If you've read "Can't Wait to Get to Heaven" by Fannie Flagg, you'll already know what I mean.  There are old-fashioned cakes made with so much love (and butter!) that "a slice of heaven" is the only thing to call them.  

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Here's my own recipe, based on a dozen old-fashioned ones given me by Southern friends over the years.  This is my favorite caramel cake.  It has a sturdy texture to the cake itself, almost a pound-cake texture, and the frosting is rich and thick.  The recipe in the back of Fannie Flagg's book Can't Wait to Get to Heaven yields a cake with a fine crumb and a very soft frosting, a whole different species than my recipe here, but well worth trying.

         Mine is the sort of cake that true Southerners reserve for Sunday dinner, after the 3 meats (including fried chicken) and the 5 vegetables requisite to the Sunday dinner table.  Enjoy!

        (If you're going to make cakes, please invest in Wilton baking pans.  They're worth the investment, and you can often find them at considerable discounts at places like TJ Maxx or Ross or Steinmart or visit www.Wilton.com.)


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup packed (!) dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small box sugar free instant pudding mix (Vanilla or -- my favorite -- White Chocolate)


    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 1/4 cup packed (!) dark brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream mixed with 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 cups (1 box) 10X sugar


*Grease and flour 2 9" cake pans.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

*Mix 1/2 cup softened butter with 1 cup packed dark brown sugar with a mixer for at least 4 minutes.  Sugar will disappear into the butter completely.  Whip in the vanilla extract.

*Add 3 eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

*Separately, sift together the cake flour, self-rising flour, baking powder and salt. Add the box of instant pudding mix and toss lightly with fork.

*Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the sugar-butter mixture.  After the last addition, beat the batter for one additional minute.  Then, pour the batter into the two pans.

*Baking time:  30 minutes.  Cool layers completely before frosting.

*To make the caramel frosting:  Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the brown sugar.  Turn up heat to medium and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes.  Take off heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and vanilla & pour into mixing bowl.  Beat with electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.  Add in 10X sugar a cup at a time and beat on medium speed after each addition, adding a drop or two of extra cream as necessary.  Frosting will be thick, but spreadable.  If as you frost the cake the caramel frosting becomes too thick to spread, add another drop or two of cream.

*Refrigerate uncovered frosted caramel cake for at least 3 hours before serving.  Remove from refrigerator at least 3/4 hour before serving.  Store leftovers (should there be any!) tightly wrapped or covered.

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