Easy Caramel Cake

Quick and Easy Caramel Cake topped with creamy cream cheese frosting!

This Quick and Easy Caramel Cake topped with creamy cream cheese frosting is sweet, delicious and gets better the longer it sits!

So I just got back from vacation. I feel like it’s the best and worst feeling ever.

Like you’re SO glad to be home, sleeping in your own bed and showering with all your regular shower stuff…

But then all that means vacation is over. Womp. Womp.

When I come home I always want regular food…like spaghetti…or chicken nuggets…or cake.

Which brings me to THIS cake. It’s the perfect post-vacation cake ever. First, it’s delicious…duh. Second, it’s simple. No one wants to come home and have to make something super complicated. And third, you could possibly have everything you need in your kitchen to make this now. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!

Quick and Easy Caramel Cake topped with creamy cream cheese frosting!

The batter is pretty basic. It’s a simple vanilla cake.

Caramel Cake Batter

As soon as the cake is baked, poke some holes all over the top…

Caramel Cake

Then pour caramel sauce all over the cake. The caramel will sink into the cake as it cools and pool in the holes you poke with the back of a wooden spoon.

I used just regular jarred caramel ice cream topping.

Pouring caramel all over cake!!

I mean…

Caramel Cake!!

Once it’s completely cooled make a simple cream cheese frosting and spread it all over the caramel layer.

Caramel Cake topped with creamy cream cheese frosting.

Then if you’re feeling like you need a little extra sweet in your life drizzle a little more caramel on top and swirl it in.

Of course this step is optional…hahahahahahaha.

Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting swirled with caramel.

Oh dear.

Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting swirled with caramel.

When you slice it you will see how while the caramel absorbed into the top of the cake it still pooled into the holes.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Quick and Easy Caramel Cake topped with creamy cream cheese frosting!

Have a great week!


Easy Caramel Cake

  • Author: Cookies & Cups



  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups caramel sauce, divided


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs in one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix to combine.
  3. Turn the mixer speed to low and add in the flour and the milk in alternating additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl to combine evenly.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is set or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Immediately poke holes into the top of the warm cake, about 1- inch apart. Pour 1 cup of the caramel on top of the cake and allow the cake to sit until it has cooled completely.


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth. Turn mixer to low and add in the vanilla and powdered sugar until combined.
  2. Turn mixer back up to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  3. When the cake is cooled spread the cream cheese frosting on top. Swirl the remaining caramel on top of the frosting.


store airtight for up to 3 days




21 Responses

  1. Lauren

    Hey lady, I absolutely adore all your recipes and your hilarious blog! I noticed with most of them they break the old rule of keeping the wet ingredients separate and mixing the dry together before incorporating. It feels so wrong to add baking powder/soda to the butter/sugar/eggs and then follow up with flour. I have made enough of your delicious recipes to have notice you’re pretty consistent with this method. Can you explain why you do it this way? Maybe if I can wrap my mind around it is can be as good of a baker as you!

    1. Shelly

      haha! well… mostly it comes from laziness 🙂 I’ve baked for so long and did it the traditional way forever until one day I just didn’t and didn’t see any difference in the results!

  2. Lucy

    I would like to read the reviews from people who actually made this recipe instead of comments from people/bloggers who didn’t make it. I clicked on review several times and it’s not showing. It also didn’t allow me to rate the recipe.

    1. Lilli

      A little late to reply, but I have made this cake using the recipe above (followed to the letter) and it was really bland. Apart from the icing, the cake itself was not very sweet and had almost no flavor. It also took a lot longer to cook to the point of browning on top but was liquid in the middle. I had to cover it to prevent it from burning before it had fully cooked. I won’t be making it again.

  3. Lindsey

    That cake looks AmaZzZZing!! Been following your site for a year now, and you are absolutely, my favorite site!! I wish your pictures were edible!! Yum. Thanks for being Awesome!! We love you down in Georgia!! Xo

  4. Jody

    This looks amazing and I’m going to make this soon! Of course the chocoholic in me starting thinking right away how to get chocolate in there without losing the
    caramel-y goodness. Maybe a chocolate swirl on top? Any thoughts on what would work?

  5. Kathy

    I’ve made this with German Chocolate cake and used the caramel and sweetened condensed milk then cover with a layer of crushed Heath Bars. Then whipped cream and more caramel and heath bars. Refrigerate over night.

    1. Patricia McMahon

      This recipe reminded me of that cake too!
      We always called it “Better Than Sex Cake”. 🙂
      All the women agreed with the name when they ate it! It’s one of my ‘go-to’ potluck recipes.
      Time for a potluck!!

  6. Brandie

    I JUST saw this same recipe in a magazine! You made it immediately And you didn’t even give credit! YOU STOLE IT! You even used cream cheese frosting and swirled the top!!!

    1. Shelly

      oh my gosh, what magazine? I actually did not get this recipe from a magazine, but adapted it slightly from an old poke cake recipe from my mom’s recipe box. It was a recipe from the 80’s, no doubt…so it’s certainly possible it has been around for a while. Sorry if you saw a similarity from a magazine, but I can assure you there was no “thievery” involved 🙂

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