I was lucky enough to have a grandmother who loved cooking and especially baking. Whether she was making her delicious caramel cakes, lemon meringue pies, or made from scratch chocolate cakes, we could always be sure that her desserts would be wonderful. Her caramel cake is definitely a favorite family recipe. She passed the recipe on to my mother who was also a wonderful cook. I’ve always relied on others in the family to make it, but it’s time for me to try out my family’s Old Fashioned Caramel Cake recipe.
Old Fashioned Caramel Cake
I have fond memories of my Mama Kitchens baking her caramel cake. Yes, her last name was Kitchens-great name for a great cook I think! About 25 years ago, some of my aunts put together a cookbook that included some of my late grandmother’s favorite recipes, along with some favorites from lots of our family. I pulled it out to have a look at her caramel cake recipe and quickly realized that it wasn’t very detailed. I made a phone call to my mother to try to get the complete recipe. Sadly, she doesn’t have it written down and she could not remember exactly how she made it.
I did have my mother’s recipe for a basic yellow cake, so I used that and changed it just a little by adding some light brown sugar along with white sugar. I referenced my grandmother’s recipe for the frosting, but I added powdered sugar. Without that, I’m not sure how it would be thick enough. I also substituted light brown sugar for white sugar. The cookbook had no instructions, so I had to make those up as I went along, hoping for the best!
The batter for this cake is quite thick. After pouring it into prepared pans, spread it out evenly.
Using three pans means that each layer will not be very thick. If you prefer thicker layers, you can use only two pans. I like three layered cakes because I love the frosting between each layer.
Once the frosting has cooled for the appropriate amount of time, stack layers, frosting between each one.
Continue adding frosting until the top and sides are covered with caramel goodness.
Old Fashioned Caramel Cake
- 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter (softened)
- 2 Cups White Sugar
- 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 5 Eggs
- 3 Cups Cake Flour (sifted)
- 1 1/4 Cups Whole Milk
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tbs Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Sticks Butter softened
- 2 1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar (sifted)
Preheat oven to 325
Prepare 3 nine inch cake pans with cooking spray. Wilton’s Cake Release works great.
Add butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs to large mixing bowl. Cream until well blended.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
Alternately add flour mixture and milk to sugar mixture. Use a medium setting.
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes and check using a wooden toothpick. Continue baking for 5 minutes if needed.
Cool layers on baking racks.
For Caramel Frosting
Add butter and brown sugar into heavy sauce pan. Heat on medium until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.
Add milk. Stir until milk is incorporated.
Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Continue to heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and set aside. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Sift powdered sugar.
Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar to mixture. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Reduce speed and continue beating until the frosting has a thick consistency.
Allow frosting to cool for 30 minutes before frosting cake. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of milk. If it’s too thin, add a small amount of powdered sugar.
Add frosting between each layer and cover the top and sides generously with frosting.
I was super happy when the frosting turned out well! I will say that once I had it mixed well, it was not thick enough. I was thinking that I might need to add more powdered sugar, but I didn’t want the sugar to mask the caramel flavor. As I was trying to decide, I noticed that it was thickening after I stopped mixing it. I left it for thirty minutes and it was perfect.
I hope you’ll give this a try! It’s rich, flavorful, and wonderful with a cup of coffee.
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