Caramel cake for the win!

Caramel Cake

Course Dessert
Author Leigh Anne Wilkes


For Cake:

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour not self-rising; sift before measuring
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 1 C well-shaken buttermilk

For Caramel Glaze:

  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Equipment: a candy thermometer



  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  • Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper, then butter parchment
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla.
  • Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled).
  • Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
  • Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan.
  • Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make Glaze:

  • Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
  • Boil until glaze registers 210 to 212°F on thermometer, 12 to 14 minutes, then stir in vanilla.
  • Put rack with cake in a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides.
  • Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.


  • Cake (before glazing) can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.