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Caramel Cake Recipe

Caramel Cake Recipe

5 Stars (5 Voters)
This cake is the best caramel cake ever! moist 3 layers of caramel flavored cake, soaked in delicious syrup, in between amazing caramel cream, and for bonus caramel crumbs.


caramel cake

If you're a fan of caramel desserts like I am, you're in for a treat with this caramel cake recipe. This cake is the best caramel cake ever! It's perfect as a birthday cake or for any special occasion. With its moist, three-layer caramel-flavored cake, soaked in a delicious syrup, and layered with an amazing caramel cream, it's a dream come true for caramel lovers. As a bonus, it's topped with caramel crumbs for an extra touch of decadence.


caramel cake recipe

  1. Use Quality Ingredients: Ensure you use high-quality caramel sauce or dulce de leche. The richness and flavor of the caramel are key to making the best caramel cake.
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your eggs, butter, and cream cheese are at room temperature before starting. This ensures they blend smoothly and create a consistent batter and frosting.
  3. Don’t Overmix the Batter: When combining the dry and wet ingredients, mix just until combined. Overmixing can lead to a dense and tough cake.
  4. Properly Prepare the Pans: Line your cake pans with parchment paper and grease them well. This prevents the cake from sticking and ensures even baking.
  5. Check for Doneness: Use a toothpick to check if the cakes are done. Insert it into the center of the cake; it should come out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
  6. Cool Completely Before Frosting: Allow the cakes to cool completely before adding the cream. This prevents the frosting from melting and sliding off.
  7. Make the Syrup: Don’t skip the syrup step. Soaking the cake layers with syrup keeps them moist and adds extra flavor.
  8. Whip the Cream Correctly: Beat the heavy cream to medium peaks before folding it into the butter mixture. This ensures a light and fluffy cream layer.
  9. Create Caramel Crumbs: Use the leftover cake pieces to make caramel crumbs. They add a delightful texture and extra caramel flavor to the cake.
  10. Refrigerate Before Serving: Chill the assembled cake for at least 3 hours before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and makes slicing easier.


Caramel sauce is a rich, sweet topping made by heating sugar until it liquefies and turns a golden brown. The process, known as caramelization, brings out a deep, complex flavor that is both sweet and slightly nutty.

Here are some key aspects of caramel sauce:

  1. Ingredients: Traditional caramel sauce is made from sugar, butter, and heavy cream. Some recipes might include vanilla extract or a pinch of salt for added flavor.
  2. Preparation: To make caramel sauce, sugar is melted and cooked until it reaches the desired color. Then, butter and cream are added, and the mixture is stirred until smooth. The sauce thickens as it cools.
  3. Varieties: There are variations of caramel sauce, including salted caramel, which incorporates salt to balance the sweetness and enhance the flavor.
  4. Uses: Caramel sauce is incredibly versatile. It can be drizzled over desserts like ice cream, cakes, and pies, used as a dip for fruits, or incorporated into beverages like coffee and hot chocolate.
  5. Store-Bought vs. Homemade: While store-bought caramel sauce is convenient, making it at home allows you to control the ingredients and flavor. Homemade caramel sauce often has a richer and more authentic taste.


While you can easily use store-bought caramel sauce, making your own caramel sauce can elevate your caramel cake to new heights. Here’s a simple recipe and tips to ensure your caramel sauce is perfect for this cake:


  • 1¾ cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (150g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream


1.Melt the Sugar:

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the sugar over medium heat. Stir constantly with a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon.
  • The sugar will start to form clumps and eventually melt into a thick, amber-colored liquid. Be patient and keep stirring to prevent burning.
  1. Add the Butter:
  • Once the sugar is completely melted, carefully add the butter. Be cautious as the mixture will bubble up rapidly.
  • Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted and incorporated.
  1. Incorporate the Cream:
  • Slowly pour in the heavy cream while continuing to stir. The mixture will bubble up again, so add the cream gradually.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for about 1 minute to thicken. Stir continuously.
  1. Finish the Sauce:
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, if desired.
  • Let the caramel sauce cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring it to a jar or container to cool completely.

This will yield approximately 700 grams of caramel sauce, which should be perfect for your caramel cake recipe.


Dulce de leche, which translates to "sweet milk" in Spanish, is a rich, creamy, caramel-like sauce or spread that originates from Latin America. It's made by slowly heating sweetened milk until it caramelizes, resulting in a thick, golden-brown mixture with a deep, complex flavor.


While caramel sauce and dulce de leche are both beloved for their rich, sweet flavors, they differ significantly in ingredients, preparation methods, flavor profiles, and uses. Here’s a detailed comparison:


  • Caramel Sauce: Made from granulated sugar, butter, and heavy cream. Some variations may include vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
  • Dulce de Leche: Made from sweetened milk, typically whole milk and sugar, or simply from sweetened condensed milk.


  • Caramel Sauce:
    • Method: Sugar is melted and caramelized until it turns a deep amber color. Then, butter and heavy cream are added to create a smooth sauce.
    • Process: The sugar is cooked until it liquefies and reaches a caramelization stage, then liquids (butter and cream) are incorporated.
  • Dulce de Leche:
    • Method: Milk and sugar are simmered together for several hours until they thicken and caramelize. Alternatively, sweetened condensed milk can be heated until it turns into dulce de leche.
    • Process: The mixture is slowly cooked over low heat, allowing the sugars to caramelize and the milk proteins to thicken and brown, resulting in a rich, creamy texture.


  • Caramel Sauce:
    • Taste: Sweet with a hint of bitterness from the caramelized sugar, buttery, and slightly salty if salt is added.
    • Profile: More intense, with a pronounced caramel flavor that comes from the direct caramelization of sugar.
  • Dulce de Leche:
    • Taste: Sweet and creamy with a mild, milky caramel flavor and hints of vanilla and butterscotch.
    • Profile: Softer and more mellow, with a rich, creamy texture due to the milk content.


  • Caramel Sauce:
    • Consistency: Smooth and pourable, can be thickened slightly but remains relatively fluid.
  • Dulce de Leche:
    • Consistency: Thick, spreadable, and creamy, almost like a caramelized milk jam.


  • Caramel Sauce is made primarily from sugar, butter, and cream, offering an intense caramel flavor and smooth, pourable consistency.
  • Dulce de Leche** is made from sweetened milk, resulting in a thick, creamy, and milder caramel-flavored spread.

Both caramel sauce and dulce de leche bring their unique characteristics to desserts, and choosing between them depends on the flavor and texture you desire for your recipe.


the best caramel cake recipe

If you love caramel desserts, here are some more delightful recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth:

Or choose one of these caramel recipes

45 Minutes
20 Minutes

For the cake:

  • 2 cups (250g) Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda1 cup (200g) Sugar
  • 10oz (280g) dulce de leche/caramel sauce
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1¼ cups (285) Sour cream

For the syrup:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon liquor/Rum *optional

For the cream:

  • 12oz (340g) dulce de leche/caramel sauce
  • 1 cup (230g) Butter, softened
  • 1 cup (240ml) Heavy cream, cold
  • 1 cup (225g) Cream cheese
  • 40g Hazelnuts, crushed  


  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment and, grease with butter and dust with flour. set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs and sugar, until doubled in volume, about 5-6 minutes. in a separate bowl stir sour cream with baking soda, then add to the egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Add dulce de leche or caramel sauce and beat until incorporated.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until incorporated. Do not overmix.
  4. Divide the butter between the pans. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes, release from the pan and let cool completely. then, cut the tops of the cakes. Cut into small cubes and bake at 400F (200C) for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside for later.
  5. Make the syrup: in a small saucepan heat water, milk, sugar, coffee and liquor. Bring to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved, set aside.
  6. Make the cream: in a large bowl beat butter until cream cheese until smooth. Add dulce de leche or caramel sauce and beat until incorporated and smooth. In a separate bowl neat heavy cream to medium peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the butter mixture. Transfer to a piping bag (optional).
  7. Assembly: place first cake layer (cut side up) in the middle of the platter, soak with the syrup. Spread/pipe a layer of the cream, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of crushed hazelnuts. Repeat: place the second layer of cake, soak with syrup, spread another layer of cream, sprinkle hazelnuts. Place third layer of cake (cut side down), soak with syrup. Spread the remaining cream over top and the sides of cake. Using caramel sauce/dulce de leche create the design on top of the cake as shown in the video.
  8. Place baked leftover cake pieces in a food processor and process into small crumbs. Decorate the cake with the crumbs.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Can I use store-bought caramel sauce for this recipe?

Yes, you can use store-bought caramel sauce for convenience. However, homemade caramel sauce will provide the best flavor.

Can I make this cake in advance?

Yes, you can bake the cake layers in advance and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can also prepare the cream and syrup ahead of time and assemble the cake before serving.

Can I substitute sour cream with another ingredient?

You can substitute sour cream with an equal amount of Greek yogurt for a similar texture and flavor.

Do I have to use liquor or rum in the syrup?

No, the liquor or rum is optional. You can omit it if you prefer.

Can I use a different type of nut for the hazelnut topping?

Yes, you can use any nut you like or omit the nuts altogether if you have allergies or prefer a nut-free option.

homemade caramel cake

How should I store the leftover cake?

Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze this cake?

Yes, you can freeze the assembled cake for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Can I use a different size cake pan?

You can use different size cake pans, but the baking time may vary. Adjust the baking time accordingly and check for doneness with a toothpick.

Can I use a different type of frosting?

Yes, you can use a different frosting if you prefer. However, the caramel cream frosting complements the cake's flavors well.



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