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a slice of caramel cake with a fork on the side.
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5 from 2 votes

Classic Caramel Cake

This classic caramel cake features two layers of moist cake topped with a delicious caramel frosting. The perfect cake for a potluck, fancy party, or holiday gathering!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time28 mins
Total Time58 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Servings: 12
Calories: 714kcal



  • 2 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cup buttermilk room temperature

Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. Place parchment paper in the bottom of the pans. 
  • In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Using an electric mixer, mix the butter with the oil until combined. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat them together on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time until fully mixed in. Stir in the vanilla extract and add half of the dry ingredients and mix until combined but don't overmix. 
  • Next, add half of the buttermilk, and stir until combined. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Take a spatula and smooth out the top, this will ensure the cakes bake evenly.
  • Bake for 22-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Don't overbake the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  • While the cakes cool prepare the frosting. Place the light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, butter, and salt into a medium-sized saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until the butter and the sugars are melted. Pour in the evaporated milk then the heavy cream, and whisk to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer and simmer for 4 minutes, it will start to thicken. Immediately pour into a heatproof bowl.
  • Using an electric hand mixer, add the powdered sugar a little at a time until fully mixed in, and then mix in the vanilla. Mix on high speed for 3-4 minutes. The frosting will be runny but it will set nicely once you frost the cake.
  • When the frosting is done, we need to work fast to frost the cake while it is still spreadable.
  • Place one of the cakes top side up onto your serving platter. Add ¾ cup of the frosting and using an off-set spatula or something similar, spread it out over the top of the cake.
  • Place the other cake top side down on top. Frost the sides and top of the cake as fast as you can before the frosting hardens.
  • Allow the cake to sit until the frosting completely hardens, about 2 hours before slicing to serve.


  • Frost the cake as quickly as you can. The longer the caramel frosting sits, the harder it will be to spread onto the cake, so keep that in mind.
  • Don't overmix the cake batter otherwise, your cake will turn out dry.
  • Leftovers will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze for up to 3 months. Best eaten at room temperature, let the slices sit out before enjoying leftovers.
  • Don't overbake the cake, not even for 1 minute! Otherwise, it will become dry and crumbly.


Calories: 714kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 318mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 88g | Vitamin A: 955IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 2mg