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Vanilla Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

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Vanilla Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Back to school is a crazy time for our family – and a lot of families. It’s a mixture of emotions – for the kids nervousness, excitement, reuniting with friends, and hoping for certain teachers. For me, I’m excited to have structure again (and more free time!) but also going to miss the kids. Every year the night before school we do a back to school dinner – a kids’ choice dinner with, dessert, a little back to school theme, and blessings by my husband for each of the kids. (If you want to see this year’s back to school theme click here, or click here for last year’s theme.)

I made a Vanilla Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting like this a couple years ago and wanted to recreate it this year with one of my favorite doctored up cake mix recipes. My friend’s grandma has this amazing recipe – you can sub the cake mix flavor and the pudding pack flavor to make any flavor of cake and it always turns out moist and delicious! I’ve tried this cake method so many times with chocolate, lemon, vanilla, and white chocolate. It’s so good! We love this Vanilla Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting. Here it is for you now too🍎

Vanilla Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting


Doctored Up Cake Mix Cake

  • 1 white or yellow cake mix
  • 1 4oz pudding pack (dry) (I used vanilla but you can use the flavor of your choice)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. oil
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 8oz container of sour cream

Fleur de sel Caramel Buttercream

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 c.)
  • 1 2lb. bag powdered sugar (7.5 - 8 c.)
  • 5-6 tbsp. milk
  • 1 10oz jar Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel caramel sauce (or sub caramel sauce of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp. caramel extract (optional, if you want to up the caramel flavor)

Caramel Apples (optional)

  • small apples
  • 1 10oz container Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Candies



  • Mix all ingredients before eggs. Then beat in one egg at a time. Then add sour cream. 
  • Bake at 350 in 8/9 inch layer pans for 30-35 mins or a bundt pan for 50-55 minutes. 
  • Before frosting, freeze each layer of cake to keep it clean from crumbs while frosting. Once chilled, frost and serve. Store in fridge.


  • With stand or hand mixer beat together butter, powdered sugar, and milk until fluffy white buttercream forms. 
  • Then pour in caramel sauce and beat until incorporated. Top on cake once it’s chilled.

Caramel Apples

  • Unwrap caramels and heat in microwave for 2-3 minutes until caramel has been bubbling for a minute.
  • Quickly dip apples in until caramel coats sides of apples. Set on a parchment paper until set.

I am certain you will love this Vanilla Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting. Be sure to let me know if you make this cake and tag me @plumstreetcollective on Instagram. Thanks for reading!

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  1. Clarification question: Is that an 18oz container of sour cream? Or one (1) 8oz container?

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