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5 from 1 vote

Southern Caramel Bundt Cake

A rich buttery cake topped with a traditional boiled caramel icing for a twist on a Southern classic.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: caramel bundt cake, old fashioned bundt cake, southern caramel cake
Servings: 1 large Bundt cake
Author: Katie Shaw


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups cake flour see notes
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For the Icing:

  • 1/3 cup white sugar to caramelize
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center.  Prepare a Bundt pan by greasing with shortening or butter, then coating with flour, or use a baking spray that contains flour.
  • Beat butter until fluffy with an electric mixer.   Add the sugar and beat well.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each.  Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until blended.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.  Pour into Bundt ban.
  •  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-65 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool.  Allow to cool completely before icing the cake.
  • To ice the cake, either pour the icing over the cake or pipe on drizzled icing (see icing instructions.)

To make the icing:

  • Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the white sugar in a shallow, heavy-bottomed pot that will hold at least 3 quarts.  (You will be boiling the caramel in this pot, so don't go smaller.). Cook the sugar over medium heat, constantly stirring. Some of it will clump, which is fine.  Remove from heat when the sugar melts and forms a light golden syrup.
  • In a separate large saucepan, heat the milk, remaining sugar, and flour.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Pour the milk mixture into the pot with the caramelized sugar.  Heat on low and keep stirring until any clumps dissolve.  Turn the heat up to medium and allow to cook until thickened, about 5 to 10 ten minutes, until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees.  Add the butter and stir.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow to sit at room temperature 1 hour.
  • When the caramel has cooled to about 110 degrees, pour into a mixing bowl and add the vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer until it has reached the desired consistency.  It will get thicker as you beat.  Icing for glazing the cake will take just a few minutes to beat, but icing that's a piping consistency will take at least 5 minutes.


If you don't have cake flour, you can substitute 2 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour and 3 tablespoons cornstarch.
You can also bake these in two small Bundt pans, or four "quartet" Bundt pans.  The bake time will be approximately 40 minutes for small and 30 minutes for quartet.