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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.



4.68 from 40 votes

Southern Caramel Cake Recipe

Dessert 1 hr 10 mins

Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 24
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
A traditional Southern Caramel Cake recipe.



  • 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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Recipe Review


    1. This cake should be baked in 3 9-inch cake pans, Khrystal. Over mixing the batter, not having all ingredients at room temperature, and extra baking time for a smaller pan than the recipe calls for can all cause a cake to be dense.

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Robyn!☺️ I remember when I baked this Southern Caramel Cake recipe for the first time. I was over the moon because it came out perfect, the cake and the ‘labor of love’ icing. At that time, I did not have a cast iron dutch oven, but I was given one as a gift soon after that. The cast iron dutch oven really does help with my caramel icing. I get to my softball stage sooner and the texture of my icing is consistently smooth. Sometimes the icing pops out and burns me. Doing well with this cake certainly made me more confident with my baking. Well, years later this delicious cake and icing is still one of my favorites, along with your white cake. Scrumptious. I just made the Southern Caramel Cake for Thanksgiving for my family which is small in numbers because of the pandemic. All of my folks love your recipes nas well as I do. The weeknight chili, the white bean chicken chili, your strawberry cake, your chocolate cake, just to name a few. Happy Thanksgiving, Robyn, to you and your family. God bless you and your family.
    Take care. ❤️

    1. Andrea, thanks so much for letting me know how much you love my recipes. I really appreciate you trying so many of them. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    1. Traci, I haven’t made this cake in either a Bundt pan or sheet pan. I think you should be able to bake it in a 12×16 (half) sheet pan. I would think the cake might be more dense and dry baked in a Bundt pan.

  2. I just saw this recipe and I can’t wait to try it. I have a few questions though. #1 What is your recipe for the icing?
    #2 Do you grease the pans and if so do you grease just bottom or both bottom of pan and sides?
    #3 Finally if you grease the pans do you lightly flour the pan?

    1. Jeannie, click on the underlined words Southern Caramel Icing Recipe in the ingredients list and it will take you to the icing recipe. I butter and flour the sides and bottom of my cake pans. Hope this helps.

  3. Robyn I made your Southern Caramel cake and Southern Caramel icing and both turned out perfect! I added a teaspoon of Rum extract to the cake which offers a unique taste. I live in Kentucky but grew up in Georgia. This cake reminds me of my mom’s from years back. Thank you!

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