Sour Cream Layer Cake with Caramel Icing
This stunning caramel cake not only looks delicious, but tastes pretty good, too!
  • Makes: 1 cake
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes (including icing)
  • Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

  • Recipe Created By:
  • Recipe From: Tennessee Home & Farm



  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups sour cream
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Caramel Icing

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Cream together butter, sugar and sour cream. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in baking soda, salt and vanilla. Alternate adding flour with the buttermilk. Stir until just combined.
  3. Pour into pans and bake 28 to 35 minutes, until center springs to the touch.
  4. To make the icing, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally until it is just brown and foamy.
  5. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Stir until it begins to bubble around the edges. Allow to cool slightly. Stir in powered sugar and salt vigorously.
  6. If icing is too thick to spread, stir in more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Frost cake quickly.
  7. If desired, pour additional caramel sauce over the top of the cake.

Tips & Notes

Though making the caramel icing isn’t difficult, the timing can be tricky. Allow layers to cool completely in pans, about 30 minutes, before adding icing.


  1. It looks like there are two different types of caramel icing on this cake. One icing that covers all the layers and then a thinner icing poured on top. Is this the case and are there two different recipes for each icing?

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    Thanks for your comment! The caramel icing that covers all the layers is our Caramel Icing recipe which can be found here: The thinner layer is actually just caramel sauce (you can use store bought or homemade) that is an option for styling the cake. Sorry about the confusion! We will be sure to clarify in the recipe.

  3. Seems like more steps are needed before you ice the cake?? Do you remove the cake layers from the pans immediately or do they cool in the pans for how long before you remove them from the pans? Also what icing goes by an the layers….and how much icing goes on each of the 3 layers??

  4. Hello Norman,
    Allow the layers to cool while in the baking pans. This takes about 30 minutes. Place one layer on a cake plate. Ice very quickly with just enough caramel icing to cover the entire top. Quickly repeat this until all layers are stacked and iced. This icing can be tricky because it sets so fast. Ice the top layer and sides immediately after stacking and icing the rest of the cake. Timing is everything in this process. However, it is so delicious that is is worth the effort!
    Best, Mary Carter


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