A soft and buttery vanilla cake cloaked with sweet caramel icing! This caramel cake recipe uses the reverse creaming method for a plush, buttery crumb. I recommend reading through the recipe and watching the video (below the recipe) before beginning.
Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and lightly grease and flour the sides and bottoms of two 8” round baking pans¹. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using an electric mixer), stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt until well-combined.
With mixer on low speed, add butter, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture resembles sandy coarse crumbs.
Stir in oil until well-combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
With mixer on low-speed, gradually pour milk mixture into flour mixture. Once combined, pause to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then gradually increase speed to high and beat for 30 seconds.
Divide batter evenly into prepared pans and bake on 350F (175C) for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack to cool completely.
Prepare caramel icing:
Combine brown sugar, butter, salt, milk, and heavy cream in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-heat. Stir frequently until brown sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil.
Once boiling, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and pour into a large heat-proof bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before proceeding.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and stir with stand mixer or an electric mixer until combined. Increase speed to high and stir until caramel mixture is almost completely cooled and icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
Spread over cake. If icing is dripping off of cake (especially when icing the sides), let it cool a bit longer before proceeding.
Allow icing to solidify completely before slicing cake and serving. Enjoy!
¹May use 9” pans, but the cakes will need to bake for less time, around 28-30 minutes.²I like to use half light brown and half dark brown sugar, but you may use all of either instead.