and aunt. The cake was incredible! I’d give it a pretty high difficulty level, because if you’ve never baked from scratch before, this cake can be daunting. However, the flavor is a solid 1,000,000/10. The cake is a great supporting role to the creamy, buttery, ever so daintily salted caramel iced star. My frosting came out almost the texture of modeling chocolate. I absolutely loved the ease of spreading, verses the age old Wilton buttercream (which obviously pales in comparison in flavor as well!) All in all, the extra effort was definitely worth the extra flavor, and smiles on my family’s faces as they enjoyed it this Easter Sunday!

    39. 5 stars
      I pinned this a while ago as a recipe to try and finally gave it a go yesterday. It was a colleague’s birthday and I wanted to make cupcakes (easier for the work environment) for her (she doesn’t do chocolate). Oh. My. Goodness. They were incredible. I foolishly ignored the caution not to overfill the trays as the cake was so light, and my first tray were a bit popped over, but the rest came out beautifully and the frosting was to die for. I have a loathsome electric stovetop that has historically given me no end of trouble in the caramel making department, but I kept the heat low and my candy thermometer in place and the caramel came out heavenly. Will definitely be keeping this recipe around!

      1. So glad you loved it, Bonnie! Thanks so much for letting me know how it worked for you!

    40. Had pinned this salted caramel cake a while back and finally made it today for my daughter’s birthday. I had some troubles. I did the batter in three round pans but had trouble with two of them sticking to the bottom even though I greased the shortening and floured the pans. Maybe they were not cooled off enough. I was able to salvage the bottoms anyway and with the frosting in between, I didn’t think it would be that noticeable which it wasn’t. I cooked the caramel to soft ball stage and put it in my stainless Kitchenaid bowl and beat it on about medium till it was “cool to touch”. Next put in the butter and the powdered sugar. I failed to note that you said to put the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup at a time and dumped all in at once. It would not come together and stayed in little balls like it was separated. I thought a little more butter wouldn’t hurt so I put in about two tablespoons. That did not help so I thought I would add some half and half as I did not have any cream. That made the frosting finally come together. I didn’t know how much to add so I went ahead and started frosting the cake, but the consistency was real dense and heavy and the frosting kept pulling away and would not stay on the sides of the cake hardly at all.
      Do you think all this problem with the frosting was caused by my putting the whole amount of powdered sugar in at once. I so wanted the frosting to be light and airy like regular buttercream frosting. Is this over-all a denser frosting? I would like to try it again because it did have nice flavor.

    41. One of my favorite cakes is Southern Caramel Cake. I will be making this for sure. It looks delicious and I think I can already taste it!

    42. 5 stars
      Made these last weekend for Mother’s Day (made into cupcakes easier to share) SO delish!

    43. Wow!! the frosting looks so adorable, thick, heavy but soft, Only the magicians can arrive at this result!! definitely going to try this!!

    44. 5 stars
      made it….it was AWESOME! Sent half of the cake to my 94-year-old neighbor, she loved it too. So good I had to share, or I would have eaten it all myself. Best caramel cake recipe I have found on the web. thank you.

    45. 5 stars

      I’m generally not one to comment on recipes from the web. However, the Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe is the exception. The cake and frosting are wonderful!! The cake batter yielded soft, moist layers that were perfect. The frosting is absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for such an awesome recipe. I will definitely make this cake again.

      1. 5 stars
        Hi, I made the cake yesterday for my teenage daughter’s 16th birthday party, and I used Copha instead of Crisco. I’ve just now been hiding in the kitchen finishing off the last slice that got overlooked…yum.

    46. 5 stars
      Just wanted to thank you so much for posting this recipe. When I was growing up, every year for my birthday I got a caramel layer cake from Sanders bakery (out of Detroit area, MI). When I was a teenager, the bakery changed owners and the caramel cake was never the same. I’ve made several recipes but have never found one that even comes close. This recipe is pretty perfect!! Thank you so much, I loved the cake (couldn’t stop eating it) and it brought back great memories of childhood. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Oh thank YOU so much for sharing that with me, Julie! I am so glad you love the cake and that it brings back special memories. xo

    47. 5 stars
      Pinned this recipe for my 6 y/o bday cake. She wanted the salted caramel frosting…This is the best tasteing frosting I have ever made!!! My only concern was that I may have jumped the gun on adding the second stage of ingredients (not sure it was cool enough). The frosting seemed really thick, not air-y at all. Should I have added more confectioners?? Re-whipped it once it cooled?? Any suggestion would be great!!

    48. 5 stars
      I made this cake yesterday just to try it out because I have been looking for a yellow butter cake recipe that isn’t dried out. It was GREAT!!! I did a homemade chocolate icing though and my family loved it! thanks so much, my search is OVER!! This one is a KEEPER.

    49. I did not see an reply to the Two Women that asked about substituting butter for Crisco/shortening??!!?? I am not a fan of Crisco/shortening….if one is to “go for the Gold”, I’ll head for the Butter!!

      I would like to know if there is a scientific reason for not using Butter!

      Warmest regards,

    50. 5 stars
      I just made these but as cupcakes. They are excellent!!! I had no problems with the recipe it went smoothly. It made 30 cupcakes. I put the frosting in a zip lock bag with a star tip and piped it on. It looked great. I’m at high altitude so the only thing I changed was the boiling temperature for the soft ball stage in the frosting (2 degrees lower for every 1000 feet in altitude). I didnt change anything with the cake and it turned out great. It’s definitely a keeper. Thank you Robyn : )

    51. 5 stars
      Thank you for the amazing recipe! I made it for my girlfriend’s birthday and it was a huge hit. I have to question though to see if maybe I did something wrong.

      1) The cake didn’t rise very much (3, 9 inch round cake pans), is that normal? They rose maybe about 30-35% of the original batter size. Any idea why this might be if it was supposed to be more?

      2) I would like to try to make the cake more moist (personal preference). I used greek yogurt instead of buttermilk, but wanted your opinion on adding applesauce for moisture. I’ve used it on other recipes with great results.

      This is the second recipe I use from your website and I look forward to making more!

    52. Hi! I tried my hands at this recipe the other day and, for some reason, the cake came out with a consistency closer to that of a pound cake. I reviewed the ingredients and directions multiple times and cannot figure out what would have caused this. Any thoughts?

    53. Just a quick question…

      On the southern caramel cake recipe you mention using salted butter in the cake batter, is that the same for this recipe? Also, is it salted or unsalted butter in the frosting?

      1. Hi Cathy,
        Real bakers always recommend using unsalted butter and adding your salt. I never remember to buy it and just use salted butter for it.

    54. Hi!

      I tried your BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER and it was a hit! Now, I’m searching for the best caramel cake recipe for a change and ended here at your blog. I would love to also try this recipe because I’m a SUCKER for caramel and I love caramel! I only have 2 questions. What is “softball stage”? (newbie baker here he he) and I can’t seem to find a liquid buttermilk here. Can I use a powder buttermilk instead? Hoping for your reply. Thanks!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    55. My frosting did not turn out as brown as that pictured. I could only get the temperature to 200 or the pot would boil over. Would that make a difference in color? What are the dimensions of a 3 – 4 quart pot?

    56. 5 stars
      I’d been searching for a ‘real’ caramel frosting recipe (i.e., not brown sugar) to make some salted caramel cake balls, and since the butter cake recipe looked fantastic as well, I made both. It was heartbreaking to have to crumble it up for the cake balls — the texture was just too perfect! Next time (and there will be many next times), it will be served as a cake so that texture can be properly appreciated.

      This is far and away the best caramel frosting I’ve tasted, too. I thought I’d ruined it somehow when my caramel sort of clumped up towards the end of the whipping/cooling time, but the powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of milk brought it right back together.

      Raves from everyone who’s tasted the results so far. Thanks so much for sharing!

    57. The frosting was by far the most intimidating. I was patient with the caramel and did the softball test as instructed; however, once I started adding the confectioners sugar, the icing wasn’t puffing up to icing consistency – it was still rather dripping. I added up to another full cup of sugar and then noticed it was getting dense… a tbs of milk didn’t help either. Right now I’m letting the frosting cool and will then try whipping it again, but is there a reason why the icing is more drippy than forming peaks? And what can I do to fix it??

      1. Hi Beth,
        Sorry the frosting gave you problems! While I’m not certain what happened, it sounds like the caramel needed more whipping time to incorporate the butter before adding the confectioner’s sugar. Once you add the confectioner’s sugar and it incorporates, you’ll want to turn the mixer on high speed to whip a lot of air into the frosting to lighten it up. About 20 seconds or so per cup. Since all of the sugar is now in the caramel, I’d try putting it back in the bowl and whipping it on high, watching it carefully, to get some air worked into it. Good luck!!!

    58. 2 stars
      I bake quite a bit and found this recipe most intimidating. The cakes were dry, and the icing was grainy. The consistency of the icing was very thick. It did not spread well and I had to patch it by hand and smooth with a warm wet knife. The icing had a good flavor, but the grainy part bothered me. I am going to wait until the afternoon to see if the icing is too hard to be icing and I may have to go buy a store bought cake as I made it for a friend’s birthday.

      1. Try adding one tablespoon of corn syrup to the first part which is supposed to stop the sugar from crystalizing. Some people add lemon juice which they say also stops the sugar from crystalizing. I would try the corn syrup fist though!!

    59. 5 stars
      So firstly, this cake is INCREDIBLE. Absolutely delicious. If anyone has eaten the caramel cake at the Piece of Cake bakery in Atlanta, this tastes JUST like it. I’ve moved away from Atlanta so I’m thrilled to have found a remedy for my craving!

      But I did have a lot of problems with the vague instructions for making the icing. It took me multiple tries to get it right and almost caused me to ruin my kitchen aid mixer in the meantime. The first stage hit 235-245 degrees way before it was actually ready. It didn’t start becoming golden and caramel-y until higher temperatures. I also had to up the temp a lot. I have a very strong stove top but medium-low wasn’t cutting it. I was successful at medium-high temps. I wish more instructions and tips had been given on how to know the icing is ready or when you’re getting close, etc for people like me who don’t have any experience making caramel cakes.

      Other side notes – This was only enough batter for me to make 2 9-in layers, not 3. And to get layers of icing as thick as they are in the pictures, I would recommend doubling the recipe. I made one batch and my icing layers were probably half the size as the ones in the pictures.

      But I was so relieved when the cake ended up being worth the trouble. It was so so yummy.

    60. Unable to print recipe no matter how many times I tried. I even ended up trying a cut and paste at the end of it all and still unable to print it! My printer is fine as it has gone on to print without any problems. Just thought I would let you know and wonder if anyone else has experienced this issue?

      1. Hi Candy,
        So sorry you are having trouble. Can you tell me if you are using the print button on the recipe or some other method? Thank you!

    61. My frosting turned out much paler and significantly more mild then many salted caramel cakes I have had. I soft ball tested and everything (bordering on a firm ball test), but the color failed to become amber…more beige. I’m sure this is why the caramel tastes so mild. Any idea why? And my finished icing was also slightly grainy. Suggestions?

    62. Do you need to add any actual caramel? If so how much and what type? Really want to make this cake! Thanks for the recipe.

      1. Thank You – I followed your recipe step by step and it is divine! Thank you so very much! I have never made caramel before and it is delicious. So, for the other people out there who don’t know the first stage of the salted cream recipe makes the ‘caramel’ and it is delicious!

    63. 5 stars
      So I usually never take the time to comment because I am a bit lazy after I have made a huge mess in my kitchen but this salted caramel buttercream is too good to not share about! OMG it is just perfect. I wish I could describe the flavor but it is escaping me except to sit here gaping open mouthed remembering how good it is and wondering i 11am is too early to eat another slice. The only changes were made were out of necessity but then it still ended up turning out perfect so I thought I should share.So I was out of shortening so I used 1 cup of butter in phase 1 of the frosting. I made sure it cooked to 235 and was a tiny worried it was getting too dark but after I whipped it the color changed to the same as your photos. It took at least 10-15 minutes to get the temp up and it started out very foamy like when I make buttermilk syrup.

      Then in phase 2,I was in a rush so I poured the caramel into my stainless steel kitchenaid bowl and put it in an ice bath. I was once again a little concerned that the oils in the caramel looked like they were separating, but once it cooled and I whipped it up a little with the whisk attachment, it was fine. I waited until the caramel was cool enough not to melt the softened butter you add in phase 2. I also only had a 1/4 cup of butter left. I added it and whipped up the frosting with scant 2 cups of powdered sugar and lo and behold, perfect caramel frosting. It frosted beautifully and it had great texture. Not at all grainy or overly sweet like I was worried about before starting. I have to admit I did not use the cake recipe offered here because I had another butter cake recipe from food and wine magazine that I had been wanting to try, but considering how great this buttercream concoction is, I am betting the cake is amazing as well. Thanks for a forever recipe. I can promise I will be using it as a default frosting from now on!

    64. ABSOLUTELY delectable. I was expecting it to be sweeter due to the amount of sugar in the recipe, but it was actually a wonderful balance between cake and frosting. Next time, I will try brown sugar, as my frosting turned out to be quite white!

      1. Just a hint to some who have had problems with the frosting–be sure you are using pure cane sugar. Some store brands of sugar contain beet sugar. I have found that beet sugar will not caramelize and so in this recipe that may be a factor. Years ago I tried to caramelize sugar in a skillet to make caramel for a recipe and it only lumped up but would not melt and turn brown. After several failures, it occurred to me that the sugar was the problem so I checked the bag and it did not say “pure cane sugar” so after that I made sure to buy cane sugar and never had that problem again.

    65. 5 stars
      This cake was pure perfection! The cake was easy enough to make. My only worry was the icing. I have never made caramel before and this was a concern. The instructions were so straightforward that I easily succeeded and my icing was magnificent. I am so beyond excited to have made this cake. It was a challenge but it tastes so good! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I’m sure my boyfriend is going to love it!

    66. just tried to make the frosting… And basically it just kept bubbling higher and higher until it boiled over all over my stove. I have never made caramel before so WAY more instructions would have been helpful, or some pictures… Hoping I can figure it our before Hubby’s bday tomorrow.

      1. This is an extremely late reply but maybe it can help someone else. Make sure to use a bigger pot to avoid boil-over. I made the frosting recipe multiplied by 1.5 in a 3 quart pot and had to switch to a 4 quart halfway through. It will go back down to managable size after boiling.

    67. Can you tell me how to make this into a half sheet cake. how would I adjust the ingredients to make these cakes. I cant wait to try them.

    68. 5 stars
      Followed your recipe to a “T”, and it is a real winner! I will be bringing it to Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    69. I made this yesterday. It was amazing! One question….it says to use 3 9″ pans…where does the 3rd one go? The picture shows 2?

    70. Just curious… how does this compare with your White Cake… the “best” one… since they are both technically white/vanilla cakes? They both use the same amount of butter, but does this one taste more buttery?

      I’m going to try them both this weekend!


    71. 5 stars
      This is by far, the best cake I have Ever made. Whipping the batter for so long was the key, it was light, fluffy and oh SO moist and gooey all at the same time! This cake has made my famous in my family. THANK YOU for sharing!!!!!!!!

    72. 5 stars
      This is my second attempt to make this cake and frosting. The first time, if I remember correctly, turned out great and came together very well. This second time, I made the cake and frosting for my own birthday. The cake did better than your other cakes for me – they don’t rise in the middle of the cake. This cake in 3 8-inch pans rose and didn’t sink as badly.

      But I’m more concerned about the frosting this time. I kept constant agitation while the sugar and buttermilk cooked to softball stage. When I put it in the mixer and whipped it, it just pushed out to the bowl edges, no matter how many times I scraped the sides. When it was cool enough to touch (at least I thought it was cool enough) I add the butter, but it melted almost immediately. When I added the powdered sugar, I ended up with lumps and didn’t stick together at all. It still tasted great, so I just layered my cakes with lumpy frosting and added the rest to the top.

      Any suggestions on where I went wrong? Thanks.

    73. 5 stars
      This is the most amazing recipe. ย My husband requests it every year since I found your site a couple years ago! ย Making it tonight, in fact, for his birthday tomorrow!!! Thank you for helping us make great memories!

      1. I’m so excited this is a special part of your family memories, Dawn! Happy birthday to your husband! Enjoy! Thanks so much! xo

    74. 5 stars
      Iโ€™ve made this cake once so far and it turned out great. (I havenโ€™t attempted the frosting though, I just did a regular frosting). I liked this recipe because it didnโ€™t really require shortening. I love how you gave the extra tips of beating on high in between additions. I felt like that really made a difference! ย I was just curious why those steps arenโ€™t mentioned in your other cakes? ย Other cake recipes also are specific not to overmix so I was just wondering the difference here. I enjoy learning the โ€œwhyโ€ behind the steps so I can improve my skills. Thanks!!

      1. I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Anna! I have several cake recipes and they have different ingredients, different textures, etc. Some are mixed with a lighter touch and others may be mixed at higher speeds to add air into the batter, etc. Many of my cakes are family recipes I’ve made through the years or are cake recipes I’ve developed. I test each of the recipes before publishing here on the blog and my wording can sometimes be a bit different as well. Hope this helps!
        Thanks! xo

    75. 5 stars
      Made this for my daughters birthday at her request. I must admit I had never made anything like this. The directions were clesr and easy to follow. The cake turned out perfect and was a big hit! Thanks!

    76. 5 stars
      Just finished this cake for my mother-in-law’s birthday– it is absolutely delicious, fluffy, and decadent!

    77. 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. 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

      1. 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!

    78. 5 stars
      Bonjour Robyn! I would like to ask what is the conversion of cups to grams that you used in this recipe? I’ve google searched but in every site the conversion varies. I would like to try this cake but im worried if i don’t use the exact measurements for the ingredients the cake will not be good. And what can i use as substitute for the Crisco because there is none in Paris. Merci Robyn!