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

Brown Butter Caramel Cake

  • 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


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!



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)


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!


  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.

Keywords: caramel cake, brown butter cake, homemade caramel sauce, caramel pound cake, southern caramel cake, brown butter caramel cake