Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake Recipe

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We are so excited to add this Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake recipe to our collection of favorites!

We love of our coffee, and when it can be incorporated into cake, there's nothing better! That is certainly the case with today's Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake. Caramel and espresso are a match made in heaven. Today's cake recipe is based in part on our favorite homemade Caramel Cake recipe!  

Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake is the perfect combination of espresso, caramel, and vanilla!

Why We Love It

There are so many reasons to love this delicious Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake. Here are just a few!:

  • Moist, tender crumb
  • Brown sugar adds amazing flavor as well as moisture
  • The caramel, vanilla, and espresso flavors are unmistakable without being overpowering.  
  • Perfect birthday cake recipe for your coffee-loving family and friends 
  • The additional glaze of caramel between the layers as well as the Vanilla Latte Buttercream takes the cake to another level! 
Amazing Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake from Scratch! Recipe by The perfect combination of caramel, vanilla, and espresso!

How to Make Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake

After baking the three layers of Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake (your kitchen will smell divine), I glazed our cake layers with caramel sauce as I assembled and filled the cake.

Although our cake already has a lovely caramel flavor on it's own, the caramel sauce gives a delicious boost!

Moist and Delicious Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake Recipe by! A heavenly flavor combination of caramel, vanilla, and espresso! YUM!

After glazing the first Caramel Vanilla Latte cake layer with caramel sauce, I followed with a lush layer of Vanilla Latte Buttercream frosting. Ohhh so good!

I repeated this step for the second cake layer also. You can see in the above photo that I piped a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake (using a piping bag with the tip snipped away).

I was playing it safe, although my caramel glaze was applied thinly enough that I probably could have skipped the dam.

Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake with Vanilla Latte Buttercream! The perfect combination of caramel, vanilla, and espresso! Recipe by!

After adding our third layer, I frosted the cake in a delicious coat of Vanilla Latte Buttercream! I used a french tip (Ateco 863) to add piping around the top edge of the cake.

Decorating the Cake 

You'll notice that these piped "stars" on top are a bit lighter in color than our Vanilla Latte Buttercream. When whipping up the buttercream, I reserved about ½ cup before adding the coffee to the recipe.

I used this reserved buttercream for my stars. This gives us a little contrast but is a completely optional step!

Next, I drizzled the top with more caramel sauce. You can use a spoon for this, or use a piping bag with the tip snipped away if you'd like a little more control.

Finally, I applied a simple buttercream bead border using a medium sized round tip 12 and added a light dusting of cinnamon. Yum!! (If you're interested in details on piping this simple border, check out our Basics of Piping with a Round Tip)!

Amazing Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake Recipe by So moist and flavorful!

Recipe FAQs

Yes, because of the cream cheese frosting, this cake should be refrigerated (in an airtight container or under a cake dome).

However, for the very best flavor and texture, it is best to remove the cake from the refrigerator a couple of hours before serving. This will allow time for the cake and frosting to warm and soften.

Yes, just as with most of our cake recipes from lemon cake to orange cake, pound cake, carrot cake, and more, these layers freeze perfectly.

Once the caramel layers have cooled to warm or room temperature, wrap each one in plastic wrap followed by foil. (You can them on foil-wrapped cake boards or extra support if you'd like.)

Then, freeze for up to three months.

To thaw, move the cake layers from the freezer to the kitchen counter, still wrapped. After about 30-45 minutes, remove the wrapping and continue thawing to desired amount before decorating.

Cake recipes that call for cake flour result in cakes that are more tender. Cake flour has a lower protein content than all purpose flour, which reduces the development of gluten in the cake batter, resulting a softer cake.

Many of our favorite cake recipes call for cake flour, including yellow cake, strawberry cake, banana pudding cake, and many more!

Coffee Flavored Cakes

If you love coffee flavored cakes, we've made many over the years! Sometimes just a touch of espresso added to spice cakes, caramel cakes, and more makes such a difference!

Some of our favorites are  Mocha Toffee Crunch Cake, Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake, Tiramisu Layer Cake, and Gingerbread Latte Cake

*We also have many more Caramel Cake Recipes for you!

Enjoy the Recipe

We hope that you give this fabulous homemade Caramel Vanilla Latte cake recipe a try! Even if you aren't a huge fan of coffee, the hint of espresso is perfectly complemented by the caramel and vanilla. I can't say enough about this cake!

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure to stop by our Cake Recipes section for our full collection of favorite cake recipes, frostings, cake decorating tutorials, and more.

Amazing Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake Recipe by! A moist a delicious recipe with a heavenly combination of caramel, espresso, and vanilla flavors. Yum!

Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake Recipe

This Caramel Vanilla Latte Cake recipe has the perfect balance of caramel, vanilla, and espresso!
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  • 1 small jar Caramel Sauce *This isn't used until assembly of cake
  • 1 ½ sticks 169g unsalted butter, softened slightly
  • 1 cup 200g sugar
  • ½ cup 108g brown sugar (firmly pack the brown sugar into the cup)
  • 4 large eggs room temperature ( if cold, the eggs can be placed in a bowl with warm water for a few minutes)
  • 2 ¾ cups 312g cake flour **(if you do not have cake flour see substitution below)
  • 1 teaspoon 6g salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons 12g baking powder
  • 1 cup 242g milk
  • 1 Tablespoon 4g instant espresso powder (or instant coffee granules) dissolved in 1 Tablespoon hot water
  • 2 teaspoons 8g vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup 53g vegetable oil

Vanilla Latte Buttercream

  • 2 sticks 226g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 6 cups 690g powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons 4g instant espresso powder (or coffee granules) dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 2 teaspoons 8g vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons 80g heavy cream, more if needed to reach desired spreading consistency
  • ½ teaspoon 3g salt to cut sweetness (optional) popcorn salt will dissolve more easily because of its fine grain
  • Cinnamon optional Add a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top of cake if desired.


For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8 inch round cake pans. Place a circle of parchment paper or wax paper in the bottom of each pan.
  • In a medium bowl, add the milk, coffee, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, cream the softened butter. Slowly add the sugar and beat at medium speed for 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time,mixing after each until the yellow streaks are blended in.
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with dry ingredients (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet). Do not over mix.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Check at 20 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes then turn out.
  • The recipe makes 6 ½ cups of batter
  • Works well for cupcakes, the cupcakes will have a very slight dome

For the Vanilla Latte Buttercream

  • {*A quick note. I piped a few stars of vanilla buttercream around the top of my finished cake for a bit of a color contrast. If you would like to do the same, do not add the espresso to the frosting recipe until the second round of mixing, which is the last few minutes of mixing on low speed.}
  • In the bowl of your mixer, mix the softened butter until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar along with the cream, vanilla, salt and espresso.
  • Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes (longer if using a hand mixer) adding more liquid if needed to reach desired spreading consistency.
  • Reduce speed of mixer to low and mix 3 minutes or more until the buttercream is creamy and smooth.

To Assemble the Cake

  • Place the first cake layer onto your pedestal or cake base. Pipe a dam of buttercream around the layer. Spread a thin layer of caramel. Follow with the Vanilla Latte Buttercream filling. Add another cake layer & repeat.
  • Frost the cake as desired with Vanilla Latte Buttercream. Drizzle caramel around edges and top. (I used a piping bag with the end snipped away for the caramel drizzle.)
  • If you wish, you can apply Vanilla Buttercream stars around the top edge. (I did so with an Ateco 863)


***If you do not have cake flour, you can make your own. Substitution for cake flour: For each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of the all purpose flour (plain) and replace with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. For this recipe, remove 5 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons flour and replace with 5 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons teaspoons cornstarch. Whisk to blend.

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  1. Hi Fariza, Yes, you can use all brown sugar in the recipe. The cake will still have the same sweetness but using all brown sugar will change the texture and flavor a bit. Since brown sugar contains molasses, I would use light brown sugar to have less of a flavor change. Let us know how you like the recipe using this change.

  2. Just made this, but the cake layers are much thinner than I am used to. I think I will make 1.5 batch next time. I checked my baking powder and it is good. Used 8x2” pans. Scaled all my ingredients as well. Each pan took about 430 gm batter.

  3. Hi David, We like to make 3 layer cakes. If you used three 8 inch round pans, a layer will not be very tall (approx. 1 1/4 to 1 1/2"). We do this because we like having more frosting in each slice. The filled and frosted cake should be 4 1/2 to 5 inches high. I hope you enjoyed it.

    1. Not sure I understand. I used three 8 inch pans as the instructions state. These layers are all about ½ inch tall. Experienced baker here and this recipe got my attention and I just whipped it up. I like layers that are at least 1 inch tall.

  4. Hi David, my response was because some bakers think 1 1/4 inch layers are too thin. I'm sorry the recipe did not work for you, the layers should definitely rise more than 1/2 inch.

  5. Hi Kris, The recipe could be baked in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. It will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.

  6. Hello Melissa and Bebe

    Love the recipe. Just wondering if it is sturdy enough to put fondant on? If not, what would you recommend?

  7. Hi Althea, yes this cake should be just fine to cover in fondant. As with any cake we're covering in fondant, we do recommend filling it, wrapping in plastic wrap, and allowing it to settle under a weight of some kind (cake pan, book, etc.) that would apply light, steady pressure- for at least a few hours (or overnight in the refrigerator).

  8. This sounds amazing. Will it hold up for stacking and carving? I’m making a wine barrell. I will use ganache rather than the icing.

    1. Hi Jackie!

      Stacking wouldn't be a problem with the proper supports but I haven't tried carving with this recipe. My guess is that it would hold up to light carving- I would assemble/carve while the layers are partially frozen.

      1. Thanks Melissa. Baking today, freezing, then assembling lasted this week. Cross your fingers for me. Hopefully the wine barrel will have a working spigot with wine inside the cake.