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Caramel Cake

This recipe for delicious caramel cake is courtesy of Dr. Maya Angelou and can be found in her cookbook, "Hallelujah."

  • Yield: Serves 8
Caramel Cake

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November Fall 2007


  • Nonstick cooking spray with flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Caramel Syrup, plus more for serving
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Caramel Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, line each with a parchment paper round, and spray again. Set pans aside.

  2. Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in syrup.

  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix flour mixture into butter mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

  4. Beat eggs until foamy in another bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir into cake batter until well combined.

  5. Divide cake batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cakes spring back when gently touched in the center, about 25 minutes. If cakes do not spring back, return to oven and continue cooking about 10 minutes more.

  6. Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack and remove parchment paper round. Let cakes cool to room temperature before frosting.

  7. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Spread the top of the first layer with frosting. Top with the remaining layer, bottom-side up. Spread entire cake with frosting; remove parchment paper strips. Serve cake drizzled with any remaining caramel syrup.

Reviews (33)

  • johnny yash 19 Jan, 2014

    The recipe for the cake itself is fantastic
    thanks you ^^

  • Faith Lynn 25 Aug, 2013

    The recipe for the cake itself is fantastic - but not too sure about the frosting and caramel sauce...

  • SousZQchef 30 Mar, 2012

    I used all of the caramel syrup (3 cups) and only half a cup of sugar and although it made the batter more soupy but the cake turned out more caramely and moist in the end. I also frosted it with Martha Stewart Chocolate Ganache Frosting and sprinkle dit with salt for a counterpoint. It was AMAZING!

  • dude123 25 Oct, 2011

    For me this cake was disgusting , it tasted like pure sugar eaten with a spoon. It's waaaaay too sweet , especially the caramel frosting , but if you still want to make this cake i suggest using half of the frosting or just as much as you need to cover the top and sides of cake. Don't get me wrong , I like sweet desserts like meringue , dulce de leche or pecan pie , but compared to this cake they are not sweet at all. It would be tasty if it doesn't have this overwhelming amount of sugar.

  • sweetthanz 1 Oct, 2011

    I've made this cake twice and plan to make it again for a potluck and work. I had never tasted a caramel cake until making this one. Absolutely delicious. My family loves it. I've also tried several other recipes from Dr. Angelou's cookbook. Her stories are wonderful as well.

  • zara123 7 Jul, 2011

    Love this cake! I make it with the syrup, or with out for an amazing yellow cake. For those who think its too sweet, just don't add the caramel syrup.

  • sarahk_211 30 Jul, 2010

    It's not my favorite cake but it was still very tasty.

  • JFisch 15 Jun, 2010

    I've made this cake numerous times - I highly recommend altering the syrup recipe. Instead of one cup of water, use a half cup. Wait until all the sugar has carmelized before adding the water. This will make it thicker. Also - the frosting recipe is not enough for a 3 layer cake - you might consider doubling it. And yes, this is a sweet cake.... as cakes are supposed to be sweet.

  • slosh8715 16 Apr, 2010

    The last review has me stumped. She complained the cake was way too sweet and sickly yet served it with ice cream? (more sugar?)

  • Schwabengirl 16 Mar, 2010

    This cake was waaay to sweet. If you don't like to be sick afterwards and have your kids run on a sugar high for hours = don't bake it. My husband loves caramel and it looked so yummi. He does like his cake sweet but even for him it was too sweet. Without ice cream on the side to balance the sugar it would have been not edible. We ended up throwing half the cake out.

  • Tamp 16 Dec, 2009

    This cake is SO GOOD - I made it for my son's 1st birthday and everyone loved it - they said it was the best cake they tasted! I will make it again for sure.

  • chefbb317 27 Apr, 2008

    made this for my birthday the frosting was amazing the texture was awesome and it was really buttery and deliolous. everyone loved it. just make sure to let the frosting cool a little beofre you put it on the cake.its a keeper!!

  • StableMom 14 Mar, 2008

    This cake reminds me of an old recipe my parents both learned from their mom's. Instead of 2 layers, turn it into 4 or even 8, and it's even more amazing!!!

  • dollbedmaker 24 Jan, 2008

    This cake is amazing we made it three times and love it each time. We use carmel pieces and melt them down and use that in the cake and drizzled over the top. The browned butter adds an amazing flavor. My guest just want to eat the left over frosting!!! YUM!!!!

  • chagolla08 18 Jan, 2008

    OMG this looks so good i think im going to try it! =]

  • Delftblue 16 Jan, 2008

    Very moist and delicious cake. However, I don't taste the caramel. There is only 1/4C in batter and no caramel at all in the "caramel" frosting. The only other caramel represented in the recipe is the drizzle on top of the cake. I would call this a yellow cake with brown butter frosting and caramel drizzle. Still very good though, I will use this as my yellow cake recipe from now on.

  • micheleh 10 Jan, 2008

    This cake is so delish! I made it twice and will make it again.

  • TabithaW 1 Jan, 2008

    I have been looking for this recipe. Thank you for positing it Martha. My mother was raised in mississippi and enjoyed this cake so much that she always told me about it. Mom could not remeber how to make it. I am making this cake for the second time. Very popular in my house.

  • merial 26 Dec, 2007

    I tried the Caramel cake

  • kmmelton 21 Dec, 2007

    I've baked this cake 3 times now. It's absolutley delicous. This recipe also brought me to this websight. Love it, Love it Love it...

  • nightowl 20 Dec, 2007

    I've watch this video 3xs! I was so intrigued with this wonderful lady, I missed the demonstration twice. Well, I must make this cake

  • j9nd2000 28 Nov, 2007

    i made this for thanksgiving and my family LOVED it. i misread the recipe for caramel syrup (it said one recipe of caramel syrup was enough for ONE 8" cake and i made it a two layer cake) so it had HALF as much caramel syrup in the batter than was called for. and i thought it was perfect!! maybe that's why potretsenaz thought it was too sweet ... ??

  • potretsenaz 28 Nov, 2007

    am I baking the right way???..coz i think it's too sweet for me..

  • clock50 23 Nov, 2007

    I made this cake for Thanksgiving and my family loves this caramel cake . It was a easy cake to make.

  • micheleh 21 Nov, 2007

    This cake is so delish, I have made it 3 times already. I do use alot more confection sugar when making the frosting. Yum.

  • Cheburban 17 Nov, 2007

    I will be making this cake for Thanksgiving. My son can't wait. Although I don't have a fancy mixer, I will be doing it the old fashioned wa, by hand. Since it is an "old" family recipe, it should come out fine. I would love to see Dr. Angelou on the show again and plan on getting her cookbook.

  • elainesf 16 Nov, 2007

    I can't wait to make this recipe. One of the most enjoyable segments!

  • lmcgram 12 Nov, 2007

    Dr. Maya Angelu's story of origin is so awe inspiring, as she always is. This cake will be on our table during the holiday times.
    Thank you for having one of the most inspiring person on your show.

  • gloriarobison 9 Nov, 2007

    The cake is very good on its own. The frosting is very sweet, but for those with a sweet tooth, it is great. Make sure the caramel is cold when added to the butter and sugar. Try this recipe. It is good.

  • Cathy-by-the-river 5 Nov, 2007

    Love this new feature on Martha's website. When I'm ready to make this cake--I'll know where the recipe is located. Thanks!

  • Erin O-Sullivan 5 Nov, 2007

    This is it - my new favorite. My Mom saw the show and asked me to bake it for her 65th. I was a bit tweaked because she usually wants my special cake - but how do you say no to a 65th birthday wish. I made it the night before so it had time to set and it was delicious, moist, firm and tender, all at the same time. I think I'll make it to ring in the new year!

  • babygirlfarmer 4 Nov, 2007

    I just signed up on this website just to get this recipe and try it. On your show Friday Martha this cake looked and sounded most delicious. I will let you know when I bake how it turned out.

  • marthaguy 4 Nov, 2007

    This is one of the most delicious cakes I've ever baked and tasted! It will quickly become one of my family favorites!

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