Classic Southern Caramel Cake


Indulge your senses in the divine experience of baking and savoring a Classic Southern Caramel Cake. This timeless dessert is a staple in Southern kitchens, renowned for its rich, buttery layers and luscious caramel frosting. If you’re a baking enthusiast or someone looking to add a touch of Southern charm to your dessert repertoire, this recipe is a must-try.

Ingredients and Equipment


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Southern Caramel Frosting

Southern Caramel Frosting:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup Crisco
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Two 9-inch round cake pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Cake leveler (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare and Preheat

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.

Step 2: Cream and Combine

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 3: Sift and Mix

Sift the self-rising flour and add it to the batter alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Step 4: Bake to Perfection

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 5: Craft the Southern Caramel Frosting

While the cakes cool, prepare the Southern Caramel Frosting. In a saucepan, combine sugar, buttermilk, Crisco, butter, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and let it boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Step 6: Frost and Enjoy

Once the cakes are completely cooled, level the tops if necessary. Spread a generous layer of Southern Caramel Frosting on top of one cake layer, then place the second layer on top. Frost the entire cake with the remaining caramel frosting.

Tips for Perfect Southern Caramel Cake

Ensuring your Southern Caramel Cake is a masterpiece requires attention to detail. Follow these tips for an exquisite result:

1. Room Temperature Ingredients

Allow butter, eggs, and buttermilk to come to room temperature for a smoother batter.

2. Precision in Sifting

Sift the self-rising flour to ensure a light and airy texture in the cake layers.

3. Even Layering

Use a cake leveler to ensure even layers for a polished presentation.

4. Perfectly Cooled Cakes

Wait until the cakes are completely cool before applying the caramel frosting to avoid melting.

Variations and Recipe Swaps

Give your Southern Caramel Cake a personal touch with these variations and swaps:

1. Pecan Delight

Add chopped pecans between the cake layers for a delightful crunch.

2. Chocolate Infusion

Introduce a hint of chocolate by incorporating cocoa powder into the frosting.

3. Whipped Cream Topping

Top the cake with a dollop of freshly whipped cream for a lighter finish.

Pairing Suggestions

Complete your Southern dessert experience by pairing your Caramel Cake with:

  • Southern Sweet Tea: A classic Southern beverage to complement the sweetness of the cake.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: Serve a slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgence.

How to Store Leftovers

If you somehow have leftovers, store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The flavors intensify with time, making it even more delightful the next day.


Congratulations on creating a Classic Southern Caramel Cake that’s sure to become a cherished favorite. Share the joy by serving this slice of Southern tradition with friends and family. For more delectable recipes, subscribe to our blog and keep the Southern culinary tradition alive!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use regular flour instead of self-rising flour?
    • Yes, you can. If using regular flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for each cup of flour.
  2. Is it essential to use buttermilk in the frosting?
    • Buttermilk contributes to the distinct flavor of the frosting, but you can substitute regular milk if needed.
  3. Can I make the cake layers in advance and freeze them?
    • Absolutely! Wrap the cooled cake layers tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw before frosting.
  4. How do I prevent the frosting from becoming too runny?
    • Ensure the frosting cools to room temperature before applying to the cake. If it’s still too runny, refrigerate briefly.
  5. Can I reduce the sugar in the cake for a less sweet version?
    • You can slightly reduce the sugar, but keep in mind it may affect the texture and moisture of the cake.

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