Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake with Salted Caramel and Heath Bar Topping

I found the recipe for this cake on the King Arthur’s Flour website.  I modified it slightly by adding the caramel as a topping and using Heath Bar instead of nuts.  A while back, I had a similar cake at a local restaurant that was truly amazing.  I never had success finding a recipe that was as good as that, until I found this one!  I think the difference is in the light brown sugar.  It gives the cake a lovely color and gives it a nice, rich texture.  I think it’s a perfect cake for the Fall Season! The Heath Bar topping is perfect if you’re having a Halloween gathering!  Enjoy…


For the cake: 

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the toppings:

  • 2-3 Heath Bars, chopped (or one 8 oz. packaged Heath Brand– Bits O’ Brickle Toffee Bits)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, or you can use half and half, heated
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/8 tsp  sea salt


  1. Heat oven to 325º.
  2. Grease a 9″ spring form pan.
  3. Add flour, baking soda and salt to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Set aside.
  4. Place butter and sugar in a separate bowl and using an electric mixer or stand mixer, whisk the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar, one at a time mixing gently. Crack the eggs in a separate small bowl to avoid any shells in your batter.
  6. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and at this point stir gently with a wooden or silicone spoon to incorporate.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir very gently; just until blended.  Be careful not to over mix. Over mixing will cause your cake to be stiff.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven. Always check if your cake is done by inserting a toothpick or wooden skewer in the center, if it comes up dry it’s done, if not leave it a few more minutes (I usually add extra time in 3-5 minute increments and re-check).  Medium sized, wooden skewers work best for inserting into the cake because they have a nice length.
  9. Prepare the caramel sauce while your cake is in the oven.  Heat a non-stick pan on medium.  Add the brown sugar and allow it to start melting while you stir is with a wooden or silicone spoon.  Attend to it constantly as it burns easily.  When all the crystals have dissolved and the color is light brown, lower the heat to low and gently stir in the hot milk and the salt (I like to heat the milk separately because if you add cold milk to this hot sugar it will harden and you will have to work to melt it again).  Then stir in the butter. Heat on low for about 5-7 more minutes, stirring gently. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  10. Chop up the Heath Bar and set aside.
  11. Once the cake is cooled place on a rimmed serving platter.  Pour the caramel sauce over the top and allow it to run down the sides (you may have to give the sauce gently stir before pouring it over the cake as it might have formed a skin on top. To prevent this you can place a piece of plastic wrap gently over the surface of the sauce and remove it before serving.)  Add the Heath Bar topping and serve.


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