My Grandmother Crisp’s Caramel Cake

Today, I’m delighted to share one of my favorite recipes with you. It happens to be the only recipe I have from my paternal grandmother, Janie Crisp. But, she certainly did pick a great one to leave to us. Caramel cake is simply one of the most scrumptious desserts I know. I hope you’ll prepare this for your loved ones as we approach these last few weeks of winter.  Enjoy!

Grandmother Crisp’s Caramel Cake


3 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, and then add vanilla. Beat in a mixer bowl or with a hand mixer until the batter “ribbons.” Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes and use a toothpick to check to see if it is done. This cake can also be made in a 9-inch x 13-inch pan, which will need to be baked for about 45 minutes. Cool layers on a cake rack before icing.

Caramel Icing


2 sticks butter

1 (16 oz.) box of light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup evaporated milk (canned)

2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions: Place butter, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan. Heat, stirring until the brown sugar is well dissolved. Add milk and continue stirring until blended. Let bubble (at an easy boil) for approximately 4 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid sticking. Set hot mixture aside to cool for several minutes. Using mixer, add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. You will see it turn lighter and caramelize. When you’ve reached the desired consistency, ice the cake, placing some of the icing between the layers.

My sweet friend Tobi Fairley is featuring my Caramel Cake as one of her favorite things during her 29 Days of Love. I hope you’ll drop by Tobi’s Blog to see what else is on her list.

Have a lovely day!


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112 Responses to My Grandmother Crisp’s Caramel Cake

  1. Jackie Burrell says:

    I found this recipe when I was looking for a caramel cake like my grandmother’s to make for my husband’s birthday 2 years ago. It was so good that I have been asked to make it many other times. I have finally gotten it “perfected” after many “almosts” and it is better than any caramel around. My husband and his family have even said it is better than his grandmothers cake. This is very high praise indeed! Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Kathryn says:

    I am so pleased that you and your family enjoy this delicious cake. It does take a bit of practice, but it never disappoints!
    Happy Fall!

  3. georgia says:

    been making this since i found the recipe 3 years ago! there is absolutely nothing like it ! AMAZING!

  4. Kathryn says:

    Glad you are enjoying the recipe Georgia!

  5. mimi says:

    Hello ~ can you tell me if the butter for the layers and frosting is salted or unsalted? Thanks! Mimi

  6. mimi says:

    Hello – looking forward to making the cake for Thanksgiving. Can you confirm if the butternis salted or unsalted? Thanks! Mimi

  7. Kathryn says:

    I use unsalted butter.

  8. Kathryn says:

    Unsalted in both!

  9. Janice says:

    Is the butter regular butter or pure butter?

  10. Kathryn says:

    I use regular, unsalted butter Janice.

  11. sherry says:

    I made this beautiful cake and it tasted great. I was a little concerned . The cake was a little heavy would it help if I sifted the flour first? Thank you for a great recipe.

  12. Kathryn says:

    Yes sherry, I always sift flour first. Enjoy!

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