Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

My birthday is coming up. Therefore, two things have been on my mind. The first being cake. The second being age, biological clocks, and grey hairs. I made this Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake for my 30th birthday (a few years back) and decided that the post needed a little nip and tuck. This cake has been made numerous times since its inception, and it was high time to give it a proper chance to be viewed and not stuck way back in the archives never to be seen again. Which, in all honesty, I’m happy all my older posts are safe and sound in obscurity.

I’ve been thinking a lot about aging gracefully. Sure, I get insecure as well as the next millennial female who has extra poundage. I don’t know, maybe it’s my age and all the wisdom that comes with it, (joking) but I agree with the adage “age is a privilege few are granted.”

I care, now, about a good A1C > BMI. I care about drinking enough water > whether it’s tap or not. I care about avoiding chemicals where I can > the grey hairs that are starting to frame my 32-year-old face. I wear those things proudly, in a size large, of course, and I am healthy.

Dyeing my hair—for the longest time—it just co-existed with my style. Hey! It’s 2003 and highlights are all the RAGE! Let’s do it! Girl! It’s 2000 and dyeing your hair slightly purple is so hot right now! Okay, I’m in. I moved with it, and I don’t regret it. Going grey was never a statement. It was just something I decided to do.

However, my greying hair has been a point of conversation at dinner parties and Instagram stories. People are baffled by my choice to go grey, and they find it in themselves a requirement to complement my bravery. I mean, please, complement me, I love it! I find it weird since I dug up no strength to go where my body was naturally taking me. It brings up internal questions of worth.

Am I good enough? Pretty enough? Skinny enough? Branded enough? Empowered enough? Strong enough? Quiet enough? Empathetic enough? Young enough? Successful enough? Meek enough?

I just don’t know. Because those are things I don’t really care about. What I do care about is this:

Am I kind enough? Am I thoughtful enough? Do I add value to the people around me? Does my life point towards hope?

My worth is not my hair. My worth is not my weight. No matter how many times my friend Connie has to remind me of that (luv you, boo). All we can hope for as we age is to be able to eat cake on our birthdays sans judgement and with JOY.

As to the other thing that have been on my mind, Cake. I love making cake. It’s my job to make cake. I realized I just don’t have enough cake recipes on the blog. Maybe it’s because I make cake all the time? Maybe they just don’t seem as special? I just can’t answer that for you. What I can do is make more cake for the blog—with your permission of course. So, I bring you this favorite recipe of mine to you, again. Here it is with flair, passion, and a little essay about the importance of aging as I see fit.

Definitely make this cake. It’s warm, full of caramel, and probably my favorite cake of all Olive and Artisan time.


Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

Excerpt from my original post about turning 30. Yep. Not too much has changed.

I am writing this post in my twenties and I will be posting this at age thirty. The Karlee of the past hopes that the Karlee of the future will welcome 30 with dignity, but the Karlee of twenty-nine knows better.

But, thirty? That one scared me. This year was not an easy age to come to terms with. I’m still fighting the urge to buy anti-wrinkle cream and start upping my 401k contributions. I don’t want to invest in my future; I want to buy that designer leather purse. Does this mean I’m going to need to start caring more about public education and healthcare reform?

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cake

Salted Caramel Sauce

Browned Butter Cake Salted Caramel  

Print Recipe
Serves: 10 Cooking Time: 2 hours


  • Browned Butter Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (two sticks) butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • -For the buttercream-
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoon water, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch of salt, generous
  • 4–5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • Jacobsen flaked sea salt for garnish



For the cake


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Melt the butter In a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl the butter in the pan so the solids won’t remain in the bottom and burn. The butter will eventually start to froth and boil. As soon as this happens keep moving the pan around until the center of the butter starts to brown. Remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. This process can take about 5-10 minutes.


After the butter has cooled for about 5 minutes add the brown and granulated sugar and stir. Add the room temperature eggs one at a time and stirring rapidly.


In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt together, and stir to combine ingredients well. Add the flour mixture to the browned butter mixture and stir on low while slowly adding the buttermilk. Keep mixing until combined.


Divide batter evenly into three buttered 6-inch pans, and place in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove cake from pans after they have cooled to a handling temperature and place on a cooling rack.


For the buttercream


In a standing mixter, whip the butter and salt on high for 6 minutes adding a tablespoon of cold water every two minutes. Scrape down the sides and whip again for another 3-5 minutes. Set the mixer to low and add in 4 cups of powdered sugar a slowly increasing speed until combined. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar at a time until you teach your desired texture. Add water a tablespoon at a time if frosting is too thick.


Level the cakes before frosting.


Layer and the cakes with the butter cream in between layers. Frost cake. Drizzle cake with a half cup of caramel sauce along the top edges. Sprinkle lightly with Jacobsen sea salt.

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  • Reply
    Sandra Pelaez
    February 19, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Karlee, before I compliment your cake, I have to say…..You are so Pretty!!! The cake looks so delicious, moist & so appealing!!

    • Reply
      Karlee Flores
      February 21, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Thank you so much! It really did turn out great.

  • Reply
    David Perry
    February 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    So from this blog posting I learned that “Mise en place” is a term I need to know, could you please clarify why the ingredient temperatures are so important? (i.e. room temperature eggs and cold butter?) I imagine it has something to do with the texture of the end result but in my (limited) cake baking experience I have never paid close attention to ingredient temperatures and the end result has always been tasty…is this the difference between “good” and “great” cakes?

    • Reply
      Karlee Flores
      February 23, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      David! !! Hi! “miss en place” is just a French term when cooking and having everything ready, chopped, portioned before beginning the process. Plus you sound super cool and worldly when you use it! As far as room tempure it’s imperative that the butter be the temperature the recipe calls for so that it will bake appropriately. Most cakes use room temperature eggs to keep the batter itself at room temperature and not freeze up the butter its going into and you guessed it, keep a good even consistency and nice even cakes. (Which equals pretty! All very scientific) As far as this recipe goes, since i was working with a hot butter I used room temperature eggs to keep the consistency and to make sure there wasn’t a rapid temperature change for the eggs and have them scramble itself in my butter! But all in all I’ve made PLENTY of cakes with cold eggs! And it tastes great, I just mix the batter a little longer. Phhhhew I hope that solves the mystery! Nice hearing from you!

  • Reply
    David Perry
    February 23, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Good to know! Thank you and Happy Baking!

  • Reply
    Connie Libby
    January 25, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Love you too Karlee!! You are a true beauty and an inspiration to me. Also, that cake is amazing!!

    • Reply
      January 25, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Connie!!!!! Thank you!!! love you. Mean it.

  • Reply
    February 16, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Hi Karlee,
    I enjoyed reading your post! I am actually looking to make this cake for my own 30th.
    Have you made this recipe in different size configurations (I’m thinking of using 2, larger rounds simply for ease of transporting the cake), and has it worked well for you or changed the cooking time drastically?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Reply
      February 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Yay! Well, happy birthday!! I’m so glad you’ve decided on this cake, you’ll love it! Yes! I’ve done two 8inch rounds and it works great! The cook time hasn’t changed because I’m only using 2 large pans instead of 3 small. But, I would still check early, there is nothing worse than an over-done cake! But if your using pans that are larger than 8inches, I would start checking the cake around 20-2 minutes. Hope this help!

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