The Best Southern Salted Butter Caramel Cake Recipe

In honor of my mother, we’re making this deliciously gooey Salted Butter Caramel Cake! The caramel icing is a labor of love but definitely worth it!

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You have to try this Salted Butter Caramel Cake. This Southern Salted Caramel Butter Cake is gooey and delicious

If you’re looking for a Southern Caramel Cake, this is it! The caramel is the main part and this recipe was passed down from my late grandmother and mother, to me. February 4th marked 10 years since my mom’s passing and my sister and I made her favorite recipe: caramel cake.

Since sharing a video of me making it, I figured I’ll share the complete salted butter caramel cake with you all as well. If you have a sweet tooth this will hit the spot. 

Before we learn how to make this salted butter caramel cake lets answer a few frequently asked questions.

Now, some people like to use brown sugar or heavy cream when making their homemade caramel sauce, but we’re not. It’s going to be a super easy recipe with ingredients you may already have. So even if this is your first time making a caramel cake, this will be a breeze. 

FAQs about Caramel and Cake

Allow cakes to cool for at least 30 minutes. Larger cakes may take up to an hour or two to cool completely.

Cakes can last up to four days unrefrigerated, stored at room temperature and covered. However, certain cakes need refrigeration, depending on filling and icing type. This caramel cake does not need refrigeration.

Yes, you can make caramel with evaporated milk. That is what this recipe calls for and is absolutely delicious.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need to make this southern caramel cake recipe. Remember you can always jump to the Salted Butter Caramel Cake to print out the full instructions or jump to the caramel cake recipe video.

Ingredients

FOR CARAMEL

  • Evaporated milk-a can of Carnation evaporated milk. Do NOT get condensed.
  • Sugar– regular granulated white sugar
  • Butter– salted, this is a “salted-butter” recipe
  • Vanilla Extract– just a little bit
  • Coarse Salt– sea salt, this is optional but recommended, to sprinkle on top of the cake

FOR CAKE

  • Box cake mix– yes, box cake. I have a scratch recipe as well, but this is what I grew up on. Preferred brand is Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Recipe for a buttery vanilla cake.
  • Butter– salted butter, since we’re already using salted for the caramel, however, feel free to use unsalted butter if you’re watching your sodium intake
  • Eggs– I use large eggs
  • Vanilla Extract– just a splash
  • Water– room temperature
You have to try this Salted Butter Caramel Cake. This Southern Salted Caramel Butter Cake is gooey and delicious

Instructions

cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F or 325F for nonstick pans. 
  • Grease cake pans using butter. (Only grease bottom for 13×9 pans, grease bottom and sides for all other pans)
  • Mix butter or golden cake mix, eggs, butter, water and extract for 2 minutes in a large mixing bowl with your hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer. (If your chosen box mix calls for vegetable oil, replace with melted butter).
  • Pour cake batter into pan(s), drop the pan on the counter a few times to force air bubbles in the mixture to come to the surface.
  • Bake according to package, typically 28 minutes for 13×9 and two eight inch rounds, or 42 minutes for Bundt pan.
  • Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely, and make a few fork marks throughout before adding caramel (an additional 20-30 minutes)

caramel

  • In a medium saucepan, pour can of milk in pot.
  • Pour sugar in milk can to the top (it’ll serve as your measuring cup, you want equal parts), pour sugar from can into pot and stir.
  • Heat on medium high for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add splash of vanilla extract and continue to stir.
  • For the remaining time, keep a close eye on it stirring frequently and scraping sides.
  • Have a clear glass of tap water close by.
  • After 15 minutes, it will begin to boil more vigorously, lower temp to medium heat if needed (hot caramel is really HOT, so be careful) . Keep stirring to keep from burning.
  • To check readiness, you can use a candy thermometer, but you can just drip a drop of caramel into your glass of water, if it immediately solidifies, turn off stovetop and immediately remove. Caramel will take 25-35 minutes
  • Allow caramel to cool 5 minutes. it will be on the thicker side, before adding a tablespoon of salted butter and stir.
  • Once cake has cooled, last thing to do is pour caramel over, sprinkle a pinch of salt, and enjoy!

Kitchen Gadgets to Try

in my Amazon Storefront

Bundt Pan

Stand mixer

Mixing Bowl

Hand Mixer

The end result is a perfect cake to satisfy any sweet tooth. This salted butter caramel cake is a great recipe when you want to impress friends and family.

Salted Butter Caramel Cake Video

@heygreedy.com

My famous caramel cake passed down from my mother and grandmother. That pot is MAGICAL and from my grandmother, so don’t say nothing about it. This caramel takes 30-35 minutes to make. I REFUSE to make it any other way. I’m from the South, so the amount of sugar should not be questioned. I only make it once or twice a year. Southern caramel cake. Hey Greedy, you hungry? #caramel #caramelcake #recipes #heygreedy

♬ Little Things – Adrian Berenguer

Quick Tips

  • Sprinkle coarse salt on top of caramel cake for sweet and salty deliciousness.
  • Instead of a 13×19 pan, opt for a Bundt pan. And enjoy the caramel that pools in the center.
  • Leftover cake can be left at room temperature in an airtight container
  • Enjoy your Salted Butter Caramel Cake with a scoop of ice cream

Salted Butter Caramel Cake

You have to try this Salted Butter Caramel Cake. This Southern Salted Caramel Butter Cake is gooey and delicious
A salted caramel butter cake that is gooey deliciousness for any sweet tooth.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling time 30 minutes
Serving Size 8

Ingredients

FOR CARAMEL

  • 1 can evaporated milk (12oz)
  • cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch Sea salt (coarse)

FOR CAKE

  • 1 box cake mix (recommended: Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Recipe)
  • cup butter (salted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350F or 325F for nonstick pans. 
  • Grease cake pans using butter. (Only grease bottom for 13×9 pans, grease bottom and sides for all other pans)
  • Mix butter or golden cake mix, eggs, butter, water and extract for 2 minutes in a large mixing bowl with your hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer. (If your chosen box mix calls for vegetable oil, replace with melted butter).
  • Pour cake batter into pan(s), drop the pan on the counter a few times to force air bubbles in the mixture to come to the surface.
  • Bake according to package, typically 28 minutes for 13×9 and two eight inch rounds, or 42 minutes for Bundt pan.
  • Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely, and make a few fork marks throughout before adding caramel (an additional 20-30 minutes)

CARAMEL

  • In a medium saucepan, pour can of milk in pot.
  • Pour sugar in milk can to the top (it'll serve as your measuring cup, you want equal parts) or just pour 1½ cups, pour sugar into pot and stir.
  • Heat on medium high for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add vanilla extract and continue to stir.
  • For the remaining time, keep a close eye on it stirring frequently and scraping sides. (Have a clear glass of tap water close by.)
  • After 15 minutes, it will begin to boil more vigorously, lower temp to medium heat if needed (hot caramel is really HOT, so be careful) 
  • To check readiness, drip a drop of caramel into your glass of water, if it immediately solidifies, turn off stovetop and immediately remove. Caramel will take 25-35 minutes
  • Allow caramel to cool 5 minutes. Add tablespoon of salted butter and stir until well incorporated
  • Once cake has cooled, pour caramel over cake, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt, and enjoy!

If you liked this recipe, be sure to try our Sausage and Shrimp Fajita Pasta Recipe for dinner or this mini cheesecake recipe.

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