Yield: 1 (9-inch) 3-layer cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup whole buttermilk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Caramel Frosting
Garnish: toasted pecan halves


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; lightly spray again.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans, smoothing tops with a spatula.

3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center of layers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let layers cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, discard parchment paper, and let cool completely on wire racks.

4. Spread Caramel Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Drizzle with reserved 1⁄3 cup caramel from Caramel Frosting. Garnish with toasted pecan halves, if desired.