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Caramel Cake with slice

Caramel Cake

A traditional southern caramel cake. Recipe from Annie Mae Hicks.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 8 people



  • 226 grams butter, unsalted (2 sticks)
  • 440 grams sugar (2 cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 each large eggs
  • 245 grams buttermilk (1 cup)
  • 280 grams Swan cake flour (2 cups)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Caramel Icing

  • 110 grams sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 330 grams sugar (1.5 cups)
  • 245 grams milk, 2%
  • 38 grams butter, unsalted (1/3 stick)
  • 1 TBSP Karo syrup



  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at the time. Alternate buttermilk and flour. Divide evenly between three 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees F (163 degrees C) for 20-30 minutes. Check the cake at 20 minutes, but bake for no longer than 30 minutes.

Caramel Icing

  1. Take 110 grams of sugar in a skillet over a low heat until the sugar melts and turns a golden brown. You’re making a dry caramel, so move the sugar around in the pan as needed so it doesn’t burn. In a heavy boiler, put 330 grams of sugar with the milk, Karo syrup and butter. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring mixture to a boil. Off the heat, pour the dry caramel into the sugar milk mixture. Put back on a medium-low heat and stir until the combined. Be careful of the sugar seizing up while you’re combining the two. If it does, keep stirring until mixture is combined. Cook until 226 degrees F (108 degrees C). Transfer to a large bowl over an ice bath and mix with a hand mixer until creamy. Reserve until ready for cake.


  1. Spread caramel in between the layers and slowly pour over the top of the final layer until it drips down the sides. Spread evenly. Serve & enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • The next time I make this, I might take the mixture to 114 degrees C (238 degrees F) to see if that helps thicken up the caramel.
  • I added my dry caramel to the sugar/milk mixture on the heat and it did seize up on me. I kept stirring and it all came together again to become smooth.
  • You can use glucose instead of corn syrup. It helps to prevent the sugar from crystalizing.
  • Other recipes use more butter in their frosting, so I’m going to look at adjusting this as well!