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4.35 from 23 votes

Caramel Cheesecake Layer Cake

This fluffy caramel cake has a silky smooth cheesecake layer in the middle and features a delectable salted caramel in the cake and frosting. It is then finished off with a caramel drip. You will be in love!
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time35 mins
2 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 670kcal
Author: Ashley Boyd


Caramel (make in advance)

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • cup water
  • 225 mL heavy cream room temperature, use measuring cup to measure out correct amount
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt optional to taste, for salted caramel

Cheesecake Layer

Caramel Cake Layers

Frosting (will need TWO batches)


For the Caramel (make in advance)

  • Place sugar and water into a medium pot, stir to combine, but to not stir from this point forward. Cook over high heat,
  • Cook until a nice amber color is reached and immediately remove from heat.
  • Very slowly pour in room temperature heavy cream while whisking quickly. The mixture will bubble up a lot and boil. Add room temperature butter, return to heat, and bring back to a boil.
  • Simmer for 2 minutes whisking constantly. If you want to make this a salted caramel, add your salt at this point. Whisk it in (start with less than you think you'll need), dip a spoon into the caramel, let it cool, taste it, add more salt as needed.
  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (about 2 hours).

For the Cheesecake

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line the entire inside of a 9-inch cake pan with aluminum foil. Press it into the pan to get it as flat as you can. You’ll use the aluminum foil to lift the cheesecake out of the pan when it’s baked and cooled.
  • In a large mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour together until combined. Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the lined cake pan.
  • Place the cake pan inside another larger pan. I use a larger cake pan, but you can use a roasting pan or any other larger baking pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes. Do not open the door or you’ll release the heat.
  • Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 30 minutes. This cooling process helps the cheesecake cool slowly to prevent cracks.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours.

For the Caramel Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Cut out 9-inch parchment paper circles and press down in the bottom of each pan. (Trace the pan for perfect circles.)
  • For the Cake: In a medium bowl, mix the cake flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (Beat on high approximately 3-5 minutes to break down the sugar crystals.)
  • Once the butter and sugar are well creamed. Scrape the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Then turn the mixer on low and beat in the eggs one at time, incorporating after each addition.
  • Add vanilla and caramel and mix until incorporated.
  • Scrape the bowl again. Turn the mixer back on low and alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk until both are well combined. Turn off the mixer.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans. Bake on the middle rack, undisturbed for 30 minutes.
  • Check the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, take them out of the oven. If the toothpick has batter on it, bake another 5-10 minutes and recheck.
  • Allow the cakes to cool 10 minutes in the pans. Then carefully flip them out on a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper and cool completely.

For the Frosting

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high until it’s fluffy and light (almost white in color), 5-6 minutes, scraping down the bowl and paddle a few times in between.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, scraping down the bowl and paddle after each interval. Add the vanilla.
  • With the mixer still on low, add the salted caramel. Add a pinch of salt, increase the speed to medium, and mix for 2 full minutes.

Assembling the Cake

  • Move one cake to a cake stand or platter. Scoop about 1 cup frosting onto the cake. Use a large flat spatula to spread the frosting out evenly.
  • Use the aluminum foil to lift the cheesecake out of the cake pan, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on top of the cake.
  • Spread another cup of frosting evenly on top of the cheesecake, then add the second layer of cake on top.
  • Gently press the cake a little to level the top. Then scoop all remaining frosting on top of the cake. Use the spatula to work the frosting over the top and down the sides.
  • Use the back of an offset spatula to swirl from center to edge of top cake in one motion. Do the same on the sides, starting with the bottom. No need to be perfect! There's beauty in imperfection.
  • Either place some caramel in a plastic bag and snip the tip or use a spoon to drizzle caramel drip around the edges of the cake.
  • Place rest of frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a start tip and pipe dollops around edge of cake on top of caramel.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 670kcal