Classic Southern Caramel Cake

A Classic Southern Caramel Cake is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the American South. This cake is a labor of love, with layers of moist and tender yellow cake sandwiched together with creamy caramel frosting. Every bite is a symphony of flavors and textures, with the sweet caramel frosting complementing the delicate cake perfectly. Whether it’s for a special occasion or a simple family gathering, this cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser that leaves everyone wanting more.

Origin and Cultural Significance:
The Southern Caramel Cake has deep roots in Southern cuisine and is a beloved dessert in many Southern households. It’s often associated with family gatherings, holidays, and special occasions, where it serves as a centerpiece dessert that brings people together. The art of making caramel frosting from scratch is a time-honored tradition passed down through generations, making each cake a labor of love and a cherished family recipe.

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Ingredients Quantity:
For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Caramel Frosting:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Additions:

  • Chopped nuts (such as pecans) for garnish
  • Sea salt flakes for a salted caramel twist
  • Caramel sauce drizzle for added decadence

Tips for Success:

  1. Ensure all cake ingredients are at room temperature for a smooth batter.
  2. Use quality ingredients for the best flavor and texture.
  3. Be patient when making the caramel frosting, as it requires constant stirring and attention to prevent burning.
  4. Allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting to prevent melting or sliding.
  5. For a more pronounced caramel flavor, you can add caramel extract to the frosting.

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two, starting and ending with flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Caramel Frosting:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, and butter.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Let the frosting cool for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a spreadable consistency.
  6. Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a layer of caramel frosting on top.
  7. Repeat with remaining cake layers, stacking them on top of each other.
  8. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining caramel frosting.
  9. Garnish with chopped nuts or a drizzle of caramel sauce, if desired.

The Classic Southern Caramel Cake is a true Southern gem, with its moist and fluffy cake layers and rich, creamy caramel frosting. Each layer of cake is tender and buttery, providing the perfect base for the decadent caramel frosting. The frosting itself is smooth, creamy, and bursting with sweet caramel flavor, creating a harmonious balance of flavors and textures that is simply irresistible. This cake is a celebration of Southern hospitality and culinary tradition, making it a beloved dessert that holds a special place in the hearts of many.

Nutritional Information:
Note: Nutritional values may vary depending on specific ingredients and portion sizes.

  • Calories: Approximately 400-450 per slice (1/12th of cake)
  • Total Fat: 18-20g
  • Cholesterol: 95-105mg
  • Sodium: 150-170mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 60-65g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.5-1g
  • Sugars: 45-50g
  • Protein: 4-5g

Conclusion and Recommendation:
In conclusion, the Classic Southern Caramel Cake is a timeless dessert that captures the essence of Southern comfort and hospitality. Its rich history and deep-rooted traditions make it a cherished dessert that has been passed down through generations. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply craving a slice of something sweet, this cake is sure to delight with its irresistible flavor and charm. Pair it with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk for a delightful dessert experience that is sure to please.

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