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3 cups plus 3 tablespoons sifted all - purpose flour plus flour for dusting cake pans
1 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup water
1 tsp soda
½ cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups granulated sugar
1 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream
dash of salt
3 teaspoons vanilla


preheat oven to 340
butter and flour two 10 -inch cake pans
sift 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour and salt into large bowl
add sugar and whisk until blended
combine butter and water in a saucepan
bring to a boil and pour over the flour and sugar whisk until blended
add the soda buttermilk eggs and vanilla and whisk until well blended and smooth
pour into greased and floured baking pans
bake for 25 -30 minutes checking cake after about 16
cake is done when tester comes out clean but be careful not to overcook
remove pans from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 20 minutes then turn layers onto parchment covered racks to cool completely
caramel frosting
note--  you will have two pots going while making this frosting so have everything ready to go and have a large hot pad
in large saucepan place 3 ½ cups sugar butter cream and a dash of salt cook on medium until almost to a rolling boil then pour in sugar syrup that you are making in another skillet
at the same time in a small skillet put ½ cup sugar and melt on medium until it becomes an amber color you don’t stir this sugar but you will need to shake the skillet every few minutes to help distribute the sugar this is the sugar syrup that you will pour into the saucepan
once you pour in the syrup cook on medium to medium - high stirring constantly until almost soft ball stage or 332 on thermometer
remove pot from heat stir in vanilla and let cool for about 20 minutes
either transfer to large stand mixer and beat on medium speed or use hand mixer on medium and whip until it becomes frosting consistency 20-25 min
if frosting sets too quickly or gets too thick you can add a little additional cream