Southern Caramel Cake!

 
For those of you raised in the South, the caramel cake is more than likely something you are familiar with.  It's a wonderful butter cake that is frosted or "iced" as we tend to say in the South with a rich caramel icing.  This cake is usually reserved for holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter or for very special occasions like birthdays.  You might see one at a family reunion or church supper, but not usually.

 If you are not from the South, but saw the movie "The Help" the caramel cake was mentioned several times during that movie and there was even a brief glimpse of a  huge 7 or 8 layer caramel cake, which to most of us who have made one or eaten one, seemed really excessive, because eating that much caramel icing on anything would probably put even a non-diabetic into a sugar coma.  I might like to try ...lol.  It was very pretty though as caramel cakes go, because they are not always the prettiest of the southern cakes, but if you know what one tastes like, you don't care.

Here is what you will need for the butter cake and the caramel icing:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1 cup milk
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs

Caramel Icing
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cream ( I used half and half and it worked fine)
1/4/ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. of powdered sugar
 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare 2 round 9" cake pans by spraying them with nonstick spray that has flour in it or greasing and flouring the pans.  I like to cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to fit in the bottom of each pan and also spray it as well and the inside of the pans.  This really insures the cakes not sticking.

Beat all of the ingredients, adding in the order listed for about 30 seconds scraping down the sides of your bowl.  Do not over mix as it tends to make your cake dry.  After it is all well incorporated beat at high speed for about 2 minutes.   Pour evenly in the prepared pans.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Do not over bake or the cake will be dry.  Check them at 30 minutes.   Let them cool for about 5 minutes before turning them out, then allow to cool completely before icing. 

Once the cakes have cooled, prepare the caramel icing. 

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan on the stove and dissolve brown sugar in it.  Add the cream and salt.  Bring up to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and beat in the confectioner's sugar and the vanilla. You need to use an electric mixer for this.  If it seems too thick add 1 Tbs. cream at a time until it's where you want it.

Immediately stack and frost cake.  You have to move fast, because this icing will start to thicken.  It's best if you keep it on some low heat or over a pan of hot water as you work with it.  If it starts to get too thick to work with heat it,  add a dash of cream, just not too much.
 
 
You can sprinkle the top with chopped pecans or walnuts if you wish. We usually don't, but the nuts do make it pretty and can cover a multitude of  sins if you have trouble with getting the caramel icing smooth.

Southern Caramel Cake!


26 comments:

  1. When I first married and went to live with my new husband in Indiana,I met an older woman, Clara and she was from the South. This was her special cake that she made for everyones birthday. I always wanted her recipe and she didn't give it out. No one had it and this is the first time in 44 years I have gotten Clara's Cake. Thank You.

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  2. My Aunt always decorated her Caramel cakes with and all walnut halves (top and all around the sides) no chopped nuts sprinkled on her special cake.

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  3. My mother always made this cake, especially on my brother's birthday, it was his very favorite! His birthday is on the 28th of this month....think I'll surprise him ;)

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    1. that would really be nice especially if your mom is longer with you guys:)

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  4. I am going to make this for our Easter family dinner. I have not had caramel cake in a long time and I always loved it. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

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  5. Thank you SO much for this recipe! This is my oldest brother's absolute favorite cake - our Mother always made it for him on his birthday. She never went by or wrote down recipes, but this reads almost exactky like I remember her doing it. My "big brother" will celebrate another birthday April 8th - his third one since we lost our Mom. I think I just might surprise him!

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  6. Does anyone know if this recipe can be decorated with powdered sugar sprinkled through a doilie on top of the frosting? My mom's friend used to make the best caramel type cake, which was frosted, but then it was always sprinkled with powdered sugar on top of that in a lacy pattern. It has been soo many years, but I still remember that beautiful lucious cake she used to make. That's when our parents would visit over 'cake and coffee.':)

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  7. My mother used to make these all the time, I have seen one in years would but love to have one

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  8. caramel icing is also good on a jam cake

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  9. This recipe sounds delicious!! I can't wait to make this and see for myself. I agree with annjl128 that Caramel Icing is also great on Jam Cakes. I don't see why you couldn't use a doily to make a pretty design on top of the cake using powdered sugar.

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  10. Can't wait to make this cake! Have you ever tried cutting the layers in half and having six layers?

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  11. My mom use to make a blackberry cake with the carmel icing on it.She always made it for Christmas and it was wonderful.

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  12. My great grandma use to make this and the extra icing she would pour in a plate that was deep and let it set up and then cut into squares so we could walk by the table and grab one.

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  13. Never had or heard of. Can't wait to try.:)

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  14. My grandmother used to make this cake every Christmas...she called it a Canadian War Cake and decorated it with pecans and dried cherries. Even as a child this cake was too sweet for me to eat more than a bite of. Thanks for the memories.

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  15. My granny used to make this cake for Thanksgiving....she would beat the icing by hand in a big bowl. That cake was delicious and didn't last very long!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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  16. This is the cake to make. KEEP ONE IF U CAN UNDER A CAKE DOME.Guests will come in looking for it.

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  17. Try this for a moist gooey cake. Boil: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 stick margerine for 1 min., (thought I was gonna say 1/2 min.) ok for 1/2 min., cool and pour on top off cooled cake before icing.

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  18. This is my specialty! Not my exact recipe, but similar. My entire family requests it at all holidays & i even have orders around Christmas & Thanksgiving from friends...$25 four layers. The best cake ever!!! Mmmmm! Wish i had one NOW with a glass of ice cold milk.

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  19. My Aunt Dot made it with ALL 7+ layers... You hove no clue how goooood it was. Just make sure you slice it in very, very thin slices.

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  20. I haven't even thought about one of these in years. Thanks so much for reminding me and sharing the recipe. I can't wait to make it!!!

    Hugss...Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute

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  21. A friend always made this cake. It was so very delicious. Except she made 12 thin layers with the icing between each layer so there was a lot more of the caramel icing. Now I can make this myself.

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  22. THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE CAKES!!!!! I AM GOING TO TRY & MAKE IT I'LL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT TURN OUT!!!! AGAIN THANK YOU!!!!

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  23. We call this icing "Boiled Frosting" here in eastern Kentucky. I, myself, don't really like it, but my family really does. Thanks for posting.

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  24. One of my all time favorites that I have not had in a lon g time. with the holiday season approaching it will be a good time to make one.

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  25. My granny makes this cake but she is from vegas and i love it

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