Real Deal Caramel Cake

This Real Deal Caramel Cake is just that – the real deal! A delicious caramel cake recipe straight out of my friend Jocelyn’s cookbook, Grandbaby Cakes!

Caramel sauce being poured onto a cake on a stand

Jocelyn’s Old Fashioned Caramel Cake

I could not be more excited to share this cake and cookbook with you today. First of all, the author is one of my favorites. Jocelyn’s blog, Grandbaby Cakes, is wonderful and she is a gem. You won’t meet anyone else who can light up a room like she does and keep you laughing. Love her. Plus, she’s so real. I love that.

And her realness totally shows in her cookbook which is full of stories about her family and growing up baking. Every recipe is so personal to her and it makes it not only fun to bake from, but fun to read too. She’s largely influenced by her grandmother and the photos of her, her mom and her grandmother sprinkled throughout the book are absolutely beautiful.

A slice of homemade caramel cake on a blue plate

And then the cakes! My goodness the cakes! I want them all. There’s pound cakes, layer cakes, sheet cakes, cupcakes and so much more. And you guys know how I feel about cake.

You’ll also find this amazing cake in her cookbook. I have been eyeing this cake ever since I first saw it. I couldn’t wait to make it.

Moist cake drenched in caramel sauce on a cake stand
The book "Grandbaby Cakes" next to a cake on a stand.

As you may know caramel is one of my favorite things ever. I even have two recipes for homemade caramel sauce: There’s this easy caramel sauce, then this recipe for salted caramel sauce! Douse a cake in it and you have my full attention. My only regret when I made this cake was that my dad wasn’t visiting so that he could have some too. I dare say we are caramel lovers to core.

And while this cake takes a little time to make because of the caramel, it’s definitely worth it.

The cake is pretty straightforward to make and makes the most silky and beautiful batter. Is that weird to say about batter? It really is pretty. 🙂 And it bakes into a wonderfully moist, light cake.

Fluffy slice of caramel cake on a blue plate.

Making this Caramel Cake

The caramel is where it’s at though. I actually started making the caramel first and while it cooked I made the cake. The caramel takes just shy of 2 hours to make, so there’s plenty of time for making the cake.

However don’t be deterred by the time! You aren’t nursing the caramel that whole time. In fact, you hardly nurse it at all. Despite taking some time, it’s the easiest caramel to make. The base of it is evaporated milk, which I’d never used for caramel before. The flavor is different than the traditional caramel that I’m used to, but it is delicious! And really, once you mix the ingredients together, it pretty much cooks on it’s own with only an occasional stir. Like I said, I baked the cake while it cooked – and even did some laundry. 🙂

Homemade cake drenched in caramel on a cake stand

Then once the caramel was done, the cake was all ready to go. The timing actually works out quite nicely to make everything at once, then layer it and serve. And OMG! It’s delicious – especially with the caramel still being a little warm. Yum, yum, yum! The caramel definitely pools a little around the bottom, so make sure the stand or plate you use has an edge that will catch it. It’s perfect for dipping fingers in. 🙂

And to sweeten this deal even more, there’s a great giveaway below for a brand new KitchenAid Mixer. Score! Be sure to enter below!

A page from the inside of the Grandbaby Cakes cookbook.
A slice of cake on its side with a forkful taken out.

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Real Deal Caramel Cake on green stand

Real Deal Caramel Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 18-22 Slices
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Real Deal Caramel Cake is just that – the real deal! A delicious caramel cake recipe straight out of my friend Jocelyn’s cookbook, Grandbaby Cakes!



  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare three 9 inch cake pans with parchment rounds in the bottom of the pans and grease the sides.
2. With the whisk attachment of your mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes on high speed.
3. Add the sugar then beat for another 5 minutes with the beater attachment until pale yellow and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5. With your mixer on low speed, add the flour in two batched.
6. Add the salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix until well combined, careful not to overbeat.
7. Add the sour cream, oil and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until just combined. The batter should be nice and silky.
8. Divide the batter between the three pans and bake for 27-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs.
9. Let the layers cool for about 10 minutes, then finish cooling on wire racks.
Phase 1, takes about 20-30 minutes
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the evaporated milk, sugar, butter and salt. Continue cooking. The butter will begin to separate and create and yellow, oily film.
Phase 2, takes about 60 minutes
The bulk of the process is this phase. The ingredients will come to a slow boil and form bubbles on the surface. As you continue cooking, the bubbles will get bigger and become more numerous. Stir occasionally as it all comes together.
Phase 3, takes about 15 minutes
Some white clumps will develop on the surface. This is normal. Just continue to cook and stir occasionally to blend everything back together. You should start to see the mixture turn a light golden caramel color. The color will slowly deepen and the car male will bubble higher.
Phase 4, takes about 10-15 minutes
Reduce the heat to low to ensure you don’t burn the caramel. The bubbling will subside into a simmer as everything thickens. The caramel should be an amber brown when done and coat the back of a spoon. Once that happens, remove from heat and add in vanilla extract. Allow the caramel to cool for about 30 minutes and thicken before layering the cake.
1. Place first layer on serving plate. Spread about 1/3 of the caramel on top of the cake. The icing may drip down the sides a bit, but that’s ok.
2. Add the second layer of cake and another 1/3 of the icing.
3. Add the final layer, bottom up, and ice the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of caramel.
4. Pour remaining caramel over the cake and allow to drizzle down the sides.
5. Serve at room temperature.


I started the caramel first, allowing it to cook for about 20-30 minutes. Then I baked the cake. The timing worked out well – by the time the caramel was done, the cake was baked and cooled and ready for layering.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 474
  • Sugar: 43.4 g
  • Sodium: 306.5 mg
  • Fat: 23.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60.3 g
  • Protein: 6.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 101.7 mg

Keywords: caramel desserts, caramel cake, caramel recipe, grandbaby cakes recipe, southern caramel cake

Filed Under:

Recipe shared from Grandbaby Cakes with permission.


Real Deal Caramel Cake - super moist cake covered in caramel sauce! A classic recipe from the Grandbaby Cakes cookbook!

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  1. Simrah

    Hey lindsay! For making salted caramel buttercteam which caramel would be better? This one or the traditional one with water as the base? Which one would give a richer yummier taste?

    1. Lindsay

      Hmmm, they are different. I would say the more traditional one is probably my favorite and might give a stronger flavor when added to buttercream. I often use this one.

  2. Darlene

    In the picture, it looks like you may have punched holes in the cake with a wooden spoon handle. Do you think I could do this so the caramel goes all through the cake? It looks delicious. I love caramel.

    1. Lindsay

      I did not poke holes in the cake, the caramel just naturally dripped down onto the cake. If you wanted to poke some small holes in the cake, you could. But, be careful not to damage the structure of the cake, or it may fall apart when stacked.

  3. Nolwazi Mhlongo

    Hi Lindsay,

    I would really like to make this cake for my mother on her birthday, considering how much she loves caramel. I was just wondering if I can use condensed milk instead of evaporated milk?

    Thank you in advance.

    Enjoy your day!

  4. kelly

    The cream is not always the main factor for yummy cake. This cake is really amazing and ill try this for my children.

    1. Lindsay

      I have seen caramel sauces made with SCM, but I haven’t made it myself. You could probably swap out a recipe for that caramel sauce with this cake though.

      1. Dee

        I am making this for my husbands Thanksgiving Day Birthday. Is this best made the day of and served right away or can I make the day before? Thanks so much for the recipe.

  5. Natasha

    Hi, thank you for that recipe, it looks delicious. Sorry for a dumb question but do you mean 3 cups of flour that has already been sifted? ie. sift a bunch of flour and then measure out 3 cups of that already sifted flour?

  6. barb popescu

    my fave is an intricate nut kifle that my grandmother used to make. but she did not let us have the recipe. she refused to admit that her son had any children

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29