Brown-sugar cake is layered with rounds of sticky-sweet caramel and finished with fluffy caramel whipped cream in this Southern treat. Martha made this recipe on episode 707 of Martha Bakes.


Credit: Yossy Arefi

Recipe Summary



For the Cake
For the Filling
For the Assembly


Instructions Checklist
  • Make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment. Butter paper, and flour pans. Beat together butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream mixture and starting and ending with flour mixture.

  • Divide batter between pans. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans, about 30 minutes. Invert cakes, remove pans and parchment, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Make the filling: In a small saucepan, stir together 2 cups sugar, cream, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

  • Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup sugar evenly in a shallow, heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sugar is melted and light golden brown (sugar will clump).

  • Slowly add cream mixture to caramelized sugar, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until it reaches 238 degrees (soft-ball stage), about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer. Let stand, without stirring, until temperature drops to 200 degrees, about 20 minutes.

  • Fit mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until thickened, about 6 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Divide filling into thirds. Working with one-third at a time, roll out on parchment paper into an 8-inch round; set aside. Repeat process with remaining filling.

  • Assemble the cake: Trim tops of cakes with a serrated knife to make level, then cut each cake in half horizontally. Place a bottom layer on a cake stand, and top with one round of filling. Repeat process with remaining cake layers and remaining 2 rounds of filling. Spread entire cake top and sides with caramel whipped cream, smoothing top and sides. Refrigerate cake until firm, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 2 days; if refrigerated, let cake come to room temperature before serving.