This Brown Butter Caramel Cake is such a showstopper, y’all. The golden cake itself is super fragrant and infused with nutty brown butter, extra tender and moist, and topped with homemade caramel sauce. If you love traditional Southern caramel cake, you will enjoy this caramel bundt cake that’s every bit rich and decadent!

brown butter caramel cake on speckled plate with small knife on the side

The obsession over this brown butter caramel cake is too real, friends. You should know that developing cake recipes is one of my most favorite things to do. Desserts will always have my heart and I know that you all love ’em just the same. It’s been a hot minute since a sweet treat hit the site and today we’re clearing up that drought, ha. Grab that butter, flour, and sugar…leggo!

Brown Butter Caramel Cake 🤩

This caramel cake is so flavorful, golden, and extra moist with not a dry crumb in sight! Brown butter ups the rich flavor by delivering that signature nuttiness, too. You’ll love the homemade caramel sauce that finishes this brown butter cake. It’s super decadent which compliments the tender bundt cake. I like to think of this cake as a cousin to the famous Southern caramel cake.

⇢ Whether it’s my reader-fave Sweet Potato Pound Cake, this super moist Lemon Bundt Cake, or my Caribbean Rum Cake…my cakes are bomb! 🤌🏾

brown butter caramel cake on gold cooling rack

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Cake flour: Like its name says, this is a type of flour for the dreamiest of cakes. Cake flour is a fine-textured, soft flour that produces tender, light, and airy baked goods. I’m a big fan of Swans Down cake flour! All-purpose flour can be used as a substitute, but I highly recommend cake flour here!
  • Baking powder: The leavening agent to add a lift to our bundt cake.
  • Sea salt: I use fine sea salt to compliment the caramel-y vibe here.
  • Butter: We’re browning the butter in this cake recipe…yes indeed.
  • Oil: I use vegetable oil, but canola oil works as well!
  • Granulated sugar: Good ole granulated sugar is needed.
  • Brown sugar: For a molasses-laden kick, yum.
  • Eggs: Gotta have eggs to provide some structure.
  • Vanilla essence: Feel free to use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
  • Rum extract: A pop of richness and imparts caramel-like flavor.
  • Buttermilk: A helper in the #teammoist department, delivers tang and makes this brown butter caramel cake so tender.
  • For the caramel sauce: brown sugar, butter, salt, heavy cream, and vanilla.

How To Make This Dreamy Brown Butter Caramel Cake:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously spray a 10-cup bundt pan with baking spray or grease well with butter, and then set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk well to combine. Set the dry ingredients aside while you brown the butter. 
  2. In a small, light-colored saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the butter, stirring every so often, until it turns deep brown and has a nutty aroma with brown bits on the bottom. Once achieved, remove from heat and let brown butter cool down.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the brown butter, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla essence, rum extract, and buttermilk. Whisk the wet ingredients well to thoroughly combine. Then add the flour mixture into the same bowl and use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined with all dry ingredients dissolved. Empty the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  4. Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Allow the cake to cool down completely before icing.
brown butter caramel cake on speckled plate with knife on the side

Homemade Caramel Sauce- oh la la:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, and salt. Let the mixture simmer, stirring every so often, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the cream and whisk well to fully combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cook the sauce, whisking occasionally, until the caramel sauce thickens some, about 6-7 minutes. Then remove from heat and add the vanilla essence, stirring well to combine. Let caramel sauce cool down to room temperature before glazing over the cake, thickening as it cools.
  2. Put bundt cake onto a cake stand or large plate/platter and pour desired amount of homemade caramel sauce over the cake. Slice into wedges and serve this brown butter caramel cake immediately! 👅

⇢ For my chocolate lovers, this Double Chocolate Bundt Cake cannot be missed. And if you like lemon treats, get at my Lemon Sheet Cake!

slices of brown butter caramel cake on speckled plate

Tips + Tricks, FAQs & More For Success

Here’s some extra info I think you’ll find helpful about this dessert recipe:

  • Grease/butter the pan – Generously grease/butter your bundt pan mold (this is the one I have) very well. Double grease every single nook and cranny for a flawless cake to release in the end with none of it sticking to the mold.
  • Gluten-free needs? – Swap the cake flour for any gluten-free baking flour as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).
  • What makes this cake moist? – There’s nothing more terrible than a dry cake, oof. The butter, oil, and buttermilk help to prevent any dryness.
  • Make-ahead caramel sauce – You can make the caramel sauce a day or two ahead of time. Let sauce cool and transfer it into an airtight container and keep stored in the fridge until ready to use. It will thicken so let sit out at room temperature before glazing the cake.
  • Make-ahead cake – The cake can be made a day ahead as well. Let the cake cool down to room temperature. Then wrap the cake well in plastic wrap/foil and let sit out at room temperature. Glaze and serve on the following day.
  • How to store a bundt cake – This brown butter caramel cake will keep fresh when stored inside of an airtight container (those cake domes are great!) or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap/foil. If you’d like, you can keep it on the counter for about 3-4 days. To freeze, wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap, first. Then cover the plastic wrapped cake completely in foil (to prevent freezer burn). It will keep in the freezer for about 2 months. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the fridge.
sliced caramel cake on speckled plate

Y’all, this Brown Butter Caramel Cake is so stupid-good, gahhh. Add it to your list and holla at me afterwards. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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brown butter caramel cake on speckled plate with small knife on the side

Brown Butter Caramel Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Desserts & Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Brown Butter Caramel Cake is such a showstopper, y’all. The golden cake itself is super fragrant and infused with nutty brown butter, extra tender and moist, and topped with homemade caramel sauce. If you love traditional Southern caramel cake, you will enjoy this caramel bundt cake that’s every bit rich and decadent!


Ingredients

Scale

For the cake:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence (I use vanilla bean paste)
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract- optional
  • 1 ⅓ cup whole buttermilk

For the caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (I use vanilla bean paste)

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat & prep. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously spray a 10-cup bundt pan with baking spray or grease well with butter (hitting every corner for a flawless release!), and then set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk well to combine. Set the dry ingredients aside while you brown the butter. 
  2. Brown the butter. In a small, light-colored saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter melts, it will get foamy and you will hear it bubbling as it cooks. Then it will take on a clear, light golden color. Note: Do not leave the pot unattended for long during the browning process as it can burn very quickly. Stir the butter every so often, scraping up any bits as you stir, until it turns deep brown and has a nutty aroma with brown bits on the bottom. Once achieved, remove from heat and let brown butter cool down.
  3. Bring cake batter together. In a large bowl, combine the brown butter, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla essence, rum extract (if using), and buttermilk. Whisk the wet ingredients well to thoroughly combine. Then add the flour mixture into the same bowl and use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined with all dry ingredients dissolved. Empty the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan- use a utensil to smooth the top if needed.
  4. Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Allow the cake to cool down completely before icing.

For the caramel sauce:

  1. Make caramel sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, and salt. Let the mixture simmer, stirring every so often, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the cream and whisk well to fully combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, lower the heat if necessary. Cook the sauce, whisking occasionally, until the caramel sauce thickens some, about 6-7 minutes. Then remove from heat and add the vanilla essence, stirring well to combine. Let caramel sauce cool down to room temperature before glazing over the cake- it will thicken as it cools.
  2. Glaze cake & serve. Place cake onto a cake stand or large plate/platter and pour desired amount of homemade caramel sauce over the cake. Slice into wedges and serve. If desired, this cake is really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Cake flour notes: Cake flour is a fine-textured, soft flour that produces tender, light, and airy baked goods. For the most luscious, tender-crumb cake, I recommend using cake flour. All-purpose flour can be used as a sub, but I highly recommend cake flour here!
  2. Storing cake: This brown butter caramel cake will keep fresh when stored inside of an airtight container (those cake domes are great!) or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap/foil. If you’d like, you can keep it on the counter for about 3-4 days. To freeze, wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap, first. Then cover the plastic wrapped cake completely in foil (to prevent freezer burn). It will keep in the freezer for about 2 months. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the fridge.
  3. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.