Southern caramel cake recipes have always been a classic that I could have any day of the week. My family has made it for decades, and it is definitely an old time Southern favorite. The funny thing about this cake is a lot of people did not become familiar with it until the movie “The Help” mentioned it. After the movie was released in theaters, I saw tons of replicas of this classic cake online (definitely real deal caramel cake imitators). These recipes weren’t as authentic as I thought they should be.
They all seemed ok but nothing like the one I am used to eating. The classic caramel cake recipe has a moist yet slightly dense (but still light) yellow butter cake that isn’t too sweet because the caramel icing is the trust star of the party. The classic southern caramel cake doesn’t shortcut the caramel icing recipe with a quick brown sugar butterscotch method/caramel frosting substitution (this real deal doesn’t shortcut anything). This caramel uses granulated sugar and evaporated milk to create the luscious flavor.
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour, self-rising
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by greasing them and adding optional parchment paper. 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.