Yellow Cake with Caramel Buttercream

This Yellow Cake with Caramel Buttercream recipe makes a moist, tender cake that is filled and frosted with a luscious caramel buttercream!

This Yellow Cake with Caramel Buttercream recipe makes a moist, tender cake that is filled and frosted with a luscious caramel buttercream!This cake is pure, simple, and easy, yet still utterly delicious and impressive. I made it for my Aunt Lori’s birthday. At this point in my baking life, I know the flavor favorites of most of my family and friends. It’s become one of those things that I absolutely love knowing about people because it feels like a little window into their souls. Knowing the right flavors to make them happy makes me feel like I know someone better, or something.

It’s something I try to ask people about, mostly because I’m curious. I love knowing someone’s favorite flavor of frosting, what kind of cake they prefer, and the baked good from childhood that makes them happiest. It’s the little things, and almost everyone has a favorite. Bonus – if I ever feel the need to bake someone a birthday cake, or show a little gratitude, or just feel like spread the baking love, I know what someone will like. No one wants to bring vanilla cake to a party where everyone wants chocolate.

This Yellow Cake with Caramel Buttercream recipe makes a moist, tender cake that is filled and frosted with a luscious caramel buttercream!

And I know from years of making her birthday cake, my aunt has favorites. Usually, her birthday cake has something to do with s’mores, vanilla, or caramel. This year, I combined the latter two to create a cake that she’d love.

I used a simple recipe for a delicious yellow cake. The ingredients are simple – nothing crazy, and likely nothing you don’t already have. This recipe creates a moist, buttery yellow cake that serves as a perfect base for whatever kind of frosting you want to put on it. This makes 2 layers, but you can halve the recipe if you only want one layer. This is definitely one of my favorite yellow cakes to make, and the fact that it is so simple makes it even better!

This Yellow Cake with Caramel Buttercream recipe makes a moist, tender cake that is filled and frosted with a luscious caramel buttercream!

For the frosting, I made my favorite simple white buttercream…and then I added caramel to it. It worked, and made an absolutely luscious caramel buttercream. It’s smooth, sweet, and caramelly, and what else do you really need in a caramel buttercream? To make things more fun and a little prettier, I also drizzled caramel on top of the cake. Why not, right? You can never have too much caramel. Which is why there is also a thin layer of caramel between the cakes as well. Mmm…caramel goodness. I used Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce here, but you can use your favorite homemade caramel sauce or any other think caramel sauce.

This is a wonderful celebration cake, and it’s sure to please whoever gets to taste it. As long as vanilla and caramel are two of their favorite flavors, that is :) Share this cake with family and friends, and enjoy it! Tell me your favorite flavors and baked goods in the comments below if you’d like – I wanna know all about you guys too!

This Yellow Cake with Caramel Buttercream recipe makes a moist, tender cake that is filled and frosted with a luscious caramel buttercream!

Caramel Layer Cake
For the cake
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (12¾ oz.) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon and ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup milk (I used 2%, use whatever you have)
For the buttercream
  • 3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup caramel sauce + ¼ cup for assembly (homemade or store bought is fine)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8" or 9" inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl or stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is completely incorporated before adding the next, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Fold into the batter until completely combined. Stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour batter equally into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.
For the buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except caramel and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium for 4 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy. Add the caramel and mix for another 2 minutes.
  3. Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency).
For assembly
  1. Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of your serving plate or a cake board, and place the bottom cake layer on top.
  2. Spread the reserved ¼ cup of caramel over the top of the cake layer. Spread 1 cup of frosting on top of the caramel and spread evenly.
  3. Place 2nd cake layer face-down on top. Place a generous scoop of frosting on top, and frost however desired! For this cake, I just dolloped the frosting around and swirled it with the edge of a rubber spatula. Feel free to frost however you like best.
  4. If desired, drizzle caramel over the top of the frosted cake. Keep refrigerated until serving.



  1. Gorgeous cake! WOW! Pinned :) The frosting. Holy.moly. I want to live in that :)

  2. This is so my kind of cake! I love a good yellow cake and then with that caramel frosting?? It looks so good!!

  3. Seriously – how gorgeous is this?!

  4. Beautiful cake, Rachel! I love the way you did the frosting and the caramel drizzle. I could just eat caramel frosting right out of the bowl! Also I like that you kept it simple with the yellow cake. Looks incredible!

  5. This looks so gorgeous- simple yet effective, that caramel drizzle looks so tempting what a lucky aunt!

  6. The frosting and the cake itself both look gorgeous! Totally pinning!
    Have a wonderful week :D

  7. Such beautiful pictures! Yellow cake is my absolute favorite and this looks like such a great recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try!


    ohmygawwwwwd this cake. Salted caramel buttercream and drizzle….*sigh* heaven

  9. This is gorgeous Rachel! I love it!

  10. Oh this is a gorgeous cake. I am sure your aunt loved it. It’s really the small things in life that always make people feel loved. Love this cake!!

  11. THIS is my kind of cake! So gorgeous Rachel!

  12. Oh my gosh I want to get all up in this and nestle myself between the layers of yellow cakes and butter cream…complete with those gorgeous caramel drizzles. This looks ah-may-zing girl! Pinned!

  13. What a gorgeous cake! That caramel drizzle is calling to me my screen. Like, I can practically hear it calling my name.

  14. I love simple cakes! This buttercream is the perfect special touch!

  15. Im obsessed with anything sweet anything caramel! Yumminess!

  16. I love knowing what kind of cakes/frostings people love, too! It says a lot about them I think. :) I love this cake — your aunt has great taste!

  17. You frost cakes so well! I always end up looking like a hot mess.

  18. I want this cake! I want the entire thing for no particular reason except I want it.

  19. this sounds so delicious!

  20. The frosting looks absolutely incredible! I can imagine it working well with so many different flavors of cake.

  21. This is beautiful! Your aunt is a lucky lady. The cake layers are so light and fluffy…and I adore the swirls you made with your creamy frosting.

  22. Like you said Rachel, sometimes the simplest of recipes are the best – that’s definitely with me and my butter cake – but this cake looks fabulous! That caramel on top makes it for me! Pinning right now!

  23. You can never have too much caramel, amen sister!! This is gorgeous, I could go for a big slice right about now!

  24. This is my kind of cake! I love it!

  25. love, LOVE this cake, Rachel! It looks so delicious! :)

  26. Hehe, I love how you said you know the “flavor favorites” of your closest friends and family. I totally know what you mean! It gives me like some sort of pride to know my husbands likes/dislikes. This cake sounds/looks outstanding! Simple but rich is just the way I like it :)

  27. Gorgeous!! Wow, really. The cake, your photos, I’m drooling. Everyone needs a good yellow cake recipe. And that buttercream with caramel is tdf. :)

  28. mmmmmmmm, yummmmm, yummmmm, yummmm…let me have this gorgeous and marvelous and divine sweet cake :D

  29. Liz Speranza says:

    Did you put gold sprinkles on top? The cake looks so pretty and am making it for my 4 year old’s birthday. Gold on top is a plus! Wondering if you used some kind of sugar or a specific decorating sprinkle?

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