The Famous Caramel Cake

Well I don’t know if it’s really famous or not, but a lot of you emailed me to please put up the recipe so I am.  It actually is pretty famous in our family though, and quite the treat…a very sweet treat.  Interesting fact: My Grandma got this recipe in 1947 from my Dad’s great-Grandmother, and she got the recipe from her sister, so there is no telling how old this recipe is.  It’s old, very old.  At least over 100 years for sure.  All good things come from Alabama. :)

Now, all I did was scan the recipe that my Grandma gave me years ago and uploaded to the computer, so this is her original recipe and handwriting, with notes and all.  If you click on the pictures you should be able to print them out.

The first 2 pictures are for the cake recipe.  The 3rd picture is for the icing.


*Edited to add – the 2 1/2 cups liquid ingredient is milk.

And the icing…

Now, just so you know, when family members have tried to make the icing, it has turned out to be a disaster because the icing will get lumpy at one point and then you think you’ve screwed it all up.  But you haven’t.  Just keep following the directions and it should turn out. :) The icing is the hardest part.

Here is my Grandma icing the cake…

Hopefully your layers won’t split and hope your cake doesn’t slide. :)  That has happened many times too!  But it still tastes good if your cake does happen to do that. :)

A few other important things…if at all possible, wait to cut the cake until the next day or even the day after that.  This cake gets SO much better the longer it sits.  The first day it’s really not all that.  But that second and third day and on and on….Mmmmm mmmmmm!

Now the other important thing to note: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT cut the slices like your typical wedge, or how you would normally slice a piece of cake.  You need to eat just very thin pieces, otherwise you will get sick. This cake is very rich and extremely sweet.  My Grandma just slices one end off for the first piece(that piece will have lots of icing and is delicious), and then just continues slicing in thin squares. You’ll be cutting directly across your cake until you get to the other side.  So basically, your piece of cake will be lying flat on your plate.

Here is a picture so it might make more sense.

All in all, just pray that you get your cake to look as pretty as this.

Please let me know if any of you attempt to make this.  I’d love to hear how it turned out and so would my Grandmother. :)  Y’all are very special to get this recipe! :)

Linking to Funky Junk Interiors and Under the Table and Dreaming.



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  1. My Gosh that cake looks good! That one picture looks like a giant stack of pancakes!

  2. Grandma is so cute. I would rather have her come over and bake on for me. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. It looks like that recipe has been used quite a few times! ;)
    I’m going to bookmark this and will let you know when I make it :)

  4. That looks absolutely FABULOUS. I love caramel. I bet my husband would die peacefully if I made him that cake, because he loves his sugar. Thanks for posting such a great family recipe.

    Having a little blog giveaway for a $20 Home Depot gift card if anyone is interested.

  5. Ahhh, I wish I’d had a grandma to show me her famous recipes! What a treasure you have in her — the cake looks pretty fantabulous too!

  6. So how much does grandma charge to come over and make that for me? She is just precious and so proud of her beautiful cake! This looks so good!

  7. I just ADORE passed down, family recipes! That is very kind of you to share- I have a friend who has awesome recipes like that, blogs about them, and WILL NOT share the recipe! Drives me mad! I say, why not share the goodness and memories?!! I definitely will be making this for family during Christmas and will let you know! (ps. I would much rather make this, knowing it is a very old, very well loved recipe!)

  8. Yum! I would love to try this. We are looking for new recipes that do not contain chocolate as our youngest can no longer have it due to her migraines. She loves caramel!

  9. This cake looks sooooo good I think I might make this Saturday thank you for sharing with us…

  10. oh sweet yummy….what would it take for your sweet gramma to make one for me??!!! that cake is hard core.

    ps — check out my post tomorrow ;)

  11. I just had to comment to say how good and kind it is of you and your Grandma to share a cherished family recipe. The good Lord is smiling down at your generosity in sharing during this holiday time. I’m not too much of a ‘baker’ but, if I try this sometime in the future, I will be sure to report back to you so that you can tell your Grandma. :)
    I hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday, Emily.

  12. I think I gained 5 lbs just looking at the pictures of that cake! Sounds heavenly….I will have to try that next time we have company!
    Happy Christmas!

  13. oh my goodness. To die for. I may give this a try…my husband would be in heaven.


  14. OMGssshhhh I just made this tonight and my kids went nuts!!! This took a little work because I greased the pans with cooking spray and the cake stuck. But after I replaced it,it was ON! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! Since no one posted comments after they made it, I had too! This cake is the bomb! *On the icing I did use evaporated instead of reg milk and it was deelish! This is being put on rotation!!!!

  15. I was just transcribing the recipe, and have a question. For the frosting, do you caramelize the sugar and the butter, then add the milk? Or do you caramelize just the sugar and add the butter sometime later? Thanks!

  16. My grandmother used to bake a cake just like
    This but no one has the recipe-I definitly am
    Going to make this!!

  17. I found you though a blog searching frenzies! (I get those alot) This is a must bake! This is Mother’s Day weekend so I might make myself this cake…maybe I will share! ;)

    I did want to give you a little tip that I have used on other glazed cakes, to keep it from sliding just use kabob skewers and snip the ends off before adding the last pour over the cake. It will hold everything nice and straight. Great if you make this and take it to a get together!

    Thank you to your very wonderfully sweet Grandmother for sharing such a treasured family heirloom :)
    may you all have a very blessed Mother’s Day (I am sure this cake will be somewhere near by)

    Misty K

  18. Made this last night and the cake was yummy however I made a second one this am and baked the layers at 350 for 22 min instead of 375 for18 min and turned out much more moist!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Is that regular milk or buttermilk?


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