Caramel Cake

Yes, I’m posting a 3 Layer Caramel Cake just when you’re starting your New Year’s resolutions. I apologize. Just pin this to bring to your next family gathering where you can sample just a sliver and sabotage everyone else’s diet. I’m sure there’s a kale salad on my blog somewhere if you want to move on!

Caramel Cake | A 3 layer vanilla buttermilk cake with a light caramel buttercream

I Longed for a Caramel Cake

I was watching The Chew about a month ago and Carla Hall baked up a caramel cake with a deep caramel colored icing poured over the top. The cohosts were moaning with pleasure with every bite. I wanted to tackle this recipe even though the hubby snubs any caramel treat I make. Silly man. But when I went to their website, those who had attempted this cake had major problems with the icing. Apparently, they found that briefly heating up large quantities of brown sugar and cream doesn’t necessarily make caramel. Duh. Lots of grainy disasters. I’ve had enough of those on my own. I had to find an alternative.

Caramel Cake | A 3 layer vanilla buttermilk cake with a light caramel buttercream

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

So, I made do. I took a regular buttercream frosting and added some caramel sauce. What do you know? Bill loved it. It wasn’t as caramelly as I would have liked, but it was a success as far as my family was concerned. If The Chew ever amends their recipe, I’ll give it a shot. Bill probably won’t be thrilled, but I still want to pour a non-grainy, caramel icing over my cake so I can swoon, too!Caramel Cake | A 3 layer vanilla buttermilk cake with a light caramel buttercream


Caramel Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert, Cake
Serves: 8-12 servings
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup caramel sauce, homemade or good quality store-bought
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (adjust to reach desired consistency)
  • Heath bars, chopped, to garnish, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment and grease parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, add the eggs, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk, whisk to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the butter, canola oil, and remaining buttermilk and mix to combine. Add the egg mixture in three parts, stirring to combine. Do not over mix.
  4. In another bowl, whip the cream till it forms soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the batter.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pans. Tap cake pans on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top springs back when touched with your finger and cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from pans to cooling racks.
  7. To make the frosting, put butter and caramel sauce in a stand mixer and beat with paddle attachment for a few minutes until lightened
  8. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix in on low speed.
  9. Add the vanilla and most of the cream. Beat for a few minutes, adding more of the cream if needed to thin frosting.
  10. Frost cooled cake. Garnish with Heath bar bits if desired.
This frosting recipe makes enough to frost the cake with a thin coating as seen in my photos. If you desire a thicker frosting, make a batch and a half of the recipe.
As always, total time does not reflect cooling times.



  1. This is one gorgeous looking cake. Although I’m not the worlds biggest caramel fan, since making my own a few weeks back I’ve been a convert! Plus our eldest daughter goes bonkers for anything caramel. A perfect cake for baking and sharing. Thank you for being brave and posting this beauty when bone broth and Kale are pushed as the main staple of January!! Sammie.

  2. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    Another beauty! For the record, you are a bad influence… I just pulled the last (thankfully) piece of cake out of the freezer to munch on! Have a great week:@)

  3. Dear Lizzy, what a beautiful cake to celebrate the New Year with. There are plenty of birthdays coming up to enjoy a slice of this delightful dessert! Wishing you and yours a beautiful and blessed New Year. xoxo, Catherine

  4. That beautiful satin caramel can be a pain in the you-know-what to achieve and multiple attempts can be frustrating. Thank you for this tasty alternative and I’ll pass on the Kale Salad!

  5. I think I can skip my green juice or salad and go straight to this caramel cake. I mean who can say no to this delicious cake?

  6. The layered cake looks so soft and beautiful!

  7. This cake looks absolutely perfect!!
    Seriously – my mouth is watering now 🙂

  8. Oh, what a great pretty cake, Liz! I love caramel cake and had forgotten about it, so thanks for posting this! I can hear them all moaning on The Chew now! That frosting and the Heath candy on it is a perfect start to the New Year!

  9. Wow, the cake looks amazing. I love that the icing is not overly thick, some icings take over the cake. I just love the sliver of the caramel between the icing, it must add a sophisticated flavour to the overall cake.

  10. Lucky thing, I have all the ingredients at home now. So much for New Year resolutions – this is definitely worth it! 😉

  11. No apology necessary! 😉 This cake looks blissful!

  12. Thankfully I never choose watching my diet as a new year resolution so I will gladly have a go at this amazing cake. Great idea doing your own thing to make it successful!

  13. Yum, that looks amazing. Any level of caramel is good for me, and with the Bill stamp of approval, I know it must be good.

  14. It looks worth being sabotaged for!!! Eek – looks SO yummy!

  15. I’m so glad Bill liked the cake! Your cake layers are perfect! I do love a triple layer cake and in fact, I made one for a friend’s daughter when we were away on holidays – only it was chocolate! I like the sound of adding caramel sauce to the frosting xx

  16. That cake looks fantastic Liz and kale salad may as well wait for another day haha!

  17. Love your sense of humour Liz. We’re not ready for the kale salads just yet at New Year and this caramel cake looks just perfect – no wonder Bill loved it, frosting and all. Happy Delicious New Year to you!

  18. That caramel frosting looks just perfect! The whole cake looks divine, actually. As a huge caramel fan, I’d be all over this 🙂

  19. Love it, your cake came out really nice. I wish mine were as nice.

  20. I glanced quickly at your cake and then had to avert my eyes…it is too delicious to even think about right now. I just started my walking routine to loose a few pounds. Perhaps just a tiny sliver would be OK. 🙂

  21. What’s wring with men these days!!!?? yours does not like Caramel and mine does not like chocolate!!! can you believe the tortured life I’m having with this man.. If I just knew before marrying him hahahaha. Do not worry, new year resolution or not, there is always room for caramel LOL. Loved the idea of sabotaging others’ diet , my problem is, most probably I will be too greedy to share this beautiful cake …. PINNED FOR FUTURE TORTURE 🙂

  22. The cake looks beautiful. How can you not like caramel? I guess my hubby is not a big fan of chocolate, go figure. I love the 3 layers for this cake, it makes it look fancy.

  23. For some reason I’ve been meaning to make caramel cake for some weeks now. This recipe looks amazing Liz, which, of course, comes as no surprise at all! Have a great 2016!

  24. I’ve to admit I’m not a fan of caramel, but I love the salted version. Maybe I can replace with salted caramel instead. xoxo

  25. I am always leery when a recipe has major issues in reviews. I’m glad you adapted it to make it work because this looks glorious!

  26. Start the year with a double caramel year is just….amazing and good!! It is not because we eat for all the Christmas time that we are stopped now ! so decadent!

  27. What a gorgeous cake! & the perfect flavor! I know I’ll have to try soon!

  28. First of all, this looks amazing. Stunning cake Liz, congrats!
    As for the ingredients, Panos adores anything with chocolate, but I prefer caramel. And since we had enough chocolate desserts in the Holidays, it’s time we try something we caramel again (even though last week we sweat to lay off the sweets for a while!) :):)
    Thank you for the yummy recipe dear Liz! Pinned!
    Have a great week ahead!
    Lots of hugs!

  29. Love the Chew and am so grateful for your more kitchen-friendly frosting. Now, I can add Caramel Cake to my to-do list =)

  30. Lizzy,
    My hubby isn’t a fan of caramel either but he ate the homemade caramel I made a while ago. I love caramel and would love this cake too,.


    until then…this cake is pretty darned epic too. luuurve


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