Easy Caramel Sheet Cake

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Caramel Cake can be a little intimidating but this easy recipe will have you enjoying this delicious treat in no time!

There are few things more classically Southern, in my opinion, than a delicious caramel cake.  Southern grandmothers have been turning out this often challenging confection for generations – each with their own little twist or tweak to achieve the perfect, most delectable icing.  And because of the chemistry involved, many have attempted the icing and failed…  I’ll admit to that myself.

And let’s take a minute to talk about icing versus frosting.  Technically, frosting is the light and fluffy whipped coating that goes on a cake and icing was traditionally more of a hard sugar glaze.  The truth is, those lines are a bit blurred today.  I grew up calling all that stuff that you smear on cakes icing – so that’s what I call it here… just because.   Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard my mama say the word frosting.  Regardless of what you call it, this caramel icing is super easy and amazingly delicious.  And the cake… oh my!  It’s one of my favorite cake recipes because it’s so easy.  The light buttery flavor is the perfect complement to the icing.

Caramel Cake can be a little intimidating but this easy recipe will have you enjoying this delicious treat in no time!

MY OTHER RECIPES

One thing that I mention in this recipe is how to tell when the cake is done.  For me, I’ve always used the toothpick test.  You know, where you stick a toothpick in the center and it’s done when the toothpick comes out clean.  Well, lately, I’ve seen lots of recipes mention the cake “pulling away from the sides” as a method to determine doneness.  Personally, I’m still a fan of the toothpick test, but just to show you, the image above shows how the cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan.  Either way, you need to make sure the cake is set in the middle.

Caramel Cake can be a little intimidating but this easy recipe will have you enjoying this delicious treat in no time!

Another thing I wanted to show you was what I call boiling caramel.  In the recipe, I say boil for 2 minutes and there’s been some confusion about what exactly boiling is.  This is what your caramel should look like for the 2 minutes – small consistent bubbles all the way throughout the liquid.

Caramel Cake can be a little intimidating but this easy recipe will have you enjoying this delicious treat in no time!

There you go… Easy Yellow Cake and Easy Caramel Icing.   Don’t be intimidated – get in the kitchen and try it!  Your family will love you for it!

Caramel Cake can be a little intimidating but this easy recipe will have you enjoying this delicious treat in no time!

Easy Yellow Sheet Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: About 12
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix well.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add ½ of the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Add ½ of the milk and mix well. Add the other half of the dry mixture and mix well. Add the other half of the milk and mix well. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 25 t0 30 minutes or until set and the cake starts to pull away from the sides. You can also check the doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool completely before icing.

Easy Caramel Icing
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine the brown sugar, salt, butter, and milk in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat until boiling, stirring very frequently to prevent scorching. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Using a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, combine the cooled caramel with the powdered sugar and beat until combined and fluffy. You may find it necessary to add a little more powdered sugar if it's too runny or a few drops of milk if it's too thick to spread.
Notes
Makes enough icing to cover a 9x13 cake.

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Comments

  1. Charlotte B says:

    There are no ingredients listed or intructions

  2. Elizabeth (Liz) says:

    STACEY, THIS TAKES ME BACK TO NORTH CAROLINA IN MY AUNTIES KITCHEN. I WILL BE BAKING THIS OFTEN FOR MY HUSBAND AND I ,JUST THE TWO OF US .WE HAVE LOTS OF FRIENDS AND GRANDS WHO LOVE MY COOKING.I COOK YOUR RECIPES OFTEN.THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR KIND MANNER. BE BLESSED LIZ

  3. I love how easy this cake is to bake, and caramel icing is one of my favorites!

  4. Hi, Stacey!

    I can’t wait to try this recipe as I love this combo! “Suthun” born, raised and at heart! Thank you, Sir!

    There are three ways in which I know something is done. The tester method, it pulls away from the sides AND I can smell it (my dear Mom taught me that one). Tried and true for *ahem* years. 😉

  5. Janice Gowens says:

    Stacy, Charlotte is right about “no ingredients”. There is a space for them, but it’s blank.
    Help.

    • I’m not sure what’s going on. They are all showing up for me and others as some folks have already made the recipe. I wonder if you might try viewing the site in different browser…

  6. Dear Stacey: l have been searching for a simple and delicious sheet cake recipe. Double Thanks to you for the easy caramel icing recipe and explaining the difference between icing and frosting…and for the record l am an icing girl (hehe).

  7. Super cake, whipped one up Sunday afternoon and it was a hit at work!! Thanks

  8. It’s so delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  9. Margaret Ann says:

    Hi Stacey, Just read the recipe and want to make this delicious looking cake tomorrow. I have skim milk and heavy cream in my fridge. Which one should I use for the frosting?

  10. Mitali Kohli says:

    Tried the recipe and the cake turned out to be a delight for everyone! One of the easiest and tastiest yellow cake recipe I have ever found. Thankyou so much for posting it.

  11. Hi I can’t wait to try this recipe for Christmas dessert! What kind of milk would you suggest whole milk or evaporated milk? I’m so excited!! Thanks

  12. I made this delicious cake for a pot luck at work, and it was a hit. This was my first time making a carmel base frosting and it turned out great. I did have to add extra powdered sugar to get the right consistency. The cake itself is fluffy and moist. I will definitely make it again!!

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