Inspired by an old favorite, this Southern Caramel Cake features a rich, caramel frosting over layers of white cake…and it’s delicious!
I love to bake. That’s pretty evident from the fact that I have a long list of cakes, breads, etc. here on the blog. In truth, breads are still my favorite thing to make/bake in the kitchen. I find playing with dough to be therapeutic. That, and I love eating fresh bread. But as much as I love to bake, I actually don’t like baking my own birthday cake. Call me strange. Call me weird. But I’d rather get my birthday cake from a bakery.
Back when we lived in Atlanta, I commuted over to Athens for grad school. (That’s roughly a 1 1/2 hour commute each way…if I timed to right to avoid Atlanta traffic.) As I didn’t know much about Athens, my colleagues who lived there were more than willing to offer up advice on the best restaurants in the area. And I couldn’t help but notice that the name of one bakery just kept coming up again and again. Cecilia’s. “If you ever need a cake, go to Cecilia’s.”
So I took that advice to heart, and picked up a birthday cake one year from Cecilia’s. And holy cow…it was amazing! Cecilia’s quickly became our go-to spot for birthday cakes. I’d call the order in ahead of time, and then I’d run over there in between classes to pick up the cake. In fact, one time I remember carrying the darn cake into class with me as I was afraid it was too hot to leave it in the car for 4 hours. I think I left my textbook in the car so I could carry the cake. Priorities, people, priorities!
My sister-in-law was also living in Atlanta at the time, and we ordered her a Southern Caramel Cake for her birthday one year. It was quite possibly the best cake I’d ever eaten. And I like to eat cake. (Technically, it was just called a Caramel Cake, but I added the Southern Caramel Cake because, well, Cecilia’s is in the south…so therefore it’s a Southern Caramel Cake.)
It’s been a number of years since I’ve had a slice of Cecilia’s Southern Caramel Cake…but I still remember it like it was yesterday. So the other day, I decided to recreate my own version of this cake. I don’t have Cecilia’s recipe, nor do I pretend that this version is copycat of their recipe. But I can tell you that this Southern Caramel Cake is delicious! I used my go-to white cake recipe for this one. It’s a bit of a denser white cake, but I actually love the texture. Whenever I make that cake, I always get questions about the cake itself. One of my curling teammates actually called this “a cake for people who don’t like cake.” Wait. There are people who don’t like cake?
But the shining star of this cake is the caramel frosting. This frosting is a bit different than most as it involves actually melting the butter with the brown sugar and then letting it cool. The result is a frosting with a deep caramel flavor…and it’s perfect when paired with the simple white cake! So if you have a birthday coming up, then may I suggest this Southern Caramel Cake? Actually, check that. Get your birthday cake at a bakery, and then just bake this one for fun! Enjoy!