The secret to a good caramel cake is all in the frosting. The frosting for this one is amazing!
I have been on a quest for the perfect caramel cake for years. I posted my first version here. You see, when my husband was a child his favorite cake was a white cake with caramel frosting. I’m pretty sure his mom just used a white cake mix and topped it with homemade caramel frosting. I have the recipe somewhere and I’ve made it a few times.
A caramel cake is really all about the frosting. It has the base of a nice, light, fluffy yellow or white cake but the frosting is the star of the show but it definitely needs a good cake to let it shine.
I’ve experimented with lots of from scratch cakes and I’ve finally found one that is everything a cake should be. Light, fluffy, tender, moist and flavorful. It is the perfect base for a great caramel cake.
I used Bob Red Mill Super Fine Cake Flour to give the cake amazing texture. Cake flour has less protein than regular all purpose flour and that helps give the cake a lighter and more airy texture. It does make a difference and it’s worth the effort to buy and use cake flour.
Now for the frosting.
I basically eat cake so I can have frosting. It is my favorite part of the cake and this caramel cake had lots of frosting goodness. I used 3- 8 inch cake pans for this cake. After baking and cooling, be sure and brush off as much of the crumbs on the outside of the cake as possible, it makes frosting easier.
I love using this cake turn table to frost my cakes. It makes it so easy to turn the cake as you frost it. And the non slip mat keeps the cake in place. I also use a cardboard round underneath the cake to it is easy to remove from the turntable and place on my serving plate. I also love using an offset spatula to frost my cakes.
I am definitely not a professional cake decorator so it may not look perfect but it tastes pretty perfect!
I took this cake to our neighborhood 4th of July potluck and it got lots of oohs and aahs and it received multiple thumbs up!
The frosting is made with butter, butter and more butter just the way frosting should be. It also uses dark brown sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla and powdered sugar. Unlike many caramel forstings this one doesn’t need to be cooked for long periods of time. It’s cooked in the microwave for a few minutes and then into the mixer.
It makes a generous amount of frosting so don’t be stingy with those layers.
Celebrate summer with a delicious caramel cake.
Recipe may need to be adapted for high altitude baking. See info here.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3¼ cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1¼ cups milk (I used whole milk)
- 1 cup butter, divided
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Spray three 8-inch pans generously with baking spray and flour. Cut circles of parchment paper or wax paper to fit pans and place one in the bottom of each pan.
- Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.
- (If you are using the extra fine cake flour you won't need to sift the flour, if not put the flour, baking powder and salt through a sifter.)
- Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and then eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add flour mixture and milk alternately in 3 batches, beating until smooth after each addition.
- Divide batter between prepared pans.
- Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes; invert cakes onto a cooling rack; let cool completely.
- Brush off crumbs from sides and top of cake.
- Place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand.
- Add icing and spread to cover. Repeat with remaining layers.
- Frost entire cake with a generous layer of icing.
- Place ½ cup butter, brown sugar and evaporated milk into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir. Return to microwave and cook on high for 2-3 more minutes or until the mixture is smooth and no longer gritty. Can also be done in a saucepan on the stovetop. Heat until ingredients are combined and no longer gritty.
- Cool mixture for 15 minutes.
- Place in mixer and add in powdered sugar and mix on low until incorporated.
- Turn to medium high and mix for another minute.
- Add in ½ cup of softened butter and vanilla and mix on medium high for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Frosting should be a nice spreadable consistency. Add more milk if too stiff or more sugar if too thin.
- Frost cake.
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