The Classic Southern Caramel Cake stands as a beacon of Southern baking tradition, embodying warmth, richness, and generations of culinary heritage. This indulgent dessert holds a cherished place at the heart of Southern gatherings, bringing together layers of moist cake, sumptuous caramel icing, and a timeless taste that resonates with comfort and nostalgia.
In the Southern culinary repertoire, this cake represents more than just a dessert; it symbolizes tradition, community, and the art of homemade goodness. Every slice whispers tales of kitchens filled with laughter, generations passing down recipes, and the aroma of freshly baked treats wafting through homes on special occasions.
Preparing this cake is not merely a culinary endeavor; it’s a tribute to heritage and a testament to the time-honored art of Southern baking. It’s a journey through the rich tapestry of flavors and the heritage of Southern comfort that emerges in each slice.
Whether shared among family and friends or enjoyed in solitude, the Classic Southern Caramel Cake evokes feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and a sense of belonging. It transcends the boundaries of a mere dessert, becoming a cherished piece of Southern identity, a symbol of hospitality, and an embodiment of the rich culinary legacy that defines the South.
For the Cake Layers:
– 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 2 cups granulated sugar
– 4 large eggs, room temperature
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– 3 cups cake flour
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
For the Caramel Icing:
– 2 cups granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter
– 1 cup heavy cream
– Pinch of salt
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
2. For the Cake Layers:
– In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
– In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
– Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined after each addition.
– Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops and tap the pans gently on the counter to remove air bubbles.
– Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
– Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
3. For the Caramel Icing:
– In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the granulated sugar over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it melts and turns into a deep amber caramel color.
– Add the butter and stir until melted. Slowly pour in the heavy cream while stirring continuously. Be cautious as the mixture will bubble vigorously.
– Stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Remove from heat and let it cool for about 15-20 minutes until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
– Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a generous amount of the caramel icing over the top. Repeat with the remaining layers, stacking them and covering the top and sides of the cake with the caramel icing.
5. Serve and Enjoy:
– Allow the cake to set for a bit to let the caramel icing firm up. Slice and serve this decadent Classic Southern Caramel Cake, reveling in its delightful flavors!
This cake encapsulates the essence of Southern baking traditions—a perfect balance of moist cake layers adorned with luscious caramel icing. Enjoy!