Salted Caramel Vanilla Bean Layer Cake


Anytime I make the effort to actually bake a layer cake it usually means its a special occasion. Well- can you believe I planned to bake this cake exactly a year ago? I actually decided that every year  I’d make this cake and on August 25th I’d eat it with Andy to celebrate our wedding anniversary. How has it been a year?? I feel like just yesterday I was frantically DIY-ing the heck out of that thing in my living room, planning every detail and feeling like it was so far away. How here we are, married a year, and on the road to parenthood. Time sure does fly huh?


We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake, but instead had a fabulous dessert bar with a small cutting cake in the middle. My flavor choice is likely not a surprise, and though I don’t think I ate more than the bite Andy & I fed each other- I remember thinking that cake was darn good. How can you go wrong with flavors like this? Since my memory of our wedding cake was iffy- I didn’t have much to draw from except I knew it was a fluffy vanilla cake with soft caramel sauce and salted caramel frosting as the filling. I went with that and actually think my recreation is spot on! This cake is sweet, salty and oh so good. I look forward to making it for the next 50 years!! ;)


We spent our anniversary in DC, wandering through museums and eating some fabulous meals along the way. Throughout the day I kept looking at the time and saying, “One year ago at this moment I was getting into the limo!!” or “I bet at this exact moment we had our first dance!” Then I made us watch our wedding video and I got weepy thinking about my favorite day ever. I look forward to this next chapter, making new favorite days and memories, but this first anniversary sure was a sentimental one!

Audra and Andy 0480

PS- More wedding pictures here or here.

Salted Caramel Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

Salted Caramel Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

Yield: 1 8 inch cake


  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, or a combo of extract, vanilla bean paste or vanilla bean
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup salted caramel sauce*, cooled.
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter, flour and line with parchment 2 8x8 round baking pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and pale. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, and add to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, starting and ended with the flour mixture. Don't over-beat the batter.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pans evenly, smoothing tops with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

For frosting:

  1. Cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat until well combined. Add 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cream or milk if desired if your frosting seems a little dry.

To assemble.

  1. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake stand. Use a fork to poke some holes along the surface of the cake. Carefully spread 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce over the cake layer, letting it soak into the cake. Top with a thick layer of frosting.
  2. Add the second cake layer with the flattest side facing up. Repeat the process of poking the cake with a fork, adding the remaining caramel sauce, and topping with frosting. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired.


*If you don't want to make homemade caramel, store bought is fine- just add a teaspoon of sea salt. Vanilla cake recipe loosely adapted from: All Recipes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


  1. That cake! A perfect choice for a celebration. And, it looks like you have plenty to enjoy for a few more days, too. :-) I don’t think I ate more than the obligatory fed bite of wedding cake at our wedding, either. Happy anniversary!

    1. Thanks darlin- yeah that cake could be frozen for our next 10 anniversaries if I wanted ;) But I at least got a chance to taste it this time around!!

  2. Congrats on your first anniversary, it is a great tradition to eat the same cake for 50 years. :) I am looking forward to it too, and I might use your recipe for it, too.
    We got married on the exact same day as you did and I was thinking what I did at the same day last year too. :)

    I wish you all the best and that the cake of your marriage will be swetter every year!

  3. Aww time goes by so fast! I remember when you posted about your wedding and can’t believe how fast a year has gone. Love this cake!! The frosting looks amazing. Cheers to a lifetime of celebratory cakes with your hubby :)

  4. Hi Audra

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!!!!. Good luck to you and your growing family.

  5. I am so happy for you and your husband! So many big milestones in just one year :) It’s weird to think that even just a year ago I was reading your posts about getting ready for the wedding. It doesn’t feel like a year as I’m sure you feel the same way. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

    This cake looks beautiful and amazing and I can’t wait to try it.

  6. Sweet memories! I do believe your cake was the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted, so great choice to recreate. Did you both love it?

  7. What a great idea to recreate your wedding cake on your anniversary. Of course, I made my own wedding cake, so it shouldn’t be too hard for me to steal that idea. Or maybe I’ll make this cake for our anniversary. If I can wait that long.

  8. Ohhhhhhhh so sweet!!! And now you’re gonna have a lil baby! I’m so happy for you Audra, Happy Anniversary!!

    And omg these cake is an amazing tradition. It looks so beautiful and SO delicious!

    1. Thanks so much Kayle :) Lets just see if I have the energy to keep the tradition up in coming year…wishful thinking I guess! :)

  9. Aww such a super sweet way to celebrate your first anniversary!! Both the cake and the DC outing. :P This looks seriously amazing. Salted caramel and I are for real BFFs.

  10. Absolutely gorgeous photo of you and your hubby :) the cake doesn’t look too bad either! :D Congratulations!

  11. I am loving your blog! My husband and I will be in DC next month and would love to have some recommendations for restaurants that we should try–if you have time to post a couple.

    1. Hey Lisa! We ate at: Good Stuff Eatery (casual burger joint) Founding Farmers for brunch, and had a fabulous anniversary dinner at Blue Duck Tavern. Also we stopped at Pitango for gelato… all our choices were absolutely fabulous and oh so delicious!

  12. You’re such a lovely bride! Thanks for sharing these memories. You have such a cute personality, A.
    And, yes, wait til your baby is born. That will be your next fav day! xo

  13. Happy Anniversary! What a gorgeous cake, sounds delicious, and that picture of the two of you is beautiful. Here’s to many more years of marriage and eating this cake! :D Pinned!

  14. …I’m back to report the frosting recipe is killer :) used homemade caramel sauce and used this on vanilla cupcakes. Delish!

  15. Made this cake this weekend and it was SO delicious! I had to have two attempts at the caramel because I burnt the first batch but the second time it worked out and was definitely worth it!!

  16. This cake looks perfect! I was just wondering if you think the frosting recipe makes enough to frost the sides of the cake too?


    1. Hi Alli! The frosting was just enough to fill and top it. I would double it for the sides- I feel like it’s always better to have extra!

  17. So, I am new to cooking for the most part, at least this level of baking. I am assuming you use the 12 tbsp is used in the batter, while the 2 sticks is used for the frosting. Talking about the butter that is. I am going with that, but if that is wrong I guess I will know. If you have any seemingly obvious tips for 24year old bachelor male who randomly dexided to take cooking up as a hobby, I would appreciate that.

  18. Hi Audra,

    I’m a new follower and I love your site!

    I am planning to bake this cake for my baby’s 12 month birthday party and I was wondering whether it will be ok to use 3 tsp of vanilla bean paste? or should I change the quantities? I have actually never used vanilla paste before but I thought it would be nice and extra especial to try and use it for this particular cake.

    Looking forward to your answer:)


      1. Hello Audra, Thank you for your reply. Just to let you know that the cake was a hit! thank you so much for your recipes!!

  19. This cake was amazing! I love cream cheese frosting, so I used that instead of the buttercream and everyone loved it. Thanks for a great recipe! Pink Himalayan sea salt was the perfect finishing touch. My cakes always slide, though. Am I using too much frosting? The layers were fairly even. It wasn’t the prettiest cake, but no one cared!

    1. IS the cake totally cooled when you frost it? I’ve had sliding issues when I frosted the cake a bit warm…

  20. Just made this cake for my daughter’s birthday – it was seriously one of the best cakes I’ve ever had! I made with einkorn flour, because I can’t tolerate wheat, and drizzled some of the salted caramel sauce over the top of the cake. The cake was so light – I think it is my go-to recipe for any vanilla cake. Thanks!

  21. Hello! I’m making this cake for my sister bridal shower this weekend (will be my 3rd time makin it-we LOVE this cake!)… there is going to be 40 people there so I was going to make it in cake and cupcake form. Any tips for using the cake recipe as a cupcake? Or just bake the same temp as the cake would?

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