Caramel Cake – caramel cake layers with caramel buttercream and caramel drizzle.
The Most Delicious Caramel Cake
A classic Caramel Cake is LONG overdue on CakebyCourtney.com, so I am beyond thrilled to share this recipe with you today. I have a caramel cake recipe I’ve used in other cakes before, but I’ve always felt like I could do better. I also saw that some of you struggled with that recipe and there was no way I was going to stand for that!
Instead, I decided to come up with an entirely new recipe and create a classic Caramel Cake, as well as update ALL my other recipes that have caramel cake layers. Now that this recipe and post are complete, I’ll be moving on to make those updates.
And to show you just how excited I am about this cake, I had to post this picture!
This is that look after the first bite when I’m just thinking, “yeah, this is it! I did it!” and there’s a little happy dance going on in my head!
Make sure you have the following ingredients on hand. These are ingredients I’m assuming just aren’t in your pantry normally. For the full list of ingredients, be sure to read the recipe below.
- Dulce de Leche – I use THIS brand
- Whole milk
- Granulated sugar
- Powdered sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Unsalted butter
- Light corn syrup
- Vanilla extract
For the Cake
In order to create a strong caramel flavor in the cake layers, I actually use dulce de leche. Not only is the flavor and texture of this cake amazing, but the color of the cake we get from the dulce de leche is gorgeous! You’ll also be using whole milk in this cake to create a ton of moisture.
For the Buttercream
For the buttercream, you can make your own caramel, as seen in the recipe below, or you can sub the homemade caramel and use 1/2 cup dulce de leche. The caramel gives the buttercream a little more salty/sweet flavor than the dulce de leche, but the dulce de leche provides a beautiful, smooth buttery flavor.
How to Stack and Crumb Coat
I love how simple this cake is to stack and decorate. Be sure to always start with a crumb coat, as seen below, to lock in the crumbs from the cake. This ensures you don’t have any crumbs getting into your final coat of frosting.
How to Decorate Your Cake
To create these indented stripes, simply flip your offset icing spatulas horizontally against the cake, and then while holding the spatula in place, spin the turn table.
Use your leftover caramel to decorate the top of the cake.
Transferring Your Cake
To transfer my cakes, I use a cake lifter from Shop.CakebyCourtney.com to help support the cake.
TIP: freeze your finished cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the buttercream and then run a knife around the bottom of the cake to release it from the cake board. This technique will help ensure you don’t ruin the bottom edges of your cake.
I know you’re going to love all the caramel in this cake and these layers will be a new favorite!
Make Ahead Tips
- Cake layers – The cake layers are a great element to make ahead of time. I like to let me layers cool to room temperature and then wrap them well with plastic wrap. Let the layers thaw for about an hour before you decorate the cake.
- Buttercream – the buttercream recipe can be made a week ahead of time and stored in airtight containers in the fridge. Make sure to let the buttercream gets back to room temperature and beat it again for a few minutes to restore the fluffy texture.
- Caramel – the salted caramel can also be made ahead of time. I store mine in a mason jar in the fridge. You’ll need to reheat slightly before using to soften the caramel.
I can’t wait to see your finished product! Make sure to tag me on IG so I can see them: #cakebycourtney @cakebycourtney.