Brown Sugar Cake on a cake stand.
Brown Sugar Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
50 mins

Makes 4 - 6 inch cake or 2 - 8 or 9 inch cakes

Course: Cake, Candy, Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: brown sugar cake, caramel cream cheese frosting, caramel frosting, caramel sail
Servings: 15 Hani Bacova
Brown Sugar Cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (2sticks, 226grams)
  • 1 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 6 whole eggs at room temperature
Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 pkg/8oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature (1 cup, 226 grams)
  • 1 cup thick caramel sauce
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar (optional)
Thick Caramel - link to the recipe listed in the notes
Caramel Sail
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
Brown Sugar Cake
  1. Cake pans info

    this cake batter makes

    4 - 6 inch cake pans

    2 - 8 and 9 inch cake pans

    Recipe can be halved to make 2 - 6 inch cake

  2. Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and line baking 4 - 6 inch baking pans with parchment paper. Butter again and dust with flour. Shake out excess flour.

  3. Into a large bowl, sift cake flour (3cups), baking powder (1/2stp) and table salt (1/2tsp). Set aside.

  4. In a bowl of your stand mixer, and with a paddle attachment. Or use a hand held mixer. Cream unsalted room temperature butter (2 sticks, 226 grams) with light brown sugar (1cup and 3/4cup) and granulated sugar (3/4cup) until smooth, for about 5 -7 minutes.
    Then gradually add sour cream (1cup) in 3 additions. Beat until well combined, about a minute.

  5. On low speed, beat in sifted flour mix and eggs (6eggs), alternating and in 3 additions. Adding 2 eggs at a time. Scraping the bowl twice. Beat just until combined. Lastly beat in vanilla extract.
    Fill the prepared cake pans.
    Bake at 325F.

  6. Baking Times

    8 /9 inch cake pan : 50 - 60 minutes.
    6 inch cake pan : about 45-55 minutes.

  7. Insert a toothpick or skewer into the cake to check if it's done. Clean toothpick indicated cake is baked. Remove from the oven at once and let it cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about an hour. Carefully invert the cake onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely.
    This cake can be frozen as well. Wrap it well in plastic wrap before freezing. Let it defrost on a counter.

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Frosting will fill and frost layered cake made from 2 -6 inch cakes, trimmed and torted to 4 cake layers.

  2. Beat cream cheese (2pkg. 8oz.) until smooth. Then add room temperature butter (1cup, 2sticks, 226grams) and beat until well combined and fluffy.

  3. Spray 1 cup measure with a non stick spray or lightly grease 1 cup measure with butter. Spoon or pour generous 1 cup of thick caramel into the cup. Gradually beat thick caramel into cream cheese and butter mixture. Beat until well blended and fluffy. You can start mixing with a paddle attachment and then switch to wire attachment. Or use hand held mixer.

  4. This caramel cream cheese frosting is soft. It firms up in the fridge but doesn't behave like Swiss butttercream, it never becomes very hard. Store frosting in the fridge until ready to use. Let it come to room temperature before frosting the cake.

Cake Assembly
  1. Tort 6 inch cakes, you should have 4 cake layers. Fill cakes with caramel cream cheese frosting. Crumb coat cake and chill for an hour or 2. Then frost the cake with remaining caramel cream cheese frosting.

Caramel Sail -
  1. Caramel is hot. Make caramel decorations under adult supervision only.

    In a heavy stainless steel pot combine granulated sugar (2 cups)and water (3tbsp). Heat on medium heat until dissolved. If you notice sugar crystals sticking to the sides of he pan cover the pan with a lid and let the steam and condensation wash down the sides of the pan. Don't stir once sugar is dissolved.

  2. Cook caramel until it turn medium amber color. Take the pan from the heat. Stop the cooking process and to prevent caramel from burning plunge the bottom of the pan into a cool water.

  3. Let caramel thicken to syrup consistency. Then pour it onto a silicone mat. Shape it over a tall drinking glass. Use office clips or spring clamps to make the folds. Let harden for 20 minutes.

  4. Remove clams and clips and peel off the silicone. Look at that awesome caramel sail decorations.

  5. Store caramel decoration in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Place a small bowl with rice into the container. It helps to absorb moisture from the air. You an also use Edible Glaze Spray to seal the poured sugar decoration so it doesn't get affected by humidity as fast.

Recipe Notes

Yes I do. Thick Caramel Sauce.


You can microwave it in 5 second increments. Don't make it too runny. If it becomes too run, stick it into the fridge to thicken a bit.


Brown Sugar Caramel Cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Caramel sail decoration held up on a cake in the fridge nicely for up to 3 days.


You can make it up to 2 days ahead. Store in a cool place in an airtight container on piece of parchment and with a small bowl of raw rice or food grade silica gel packets.  Don't let silica or rice touch the decoration.