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Classic Southern Caramel Cake


Southern Caramel Cake is a homemade butter layer cake that is topped with a decadent boiled caramel icing. Perfect for dessert any time of the year.

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  • 1 cup butter, 2 sticks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups self-rising flour,
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


Servings 12
Preparation time 25mins
Cooking time 55mins


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by greasing them and lining the bottom of each cake pan with a circle of parchment paper. The parchment paper makes it easier to get the cake out of the pan.

Beat butter until light and fluffy and then add sugar and beat for about 5 more minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well after each. Add flour and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour and mix well after each. 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 frost the cake.


Mix all ingredients in a 3-4 quart cast iron dutch oven.

Swirl pan to keep ingredients moving in the pan. Cook to softball stage 235º – 245º on a candy thermometer or when tested in a cup of cold water. Remove from heat and beat with a wooden spoon until creamy and ready to spread.

No thermometer? Do the cold water test:

Take a some of the caramel and drop it into a bowl or cup of cold water. Give it a few seconds to cool. Fish around in the bowl or cup of cold water and try to retrieve the caramel and make a little ball with it.

If you stick your fingers into the bowl, pull out a gooey mess and you can't do anything but smear the caramel, you need to boil the caramel some more. There is still too much water in your caramel and the concentration of sugar is too low. The caramel may even form little threads in the water, but if you cannot get the threads to form into a ball, you have some more boiling to do.

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