Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr
This is a Detroit-area favorite. I recently made this for my mom's birthday, since it was always her favorite cake, and it turned out delicious! The icing is the actual Sanders recipe that was printed in the Detroit News in 1973, and will frost a two-layer 9" cake. The cake recipe is from Gourmet, Jan. 2008 and will only make a 1-layer cake, so double the recipe if you would like 2 layers. Enjoy!
For the icing
- 1 lb caramel
- 1⁄2 cup hot water
- 1 cup sweet butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
For the cake
- 2 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
- 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
- Start with the icing: place the caramels and water in a double boiler. Heat and stir until smooth and creamy. Cool.
- Place butter in a mixing bowl, add sugar and mix at a low speed to a smooth paste. Mix at a medium speed while adding the caramel mixture. Set aside.
- Make the cake: butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper, then butter parchment.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
- Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.
My husband grew up in Detroit and this was his FAVORITE cake of all time, so I decided to make it for his 60th birthday. It was very expensive to make, and NOT AT ALL like the Sanders Caramel Cake you buy in the store. I consider myself to be an above average cook and baker, so the instructions were not beyond me. But this cake was AWFUL! Heavy, tasteless, and the frosting was way too thin, even though I added additional confectioners sugar. I'd never make this again. I'll pay the big bucks to order it, delivered, from Sanders.