Homemade Caramel Cake Recipe

Homemade Caramel Cake is an exquisite dessert that harks back to a classic Southern tradition, bringing with it a rich history and a delightful sweetness that pleases the palate. This cake is not just a treat; it’s a masterpiece of culinary craftsmanship, combining the tender, airy layers of cake with the deep, rich flavor of caramel.

The process of making this cake is a labor of love, one that requires patience and care, but the result is a show-stopping dessert that’s perfect for special occasions, holidays, or as a luxurious treat for those ordinary days that call for something extraordinary. The key to this cake lies in the balance of its components – a fluffy, moist cake base, paired with a lusciously smooth caramel icing that’s both sweet and decadently rich.

Choosing Ingredients and Cooking Tips:

  1. Butter: Use high-quality unsalted butter for the cake and icing. The butter should be at room temperature to ensure a smooth batter and icing.
  2. Flour: Sifted cake flour is preferred for a lighter, softer cake texture. However, all-purpose flour can be used as a substitute if necessary.
  3. Eggs: Ensure your eggs are at room temperature for a more uniform batter.
  4. Caramel Icing: The caramel icing requires constant attention. Stir regularly and watch for the golden brown color. Remember, the longer you cook the caramel, the thicker and darker it will become.
  5. Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract is recommended for the best flavor.

Making the Cake:

  • Creaming Method: Cream the butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy to incorporate air, which aids in the rise and texture of the cake.
  • Cake Layers: Divide your batter evenly among the pans for uniform baking. Leveling the tops of the cakes can be done once baked and cooled if necessary.
  • Caramel Icing: The success of the caramel icing lies in its color and consistency. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but still pourable.

Variations and Substitutions:

  • Spice it Up: Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the cake batter for a warm, spiced flavor.
  • Buttermilk: You can substitute sour cream with buttermilk for a slightly different flavor profile and added tenderness to the cake.
  • Dairy-Free: Use dairy-free butter and milk alternatives for a lactose-intolerant-friendly version.
  • Cake Size: This recipe can be adapted to make cupcakes or a two-layer cake if preferred.

Homemade Caramel Cake is a journey through the joys of baking, where the process is just as rewarding as the end result. Each bite of this cake offers a delightful melding of flavors, from the softness of the cake to the richness of the caramel. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a sweet craving, this cake is sure to bring a sense of accomplishment and joy to any baker.

Homemade Caramel Cake Recipe

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Caramel Icing:

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • 24 ounces (2 cans) evaporated milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions for the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the room-temperature butter, vegetable oil, and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This should take about 5-6 minutes on high speed.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. With the mixer on a slow setting, gently add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Alternate with sour cream, adding gradually. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  7. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans by spraying them with baking spray and lightly flouring them.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool on cooling racks for 10 minutes before removing them from the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely before icing.

Instructions for Making the Caramel Icing:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, evaporated milk, and sugar. Place over medium heat, stirring until the ingredients have melted together.
  2. Continue cooking the mixture over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1½ to 2 hours. Watch the mixture closely to prevent it from burning or sticking until it has thickened and turned a deep golden brown color.
  3. The caramel is ready when it coats the back of a spoon and has reached the desired color (a rich golden brown).
  4. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow it to cool for about 15-20 minutes before using it to ice the cake.

This Homemade Caramel Cake is a classic Southern dessert that is as delicious as it is beautiful. The cake itself is light and fluffy, perfectly complemented by the rich, sweet caramel icing. Feel free to adjust the thickness of the caramel to your preference, and remember to allow the cakes to cool completely before icing to prevent the layers from sliding. This cake is perfect for special occasions or as a weekend treat for the family. Enjoy the process of creating this indulgent dessert and the delightful reactions it will bring.

Share via
Copy link