**Nana’s Award Winning Caramel Cake Recipes** Secret Family Recipe!

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Giving Thanks

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is only TWO weeks away.  I’m sure if your family is like ours, you are now deciding now which side of the family will be where at what time as well as what luscious foods you will be cooking.  But, I don’t want to get caught up in the busy-ness of this day and fail to Give Thanks!

God has been so very good to us.  He has blessed us beyond measure.  My parents have been in heaven for fifteen years, and oh, how I miss them.  I still remember Mother sitting at the table asking if the dressing was cooked enough and if we liked the sweet potatoes with the raisins and marshmallows melted on top.  I remember Daddy sitting at the head of our long table spread out through the living room making ‘yummy’, contented sounds with each bite.  I miss the chatter, the smiles, and the happiness I felt at that long table each and every year, but, I am grateful to have had them both for as long as we did.

I am grateful to be married to the man of my dreams, my man, Stephen, who still opens the car door for me and calls me honey.  You’ll most likely find him by my side, in my kitchen as he helps me cook for many people this Thanksgiving.  He is very good at following directions… teeheehee!  He always does the dishes, and brags to everyone he sees about his ‘Internet Entrepreneur’ wife… :o)

I am grateful for our two boys who are now thirty-five and thirty-seven years of age along with their precious wives (the best daughters-in-law we could have ever asked for).  I am SO VERY grateful that I can be a ‘Mimi’ to four of the most amazing grandchildren (EVER) ages two to seven.

I am grateful for our beautiful, comfortable home — although it would mean nothing without the lives, smiles and happiness, and even sometimes tears, which go on within these four walls.

I am grateful to live in a country where I can get up out of bed every morning with choices as to what to do with every single day, that are mine alone to make.  I feel a responsibility, as well as a weight on my shoulders, to make the right choices as so many around us are in need.

I am grateful for YOU!  I am grateful that the Internet can bring so many friends, customers, and students into my home every day from all over the world.  Thank you for letting me design beautiful wreaths for your home and for letting me teach you how to enjoy a hobby that I love.  Thank you for letting me share my story, which, I pray, in some way can or will make a difference in your life.


Nana’s Caramel Cake

(Our Secret Family Recipe)



The cake above is what Nana would call a “sad” cake.  This is the last one she has baked and slid off to the side just a little.  But no one cared!  This was taken to a family reunion, and hers was the first cake plate to be totally emptied!

Our Nana lives in a small house in a small town called Iva, just south of Anderson, and about thirty minutes from our home.  To host a family meal, she pulls the kitchen table out from the corner, adorns it with a pretty, colorful Thanksgiving table cloth, and pulls out her ironstone china which just happens to be the colors of this season.

Steve’s family of five growing up has now turned into a family of Twenty-Seven!  Nana is now eighty-nine years old, and is known all over Iva for her baking — specifically cakes and cookies!  Her most popular cake is Caramel, but this recipe is totally different than most you will see.  As far as anyone knows, Nana’s mother came up with this recipe on her nearly one hundred years ago.

I shared this last year before Christmas, and have had so many requests to share it again, that I thought Thanksgiving would be the perfect time this year.

Nana has won ‘First Place’ Ribbons and awards with this scrumptious cake.  You have to follow the directions VERY carefully, and still I can’t promise that you’ll have a perfect cake just like hers.  I have tried this recipe several times through the years, and only one of those cakes could even come close to comparing with Nana’s!  So, I wish you the best of luck as you attempt to bake this “sugary concoction”.


Nana’s “Award Winning” Caramel Cake Recipe


2 cups sugar
1 cup margarine
3 cups plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Line bottoms of 3 – 9 inch cake pans and grease and flour the sides.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt.  Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Add eggs one at the time and mix well.  Add dry ingredients with milk.  Add almond flavoring if desired.  Turn into pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.  This makes 3 nice layers.


3 cups sugar
2 cups milk
1 stick margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, milk and margarine in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and cook until a soft ball forms in a little cold water.  Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat well.  It takes about 20 to 25 minutes for this frosting to make.

NOTE:  Steve and I went to Iva last year to film Nana making this cake for all of her children and grandchildren.  Seems like NO ONE has ever been able to make it like she does.  As she is cooking the icing, she keeps it boiling, but not too hard – stirring continually.  When it started getting a little thicker and clear looking she began dropping a little off the tip of a spoon into a glass of cold water.  We timed it — it was around 45 minutes before the icing made a ball (that did not splatter) when it hit the bottom of the clear glass.  Take if off the heat, and beat it some more until it is cooler before spreading on the cake!  GOOD LUCK!  This is a hard one… but SO worth it!


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6 Responses

  1. Nancy, what a wonderful post, reminding us all to be grateful for our blessings. It is so easy to get caught up in the “busy-ness” of this time of year, we might forget to slow down and count our blessings with the thoughtfulness you show. Thank you for being an inspiration and teacher to so many of us.

    Thankfully, Janie.

    1. Thank you Jane, We do all have blessings that we may not see at the time.

      I pray you’ll have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      You’re very welcome! Smiles… Nancy

    1. You’re very welcome Kathy! I’ll bet yours will turn out perfectly. Everyone in the family jokes asking who is going to tackle the Caramel cake? I suppose I’ll keep trying.
      Let me know, okay?

      Smiles… Nancy

  2. We are Blessed to have Nancy as a Teacher, a Mentor and a Friend. I love the recipe and I have bought both downloads. I have been busy making 12inch wreath form designs and posting them on Etsy and Facebook. I need to take time now and do some greenery and ribbon wreaths. Thanks and God BLess.

    1. Awwww Carol, that was so sweet of you! I love teaching you and consider each of you good friends. Enjoy the recipe — it is truly the best cake I have ever tried! Sounds like you’re feeling much better since you’re making wreaths. I am so happy for you!

      Smiles… Nancy

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