Burnt Sugar Cake Recipe

Looking for a cake that spells home and country roads with a unique taste? Try Burnt Sugar Cake! This cake gets its flavor from burnt sugar syrup used in both the cake and frosting.

However, there is no cake mix that will give you the flavor of burnt sugar. You have to “burn” the sugar yourself, and make the cake from scratch.It may take some time and effort, but the result is worth it. In this article, we will explore what Burnt Sugar Cake is, its history, and how to make it.

Key Burnt Sugar Cake Ingredients & Why

Granulated sugar

Granulated sugar for burnt sugar syrup, the cake’s main flavor.


Water combines with sugar for the syrup.


Butter in cake batter and frosting.


Flour used in cake batter.

Baking powder

Baking powder added to cake batter.


Salt, in both cake batter and frosting.


Eggs, a key cake batter ingredient.


Milk in cake batter and frosting.

Pecan halves

Pecan halves top the cake.

Maple sugar

Maple sugar for some burnt sugar syrup recipes.


Cream, a frosting component.

How Do You Make The Best Burnt Sugar Cake?

  • In a skillet, heat 1/2 cup sugar over medium-high heat. Stir until it melts and darkens. Remove from heat, slowly add hot water, and stir until well combined. Allow the burnt sugar mixture to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F, and line two 9-inch round baking pans with parchment paper.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, and salt thrice for optimal blending.
  • Whip together 1 1/4 cups sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until it’s fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Then, mix in the cooled burnt sugar blend and vanilla for a delicious result.
  • Mix the dry ingredients and milk alternately into the creamed mixture until smooth, and then pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  • Bake in preheated oven 25-30 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool briefly on a wire rack, then carefully flip it onto a serving plate or another rack for a smooth transfer.

Pro Tips For Making Burnt Sugar Cake Recipe

  • Prepare the burnt sugar syrup ahead of time for the cake’s main flavor. Use half in the batter and half in the frosting.
  • Cook the sugar in a sturdy 3-quart pan to prevent crystallization. Wooden spoons work best for candy-making. Get a new set if needed.
  • Before starting, watch the video tutorial and read the full recipe carefully. The crucial step is preparing the burnt sugar syrup.
  • Avoid overbaking; it leads to a dry, dense cake. Bake at 350-degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Separate and beat egg whites until fluffy, then gently fold them into the batter. This step yields a moist, light cake.
  • Use precise measurements from the recipe. If measurements are missing, make educated guesses based on your baking experience.
  • Cool the burnt sugar syrup before adding it to the frosting. Whip it with powdered sugar, let it thicken and cool before frosting the cake.
  • Complete the cake with a topping of pecan halves for a perfect finish.

How to Store Burnt Sugar Cake

  1. Seal leftover cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  2. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  3. For extended storage, freeze well-wrapped cake layers for a month or more.

Can You Freeze Burnt Sugar Cake?

  1. Frost and decorate the cake, omitting fresh fruit or flowers.
  2. Set the cake on a cardboard round, and place it in the freezer, uncovered.
  3. Freeze for approximately 2 hours until both cake and frosting firm up.
  4. Wrap the cake in two layers of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil.
  5. Label the package with the cake type and the freezing date.
  6. Store in the freezer for up to two months.

Frequently Asked Questions About Burnt Sugar Cake

Why is Burnt Sugar Cake not so popular anymore?

The diminished appeal of Burnt Sugar Cake can be attributed to its time-intensive preparation. No cake mix can replicate the distinct burnt sugar flavor, as it necessitates the caramelization of sugar and the creation of the cake from scratch.

How do you make Burnt Sugar Cake?

For delectable Burnt Sugar Cake, first, create the vital burnt sugar syrup. Simply melt 1/2 cup of sugar in a heavy pan over low heat until it darkens. Add 1/2 cup of boiling water and cook until it resembles syrup. This syrup serves as the delightful flavor for both the cake and frosting, ensuring a mouthwatering treat.

What is the most important step in making Burnt Sugar Cake?

Begin your Burnt Sugar Cake journey by making the burnt sugar syrup. To avoid sugar crystallization, use a sturdy 3-quart pan. Cook 1 cup of granulated sugar over medium heat, stirring consistently.

Burnt Sugar Cake Recipe

Jennifer Tirrell
Looking for a cake that spells home and country roads with a unique taste? Try Burnt Sugar Cake! This cake gets its flavor from burnt sugar syrup used in both the cake and frosting.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Cake
Cuisine United States
Servings 12


  • 1 ¾   cups  white sugar, divided
  • cup hot water
  • 3 cups  sifted cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons  baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon  salt
  • ¾ cup  unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup milk


  • Heat 1/2 cup sugar in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts and turns dark brown. Remove from heat, slowly mix in hot water until fully incorporated, and set aside to cool the burnt sugar mixture.
  • To get started, preheat your oven to 350°F and then line two 9-inch round baking pans with parchment paper.
  • To achieve the best results, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together three times.
  • Using an electric mixer, blend 1 1/4 cups of sugar and butter in a large bowl until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat thoroughly after each addition. Finally, incorporate the cooled burnt sugar mixture and vanilla.
  • Achieve a smooth batter by alternately adding dry ingredients and milk to the creamed mixture. Finally, pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  • Preheat the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until a clean toothpick test.
  • After a short cooling period on a wire rack, deftly invert it onto either a serving plate or another cooling rack for a seamless transition.
Keyword Burnt Sugar Cake

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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