Brown Sugar Cake with Salted Caramel Dip

Brown sugar recipe; This brown sugar cake is covered in caramel sauce instead of frosting.  This brown sugar cake recipe is light and subtle and delicious.

brown sugar recipeConfession time.  Robb’s family loves to eat “cake and dip,” which is a white cake with chocolate sauce instead of frosting.  Initially, I was pretty grossed out by the idea, because the texture of soggy foods causes an instant gag reflex.

(Sidebar, my dad used to think warm milk with a piece of bread floating in it was a good dinner.  I’m not sure whether I hated the soggy bread or the warm milk more.  Can I get an “ewwww!!”)

However, I have learned, evolved, and grown to love cake and dip.  So, when I informed Robb of an upcoming dinner get-together, and asked what I should make for dessert, cake and dip was his idea.  Changing the chocolate dip to caramel dip was his idea, too.

Changing the white cake to brown sugar cake was my idea, though.  I’m taking full credit.

We’re a brilliant team, nay?

When the day of the dinner party came, though, it was chaos at my house.

brown sugar recipe

True Story: I went to get a load of laundry started, and discovered my laundry room floor was a lake.  Water everywhere.  I checked the walls and saw paint bubbling, and knew they were wet, too.  I immediately knew what the problem was, it was the hose, which is just outside the laundry room window.

That stupid hose bib has been nothing but trouble.  It keeps freezing and breaking, and we’ve been trying for years to work around some, shall we say, creative plumbing in that area?  The previous owners thought it would be an awesome idea to run their sprinklers through the hose.

My dad is a plumber.  I know better.

Trying to wrench the hose bib off, Robb broke the pipe… inside the wall.  Yep.

The upshot of all this is that the water was off for quite a while, while Robb and my dad made the necessary repairs.  And there’s a hole in my wall. *sigh*

caramel sauce

I figured I could still bake a cake without water, but have you ever tried cracking eggs without getting it on your hands?  It’s practically impossible.

It’s lucky there was a little water hanging around, it water bottles and such.

This salted caramel dip is seriously delicious.  It is kind of on the thin side, but it thickens as it cools.  You can warm it up for 30-60 seconds in the microwave to loosen it up again.

This brown sugar cake turned out quite delicious.  The flavor is light and subtle, not too overpowering.  The point of cake and dip is that you don’t need frosting.  However, if you want to use frosting instead of dip, I wouldn’t blame you.  I recommend trying this salted caramel frosting from Haniela or this one from Pineapple and Coconut.

And I recommend having water on hand when you make it.

Want more? Try these caramelized favorites!

brown sugar cookies
fruit dip

Brown Sugar Cake with Salted Caramel Dip
Cook time
Total time
A simple brown sugar cake with salted caramel sauce.
Recipe type: cake
Serves: 12
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tabespoon coarse sea salt or fleur de sel
  1. Cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs and sour cream and mix well.
  2. Add vanilla, salt, and baking powder, and mix well.
  3. Add milk alternately with flour, mixing until incorporated.
  4. Pour into a greased 9x13 cake pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Melt butter in a heavy 2-3 qt. saucepan, over high heat.
  7. Add brown sugar, and stir. Add cream slowly, stirring.
  8. Bring to a boil, and boil 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  9. Remove from heat and add salt. Serve warm.
  10. Store in refrigerator. If needed, microwave for 30-60 seconds to warm before serving.

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars from Averie Cooks
Brown Sugar Shortbread from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
Almond Brown Sugar Pumpkin Bread from Running with Tweezers

brown sugar recipe

caramel sauce

9 thoughts on “Brown Sugar Cake with Salted Caramel Dip

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I have a salted caramel post next week that I just got done making today! Great minds think alike! Thanks for the linkup on Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars. Your caramel sauce looks sooo good!

  2. john@kitchenriffs

    I hate plumbing disasters! Poor you. And I know what you mean about cracking eggs, though usually I can manage it without getting any one my hand. Try using just one hand – hold the egg like you’re throwing a curve ball (yeah, I know that’s a guy description – Rob can show you how to grasp the egg properly) and when you crack it, the two halves of the egg shell swing back so you can plop the egg out without dirtying your hand. Usually. 😉 Anyway, great cake! Sounds like a good combo of flavors. Thanks for this.

    1. Jen Post author

      Robb actually knows nothing about baseball or any other sport. I’m just really not ambitious enough to tackle one-handed cracking! In my next life, maybe….

  3. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    *Smacks head on desk repeatedly* <– that'd be my reaction if something like that happened to me. Oy! What a day you had, Jen. At least you were still able to make this amazing cake 'n dip. You and Robb are truly brilliant together. And yeah, I totally gagged at the thought of a soggy piece of bread floating on warm milk (no offence to your sweet Dad who helped fix the mess).


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