Southern Caramel Layer Cake

serves 12-16

For the Cake

8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 extra large eggs at room temperature

3 cups self rising flour (if using White Lily add an additional 6 Tablespoons of flour)

1 cup whole buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Caramel Frosting

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

4 ounces (1/2) cup cold butter

1 cup hot heavy cream

Pinch of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

6 cups confectioners' sugar sifted


3/4 cup toasted pecans

For the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl and beat again.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the flour to the butter mixture in thirds, alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.  Stir in the vanilla.  Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula.

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

For the Caramel Frosting

Place the sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.  In a small bowl, combine the water and corn syrup.  Pour the water mixture over the sugar, stirring just until moistened.  Cook, without stirring, over medium heat heat until sugar is dissolved.  Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, until mixture is golden brown.  (While caramel cooks, brush any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.) Remove from the heat.  Add the cold butter and stir until melted.  Slowly add the hot cream (mixture will foam), stirring until smooth.  Add the salt and vanilla. (If mixture does not get smooth, cook over low heat, stirring until smooth.)  Set aside and let mixture cool until slightly warm, at least 1 hour.  Reserve 1/3 cup of caramel to drizzle over the assembled cake.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the caramel and softened butter until smooth.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.

Spread the frosting between layers and top and sides of the cake layers.  Drizzle with the reserved caramel sauce.  Garnish with toasted pecans.  Enjoy!

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