Burnt Sugar Cake

My second cake with The Cake Slice Baker's is a Burnt Sugar Cake.  I was a little intimidated by the recipe because I have had a couple of burnt sugar disasters.  Well all that is in the past because this cake couldn't have been easier.

The cake was very easy to put together.  So moist and delicious!  Really, the flavor is amazing, like sweet caramel.  And the gorgeous golden color reminds me of butterscotch pudding.

The only problem I had was with the frosting. I don't know if it was the frosting's consistency or my complete lack of cake decorating skills, but it was a little difficult to spread.  A bit thin if you ask me. 

I took this cake to my in-law's home to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday.  Everyone loved the cake!  The teenagers and younger kiddies all raved about the frosting.

I really like how the cake and frosting taste, but together it seemed a bit overwhelming.  Is there such a thing as too sweet?  I think a Cream Cheese frosting would be really good with this cake.  And the frosting would be great with any Chocolate cake or maybe even an Applesauce cake. (Mmmm!)

Burnt Sugar Cake from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (below)

Burnt Sugar Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water

Burnt Sugar Frosting:

  • 3¾ cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (above)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons evaporated milk or normal milk

Burnt Sugar Syrup:
Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan with high sides. Heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear brown caramel syrup. It should be the colour of tea.

Gradually add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you should be protected.  Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water combines with the syrup and turns a handsome brown syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar if not using straight away

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork to mix well.

Stir the vanilla into the milk.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 2 – 3 minutes, until they are well combined. Stop now and then to scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time.

Pour in half a cup of the burnt sugar syrup and beat well.

Add a third of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, beating at a low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in another third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finally, add the remaining flour.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the centre and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for15 minutes. Turn out the cakes into the wire rack to cool completely.

Burnt Sugar Frosting:
In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the burnt sugar syrup, butter and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and continue beating until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if it is thin, and a little more milk if it is too thick.

To Assemble
Place one layer, top side down, on a cake stand or serving plate. Scoop about ¾ cup of the frosting onto the cake. Spread to the edges and place the second cake layer over it, top side down. Frost the sides of the cake, and then the top until it is evenly covered.


With Love,
Leslie Limon

Printable Recipe


  1. Your cake looks great, but I agree with you on it being too sweet. I didn't think there was such a thing as too sweet either.

  2. I think your frosting looks great! I really liked this cake - but then again I have a major sweet tooth!

  3. Your cake looks fantastic and you got such a lovely deep caramel colour to your syrup.

  4. Great job on your cake and it looks delicious. I too like it but not keen on the frosting though.

  5. Your cake turned out beautiful! It was a little too sweet thought. Love the colors your syrup turned!

  6. Your cake looks great. I agree that the cake would been awesome better with a cream cheese frosting instead.

  7. Every time I took a bite I kept thinking about how good a cream cheese frosting would be good on this. But then again cream cheese tastes great on everything!

    Yuor cake slice looks wonderful!