Next Up: Southern Caramel Cake

This is something ELSE I’ve been wanting to do for a while (I think I’ve wanted to do everything for a while, honestly). It’s a staple in the southern US. I first noticed it at a sandwich counter here in the neighborhood, then started seeing it everywhere. It’s a simple layer cake but with a very interesting icing made of caramel and a cooked milk-and-butter mixture. Should be fun to examine from a food chemistry angle. Plus of course it’ll boost my street cred as a southerner (even though I’m about as Yankee as they come). Let’s get cookin’ y’all.

10 thoughts on “Next Up: Southern Caramel Cake”

  1. Can’t wait. While not technically from the South, I’ve been here long enough to feel terrible about calling myself a baker.. and never having made a caramel cake. Will definitely be making yours!

    1. Yeah I have the same sort of insecurity. We’ll see if we can’t get a little vindication this week!

      – Joe

  2. I was confused when I first decided that I needed to find and make a caramel cake. There are recipes that supply a caramel (white sugar) icing and recipes that supply a butterscotch (brown sugar) icing. I have made both and both are good, but I prefer the butterscotch. It’s mainly because so many of the southern recipes garnish the filling and/or frosting with pecans. They just seem to taste better with the butterscotch. I adapted my penuche fudge recipe to use as the frosting and it was delicious. I adapted a buttermilk yellow cake for the cake.

    1. Very interesting, Susan. This one is a little different but definitely in the same family. I’ll post it in a minute so you can see. Those frostings sounds phenomenal, by the way.

      – Joe

    1. It’s something similar, Shaney…I think you’ll be interested. Thanks for this!

      – Joe

  3. Christmas is not Christmas for us unless we have a jam cake with brown sugar icing. You make it by cooking butter, brown sugar and milk then add powdered sugar till it’s of spreading consistency. It forms a crust and is so sweet your teeth hurt. But it’s so good!!!

  4. I’ve always worked from Saveur’s recipe that came from a Mississippian in the Grove at Ole Miss (Hotty Toddy!), but am really excited to try their latest one from another Mississippian… I’ve successfully made caramel cake twice out of five attempts and the last three were spectacular failures. It’ll be AMAZING to hear your very simple, clear-cut spin on the queen mother of desserts.

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