This Southern Caramel Cake Recipe is a traditional caramel cake made from an heirloom family recipe. It’s delicious topped with homemade caramel icing!

Southern Caramel Cake from #cake #recipe #desserts #caramel

Southern Caramel Cake is one of those desserts that is a true labor of love. So rich and decadent, it’s a cake that surely takes any special occasion to a whole new level and is by far one of my family’s favorite cakes.

We celebrated two birthdays in my family this past weekend – Mama’s and my husband’s. I asked each of them what kind of cake they would like for their birthday and both of them replied, “Caramel Cake!” Any cake that is requested by multiple people in a family the size of mine for their birthday is definitely a cake to make sure you get just right.

It’s a cake to take pride in, even though mine is a far cry from decorator perfect. Right down to the smudges on the rim of the cake plate. You can surely tell it’s homemade can’t you?

Here’s how I make it.

How to Make Southern Caramel Cake

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Even though professional bakers and cooks say to use unsalted butter, I stick with my Grandmother’s instructions instead and use salted butter. It’s just better that way in my book.


Cream your butter until it is fluffy and then add in your sugar. Cream the two together until they are nice and .. well, creamy.


Add in your eggs one at a time and cream them into your butter and sugar mixture.


Now add in your flour and buttermilk alternately. Start with your flour.


Then buttermilk and the rest of your flour.


Add in your vanilla, give it a quick mix.


Pour your cake batter into three prepared cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees.


Remove from the oven and turn cake out of cake pans onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

This is when you’ll have time to make your caramel icing.

I’ve previously posted the recipe for Southern Caramel Icing that I use. I do have a slight update though. After I posted my recipe, my Mama told me that if Grandmother had had a big heavy duty mixer, she bet she’d have used it. Thanks for the idea on that Mama. I’m a converted woman!

Once your icing has reached the soft ball stage, pour it into your mixer bowl and whip away until it reaches a point where it holds when you stop the mixer. Basically, if you were to stick your finger in the icing for a taste, someone would be able to tell that you stuck your finger in there. {Not that that is how I test mine or anything!}


Another example is that it looks like this.


Stack, spread and stack and spread again.


And then spread it nice and thick all over.

Then, think about how much I need to take a course in how to decorate a cake.

Make this cake soon for someone you love, to celebrate something special, or just because. You won’t be sorry.



Southern Caramel Cake Recipe

A traditional Southern Caramel Cake recipe.
4.66 from 38 votes

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Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 24
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare 3 9-inch cake pans.
  • Cream butter til fluffy and then add sugar and cream for about 8 more minutes.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, and cream after each.
  • Add flour and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
  • Add vanilla and beat well.
  • Divide among pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until set.
  • Turn out of pans onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
  • Prepare Southern Caramel Icing as cakes are cooling then ice cake.
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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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248 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. I hopped over to the caramel recipe and the instructions are not very clear. Is it cooked over low, medium, or high heat?  Do you bring to a boil and reduce to simmer? Do you whisk or leave it alone?  Unless I’m missing a big section of instructions this is very unclear. I would love to try this cake because I love all things Southern, but ingredients are too expensive for an unclear recipe. HELP!  

  2. Where is the icing recipe for the southern caramel cake…this website is not clear an certainly not user friendly…there’s no ‘open’ buttons or ‘next page’ button, nothing together..

    1. Hi Tawana,
      All you have to do is click on the blue highlighted link (last in the Ingredients list) in the recipe that says Southern Caramel Icing Recipe, double the recipe and it takes you directly to the Caramel Icing recipe. I hope you enjoy the cake!!

  3. This cake was awesome!! only mistake i didn’t double the carmel icing recipe so i had to make two batches.

  4. Thanks for this great recipe. The Carmel frosting is the lead but the cake itself is awesome. Everyone loves a good carmel cake but most are afraid of the frosting,trust me if i can do it anyone can .

      1. Thank you I’m new to baking use to seeing oil is there any advantage or taste difference using self rising v cake flour?

      2. With this recipe, you would need to use self-rising flour instead of cake flour. Cake flour will not have the leavening agents in it that is in the self-rising flour and your cake would not rise appropriately.

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