Buttered Pecan Caramel Cake


Frosting Tips
Never frosted a caramel cake? Here are some handy tips.
1. Caramel frosting starts out thin, but thickens as it cools and is spread.
2. When topping layers, spread frosting back and forth with an offset spatula to help it set.
3. After spreading a thin layer of frosting on top and sides of cake, let stand for 20 minutes before adding more frosting.
4. If remaining frosting has hardened, reheat on low 1 to 2 minutes to return frosting to a spreadable consistency.

Buttered Pecan Caramel Cake
Yield: 1 (9-inch) 3-layer cake
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  1. 1 1⁄2 cups butter, softened
  2. 2 1⁄2 cups sugar
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 2 large egg yolks
  5. 4 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 cup whole milk
  9. 1⁄2 cup sour cream
  10. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. 2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  2. 1 cup chilled butter, diced
  3. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  4. 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  7. 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. Buttered Pecans (recipe follows)
  10. Garnish: 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  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; spray with nonstick baking spray with flour.
  2. For cake: In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well and scraping bowl after each addition. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine milk and sour cream; stir well. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add vanilla; beat just until blended. (Batter will be thick.) Divide batter among prepared pans (3 level cups per pan).
  3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  4. For frosting: In a large heavy saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter, cream, syrup, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  5. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, vinegar, and vanilla, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Let stand until mixture begins to thicken and is slightly cooled, approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finely chop 1 cup Buttered Pecans; set aside. Reserve remaining 2 cups pecan halves.
  6. On a cake plate or stand, place one cake layer; top with approximately 3⁄4 cup frosting. Gently spread with an offset spatula, leaving a 1⁄2-inch border, until frosting thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with half of finely chopped Buttered Pecans. Repeat procedure once. Top with remaining cake layer; spread with approximately 3⁄4 cup frosting. Secure center of cake with a wooden pick. Spread a thin layer of frosting around sides of cake; let stand until set, approximately 20 minutes. Frost top and sides of cake with desired amount of remaining frosting. Remove wooden pick just before serving. Top cake with reserved Buttered Pecans. Sprinkle with 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt, if desired.
Taste of the South https://www.tasteofthesouthmagazine.com/
Buttered Pecans
Yield: 3 cups
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  1. 3 cups pecan halves
  2. 2 tablespoons butter, diced
  3. 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, place pecans, butter, and salt. Bake until toasted, approximately 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven. Let cool completely.
Taste of the South https://www.tasteofthesouthmagazine.com/


    • I made this cake last weekend and the cake was so dry that when I cut it the crumbles were like snow falling out on the plate. I was really disappointed in the cake. The frosting was superior. It really was the best frosting I think I have ever had or made. I think it might have been because I only had a hand held electric mixer and in order to keep it from dieing from going so slow I had to beat the cake batter fast. Can you give me some advice on this one? Judy

      • We can think of several culprits for your disappointing results. (1) Your mixer may have been the culprit. When you beat butter and sugar together at the beginning of a cake recipe (a technique that is often called creaming the butter and sugar), you want to beat the mixture at medium-high speed for a good 5 minutes. It sounds like the difficulty you were having with your mixer might have prevented you from doing this. (2) Did you bake the cake too long? The bake time we gave in the recipe is just an estimate. Depending on your oven, it may require more or less baking time. You should test the cake for doneness with a toothpick, beginning about 5 minutes before you think it should be done. A wise cook once told me that, with cake, it is better to be underdone than overdone.

    • Hi Jane! Thanks so much for asking. The apple cider vinegar cuts down on the sweetness of the frosting. It is optional if you’d like to leave it out, but you do not taste the vinegar in the frosting.

  1. I just finished frosting this cake. It looks delicious, but I’ll have to wait and see. The frosting was ready to use as soon as all the ingredients were mixed in. I am wondering if the powdered sugar should read 5 cups sifted powdered sugar; meaning that you would sift the powdered sugar before measuring? Had to completely frost the cake before the frosting became too stiff.

  2. Made this for Christmas. The cake was Great! Super soft and super moist. I used an old family recipe for the caramel icing. I loved the cake. I’m gonna use this recipe as a base for all my cakes here on out! Thanks so much for sharing it!!!

  3. Yum! This cake was amazing. A nice moist cake with the perfect density. And the icing is to die for! I followed it exactly and it was great! Thanks for sharing.

  4. hi there I’m in the process of making this cake now. I added a box 3oz of carmel flavored pudding and also drizzled lightly carmel sauce on top of the batter before placing in the oven. do you think it will turn out fine?
    I usually dont alter any recipe but the person I’m making this for loves carmel flavotred anything. I’m just wondering if the carmel icing on top of the carmel cake is a bit much. thanks in advance!

    • Hi Sharday! We’ve never tested this recipe with the addition of pudding mix or caramel sauce. The addition of these two will probably make the cake very very sweet. For those kind of additions—usually lowering the sugar in the recipe will help. I’m sure the cake will bake fine, however it might now be quite as fluffy as the original.

  5. Hi, this recipe looks amazing & I would like to try it using a bundt pan. Have you ever tried baking this cake in a bundt pan if so any suggestions on a timeline? Thanks so much! Darla

    • Hi Darla! Unfortunately, we have not tested this in a Bundt pan, so we’re not sure how it would turn out.

  6. I made this cake today but left out the pecans. I just wanted a good caramel cake. The frosting was labor intensive. I made for an anniversary. The husband said it looked just like his Mom’s! On a scale from 1-5, they gave it a 5. Good friend’s and they don’t lie. I will make again but will probably use a candy thermometer to get to soft ball stage on the frosting. Great recipe. Already have an order for one!

    • Hi Alex, A 10-inch pan cake be used, but the cakes will come out more flat. Be sure to keep a careful eye on them as they’re baking, as you may need to adjust bake time.

  7. I made this cake for Christmas without adding the pecans on top. It was amazing. The caramel icing was absolutely delicious. Had a hard time with putting the icing on the side of the cake because it hardened so fast, but it didn’t take away from the flavor. I will definitely make this cake again.

  8. Luv this cake, have made it 4 times in the last 3 months. My husband and son-in-law fight over the last slices. I thought I had the best caramel cake, seeing how I taught cake baking and decor in high school but this one has mine beat. Thanks!

  9. Wonderful recipe! I read so many comments about how difficult caramel icing was I was hesitant to try it. This was so easy and delicious. Thank you


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