Caramel Icing & Chocolate Cake

Caramel Icing & Chocolate Cake
Author Notes: This caramel icing recipe is from Victoria’s much-adored Auntie and one of several caramel recipes from her. The buttermilk, chocolate layer cake recipe is from Epicurious. The caramel icing with yellow layer cake is a favorite birthday request of our sweet Britteroo.

Chocolate Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups well-shaken buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 (9 by 2 inch) round cake pans.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a small bowl.
  3. Beat butter and sugars in separate bowl until creamy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, then add melted chocolate, and vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, mixing until just combined.
  6. Pour mixture in prepared pans and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
  7. Cool cake layers in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Invert onto racks to cool completely.

Caramel Icing


  • ¾ cups unsalted butter
  • ¾ cups whole milk
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (can add lemon or orange zest and juice)


  1. Melt butter in large sauce pan over low heat.
  2. Add brown sugar and milk and turn heat up to medium high.
  3. Simmer to 232 softball stage and remove from heat.
  4. Set in cold water for 5 minutes, add vanilla and beat by hand for 5 minutes until opaque.
  5. Let sit until firm enough to ice cake.

Notes: Can add cream to icing if it sets up too quickly. Can add orange or lemon zest after icing has cooled down for a zingy flavor. Can add orange or lemon juice to thin icing or for flavor.

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