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This is a great cake and the caramel penuche frosting just makes it so good!  I have made this cake for years and it never lasts long.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup evaporated milk (you will need a 12 oz. can if you make the frosting below)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream butter and sugar with mixer.   Add eggs, milk and vanilla and continue mixing. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt.  Pour into two 9 inch greased or sprayed cake pans or one 9 x 13 pan.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 20 – 25 minutes for round pans and 30 to 35 minutes for 9 x 13 pan.
Penuche Frosting                                  
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (you will have enough left from cake for frosting)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine all ingredients except vanilla.  Bring to a boil, stirring to keep from burning.  Boil one minute.  Remove from stove and add vanilla.  
This is a hard frosting to work with because you don’t use the confectionery sugar in this recipe. It is a very old recipe and I think it is much better than the one with confectionery sugar.  You have to let it cool until it gets to a consistency where you can spread it without it running off the cake.  It can take as long as an hour cooling time. Also, if it gets too thick just add a little milk to thin it.  This is great on cinnamon rolls, too.  If you are making this for the first time, you might want to use a  9 x 13 cake pan to make the cake.   Enjoy! 
Don’t Forget to Pin!  yellow-cake-with-penuche-frosting
If you like this cake, you might also like my recipe for Chocolate and Caramel Walnut Cake.
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  1. I made this as a young girl. I made all kinds of baked goods. This was my Mother’s favorite cake.

  2. Charlotte Rhea says:

    Thank You for your Wonderful Recipes.

  3. I was so excited to see the recipe for the Penuche frosting. I love Penuche fudge. It is hard to find , so now I can bake a cake and make Penuche fudge icing. I might try it on a milk chocolate cake too. Thank you for all your great recipes.

  4. I am MA but now live in FL. I make Penuche fudge and no one ever has heard of it but they love it . So I can not wait to try this cake. Thank you so much. Happy Cooking, Judy

  5. Do you have the recipe for tea cakes, rolled cookies.My grandmother use to make them.

  6. Looks delicious 🙂 What is in the middle? Is it caramel? How do i do that? Thank u

  7. No words to describe to feelings I had when I made this cake, this is the best ever!!!!! Thank You so much Southern Lady, I haven’t cooked so much in my entire life as I have since I found Your page, for 42 years I have tried to gain weight and finding Your page has helped me more in the past few months more then anything in the past 42 years!!!! I was raised in South Louisiana and my mother had to go to school in the 7th grade to learn to speak English all she knew was the old broken French they speak in South La, and she is the best cook I know but some of Your recipes, with a little extra cayenne pepper is really close, brings me back home. Thank You so much!!!

  8. This brought me back to my Grandmother making this cake & frosting!

  9. Is there any way i can make it without corn syrup? Or substitute it with anythhing? Coz in india,v can never get corn syrup 🙁

    • The Southern Lady says:

      check the internet for corn syrup substitutes, Ashi. I know there is a simple syrup that is supposed to be a substitute but I don’t know if it will work with the frosting.

      • thanx a lot for the reply mam..really appreciate it..gonna try makin dis today for a party at home 🙂 hope i do well without the cornsyrup..thanQ

  10. My Mother made this frosting with spice cake. As you mentioned, the frosting can be a bit difficult but so worth it!

  11. toomanygrandkids says:

    Love these recipes. What’s the best fat to use when greasing a cake pan, shortening, margarine, butter, or Pam spray? Thanx.

  12. bamababyboomer says:

    what is the difference between this icing and caramel icing? Taste wise I mean. I love yellow cake with caramel icing…..

  13. audrey carson says:

    My Grandmother made this cake years ago. Can’t wait to make it. I’m so glad you posted the icing

  14. Teresa Spry says:

    Penuche? I’ve heard of it but never tasted it. Is it like caramel icing? I love caramel cake and icing. Looks great! Thanks.

  15. I got inspired and made this tonight. I haven’t tried the cake yet but the icing is very yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. My Grandmother made this cake for years. I think she called it caramel cake. It was always a favorite at her house. She would bake in round pans and then slice each layer twice so that she had six layers with icing between each layer. I would guess she had more time in her daily schedule than we do today…to do that much work for a delicious cake!!!

  17. “Southern Lady” (a.k.a. Judy),
    I just can hardly believe all the wonderful recipes I’m finding here on your site. Both my mother and great granny made this wonderful cake. Never knew what it was called. Thank you so much. I look forward to your recipes and sayings each day. God bless.

  18. Oh boy, I am also drooling right now. Yellow cake is one of my all-time faves and I believe that this frosting must take the cake to another level. Penuche was my mom’s favorite fudge. Think I will make this for the teachers at school this week – they are always an appreciative bunch! And, I like all the frosting options you have suggested. Thanks, as always, for the great recipes.

  19. Sissy Manley says:

    LOL for years have been making frosting like this and had no idea it had a name! Thank you for giving me a name to what I just called homemade icing!

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