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Salted Caramel Cake

Salted Caramel Cake

If you are looking for the best Salted Caramel Cake Recipe then continue reading, this brown sugar layer cake is filled and topped with caramel frosting and a drizzle of fresh caramel and fleur de sel.

This cake is an absolute show stopper and would make an ideal centerpiece for birthday parties or any other events, it’s a decadent, delicious, and almost sinful dessert – but don’t worry, you don’t need to be a pastry chef to bake this gorgeous Salted Caramel Cake, the steps are precise and simple to follow, easy techniques means that assembly is straightforward with a stunning outcome!

Love caramel? You’re going to ADORE this recipe!

The best Salted Caramel Layer Cake with caramel dripping down the sides, sits on a white cake plate. 
A slice has been cut out and placed on it's own mini cake stand, you can clearly see the 3 neat layers of sponge cake, caramel and buttercream. A glass of milk in a jar, with 2 striped straws accompanies it.

Cake brings people together.

And today…I have baked a wonderfully moist Salted Caramel Layer Cake to enjoy with, and say goodbye to, my best friend. Layers of brown sugar sponge cake soaked with salted caramel sauce…filled with caramel frosting and topped with more salted caramel.

Oh my.

A slice of layer cake made from a caramel cake recipe is cut out of the rest of the cake. The slice lies side on a wooden plate with a fork. You can see the caramel drip down the side, and the 3 distinct layers of the cake. The rest of the cake is veiwed from above and you can see the salted caramel topping on the rest of the cake.

I spent the afternoon relaxing with Chrissy and her family at my house – really, it couldn’t have been better. We ordered pizza, drank wine, chatted, relaxed in the sunshine of my backyard.

The men smoked Cuban cigars. The kids played with friends down the street. Bitter-sweet. But a perfect ending to a wonderful chapter in our lives together.

I know today won’t be the last time I see Chrissy. Someday, we’ll be together again.

So…until then, I’ll keep baking…keep sharing what I bake with new friends…and always hold on to the love and joy I shared with Chrissy here in Germany.

Hopefully, that same love and joy will inspire you when you make (and devour) this Salted Caramel Cake.

Some of the ingredients you need to make a Salted Caramel Cake. Caramel sponge cakes are stacked on top of eash other on a decorative glass cake stand. There is a small bowl of caramel  sauce with a teaspoon placed inside, next to that sits a large white bowl of caramel frosting.

Substitutions

While this Salted Caramel Cake Recipe is pretty easy and straightforward, and most of the ingredients I use are readily available in any baking store or grocery store, I have also been in the position before where I open the cupboard to pick out an ingredient and I forgot I’ve used it all up!! Here is a small list of substitutions you can use. if, like myself, you forgot to put something in your cart!

  • Buttermilk – Milk and Lemon Juice OR Vinegar
    • For each cup of buttermilk needed, use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice OR distilled white vinegar plus enough milk to fill up to 1 cup. Stir, then let the mixture rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • Heavy Cream – Milk and Butter
    • For 1 cup of heavy cream, mix together 1/4 cup melted butter and 3/4 cup of milk. If you want to make the mixture a bit thicker, you can add a tablespoon of flour.
  • Fleur de sel – I also didn’t have any of this but I used sea salt and crushed it down into smaller flakes! Kosher salt also works great in this way.
Caramel Icing spread on top of a Salted Caramel Layer Cake, viewed from above, the cake is whole and sits atop a marble countertop.

Recipe Tips

A lot of you have made this salted caramel cake recipe and I wanted to share a few points of feedback that may help future bakers make it successfully!

  1. For more detailed instructions on how to make the caramel sauce, visit Brown Eyed Baker. She’s got a great step-by-step tutorial with lots of pictures!
  2. Also, the cake and frosting recipes are originally from Laura’s Sweet Spot.
  3. The sauce recipe makes more than you actually need for this cake, probably by half. But the reason why I left this amount in the recipe was because that’s how I made it the first time I baked this cake! If you don’t want leftover caramel sauce (but let’s be real here, who doesn’t want leftover caramel sauce) you could halve the recipe and still have enough.
  4. Because the caramel frosting is made with cream cheese, it is VERY SOFT. If you live in a hot place, consider keeping this cake cool until serving.
  5. Also, the softness of the frosting could make it difficult to apply to the cake layers. To ensure it’s creamy, but not runny start by adding less a tablespoon at a time until you get a smooth consistency that’s not too soft.
  6. Finally – this cake is SO GOOD you may be known as the BEST BAKER EVER after you make it. So many of you have commented that your friends and family were incredibly impressed after you baked this cake. That makes me so proud!
Finishing the Salted Caramel Layer Cake. The caramel is sitting on top of the sponge cake. The caramel buttercream frosting is being spread over the caramel and sponge, about 3/4 of the sponge is covered in the buttercream.'

FAQS

I’ve been asked a few questions about this recipe so I would like to clarify:

How long will this cake stay fresh for?

Caramel cake will often only remain fresh for three to four days before losing moisture and becoming dry in texture. However, this cake has frosting on it which helps to preserve the moisture in the sponge, so the cake will keep a little while longer in the fridge.

Can salted caramel cake be frozen?

YES – but wait until it is COMPLETELY cool before freezing!

How will you avoid spilling the filling over the edge of the layer cake?

Around the cake layer’s edge, pipe a barrier. This step makes sure that your filling doesn’t flow over the cake’s edges.

Why are my cake layers bulging?

Cake bulges are typically caused by pressure that builds up inside the cake from the time it is baked until it is decorated. Let your cake sit for a while to allow the pressure to subside. Let it cool completely before you even begin to decorate.

A serving of Salted Caramel Layer Cake on a wooden plate with a fork,, sits next to the rest of the cake. 
Both pieces of cake are viewed from above and can clearly see the caramel edge and drip around the cake.

Other Amazing Ideas

Looking for more show stopper cake recipes?  Check out my Blue Ombre Cake Tutorial!

Got a kids party to coming up and you need a cool cake to impress? Have a look at my pretty spectacular checkerboard Toy Story Cake.

Love this drip effect layer cake as much as I do?? Have a peek at one of my other drip designs made with coffee cake!!

Happy baking, my sweet friends! Leave a comment below with your results or your questions. I’d be happy to help you…or just to hear your stories with this recipe!

Salted Caramel Layer Cake
Yield: 1 3 layer 8-inch cake

Salted Caramel Layer Cake

Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Layers of brown sugar cake filled and topped with caramel frosting and a drizzle of fresh caramel & fleur de sel make this Salted Caramel Layer Cake a decadent, delicious and almost sinful dessert!

Ingredients

Caramel Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 Tbsp (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed & room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp fleur de sel (I used sea salt and crushed it down into smaller flakes)

Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5oz (approx 10 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

Caramel Cake

  1. Prepare 3 8in cake pans by buttering, lining with parchment paper and flouring.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl often.
  5. Mix in the vanilla.
  6. Add the flour and buttermilk alternating until just combined.
  7. In a measuring glass, mix together the baking soda and vinegar then add to the batter. Mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
  8. Separate batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans.
  9. Bake about 20 minutes or until the top and edges are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. In a very large, heavy saucepan or pot over medium-high heat, pour the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Whisk until melted. The sugar will clump up but will eventually completely melt. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Once the sugar has melted, stop whisking and cook until the sugar has turned into an amber color and has a nutty aroma. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add all the butter and whisk until combined. This mixture will bubble up, but keep whisking until all the butter has melted.
  4. Slowly pour the heavy cream into the mixture and whisk until incorporated.
  5. Stir in the fleur de sel.
  6. Cool for about 10-15 minutes before using.
  7. Store leftovers in a jar with a lid and reheat before using again. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Caramel Frosting

  1. In a medium, heavy pot, whisk together the brown sugar and 2oz of butter over medium heat until melted. Bring to a boil for no more than 10 seconds. Remove from heat immediately and pour in the heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature. NOTE: You can use an ice bath and whisk to cool quickly if you don't have time to wait.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the remaining 3oz of butter and cream cheese until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl several times during this process.
  3. Mix in the salt.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and pour in a slow, steady stream the brown sugar mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed until completely smooth and incorporated.
  5. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until smooth.
  6. The frosting will feel very soft - so refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes before frosting the cake.

Assembly

  1. Once the cakes cooled, use a large skewer to poke holes across the top of the cake. Spoon a layer of caramel sauce over the top of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.
  2. Allow the caramel sauce to soak into the cake.
  3. Repeat this process with a second layer of sauce.
  4. Once all the caramel has soaked into the cake, place one layer of the cake onto your serving platter.
  5. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the layer - no more than 1/2 a cup of frosting.
  6. Place the second layer on top and spread another thin layer of frosting.
  7. Place the final layer of cake on top and frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  8. Drizzle the top of the cake with caramel sauce. Using a spatula, in a back and forth pattern, spread the frosting and sauce together until just incorporated and it looks like the caramel is oozing thru the top of the cake.
  9. Using a disposable piping bag and a very small tip, fill the bag with caramel sauce. Pipe a layer of sauce around the top edge of the cake, stopping every inch or so to squeeze a little more so it drizzles down the side. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  10. Refrigerate until ready to eat - but remove 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

For more detailed instructions on how to make the caramel sauce, visit Brown Eyed Baker . She's got a great step-by-step tutorial with lots of pictures!

Cake and Frosting recipe originally from: Laura's Sweet Spot

Nutrition Information

Yield

20

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 464Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 90mgSodium 230mgCarbohydrates 63gFiber 0gSugar 53gProtein 4g

Andreea

Sunday 19th of December 2021

I have made this cake 3-4 times now , first time in 2013 but the cake sponge has always turned out very firm. I’m not sure if that’s how it’s meant to be to hold up to the caramel and frosting. Thanks! Love the cake.

Julie Arnaoutis

Thursday 29th of April 2021

Hi. I came across this cake and would love to make it for my son birthday but I am not very good with “cup’ sizes. Do you have the gram or oz equivalent please.

Betsy Eves

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Hi Julie - Check out my baking conversion charts. They're printable! https://javacupcake.com/2014/11/baking-conversion-charts/

Elease Hamburg

Tuesday 21st of January 2020

This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am actually pleassant to read all at single place.|

Mandy Smith

Friday 22nd of November 2019

I want to make this cake for Thanksgiving, but the problem is we do Thanksgiving in a mountain cabin with no real cooking tools. We get there on Monday, so I'm worried about it being fresh and transporting, so I was planning to make the layers and freeze them ahead of time. Do I go ahead and add caramel before I freeze, do you think? Or should I wait until I thaw? I know the caramel can be made ahead. What about the frosting? Do you think I can make it ahead and store it in frig in Tupperware?

Thanks for any advice!

Ali

Thursday 21st of November 2019

Is there any reason why you couldn’t just use some of the left over caramel sauce in the icing, instead of making a new batch of caramel?

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