armah’s caramel cake

In some ways I feel a little funny writing about ‘Armah’s Caramel Cake’ as I never met her myself; I never met Armah. I never met the lady who was famous for her caramel cake. So famous in fact, my friend Em (one of Armah’s many beloved grandchildren) tells me that her recipe was shared with Armah’s family and friends in the mass booklet at her funeral.

I’m lucky enough to be good mates with three of Armah’s grandkids. I remember Anna telling me stories about the ‘Payten family Christmas’ where there’d be over 80 family members celebrating with each other every second year. I always thought our family Christmas’ were big. We don’t even come close!

Em has memories of wombok salad being mixed in a big plastic tub – you know one of those ones you see out the front of Go-Lo? Dez recalls how everyone was given a job. The cousins would line up and you’d either be on washing up duty; had a tea towel thrust in your hand or were responsible for bringing the food to the table.

I’ve always loved hearing those tales of a beautiful family coming together and I feel privileged to have been let in on this family recipe. This family recipe from a woman who was so loved by so many. I’ll make this cake, ‘Armah’s cake’ for many years to come.

Thank you.

Don’t you find it hard trying to find the right sized cake tin every time you make a new cake? We made a game out of it; Charlotte measuring each tin and writing down the size.
Finding the fun in everything we’re doing at the moment.
It’s such a fabulous recipe as I always keep all of the ingredients in the cupboard and fridge.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use hand beaters instead.
Make sure you ‘cream’ the butter and sugar really well until it’s nice and light and fluffy.
Pour the hot caramel out of the saucepan to allow it to cool more quickly.

armah’s caramel cake

This recipe is a tried and tested recipe belonging to Ailsa Payten. It is easy to make, using ingredients that are often found in the cupboard and tastes delicious! The caramel icing tops it off nicely and it goes ever so well with a hot cuppa.

170 grams of butter (softened)
1 x generous cup of brown sugar
3 x eggs
1 x teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 x cups of self raising flour
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup of milk

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and line a 23cm (9 inch) round cake tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until it’s light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time whilst continuing to mix.
  • Add the vanilla.
  • On a low speed – add the flour (and salt) and milk alternatively until the mixture has just come together. (Don’t over mix here, you just want to “fold it in” so go gently).
  • Scrape the mixture in to the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake on a wire rack to cool.
  • Spread the caramel icing over the top.

caramel icing

90 grams of butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of thickened cream
1 x cup of icing sugar (sifted)

  • Melt the butter and sugar in a medium sized saucepan over a low-medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go.
  • Once the butter has melted, gradually pour in the cream whilst continuing to mix. Once you start to see bubbles forming, take it off the heat and pour mixture in to a bowl to allow to cool. Set aside.
  • Once cooled, add the caramel mixture and icing sugar to a stand mixer and beat well to combine.

If you knew ‘Armar’ please feel free to write a comment below. We’d love to hear your memory of her cake. xx


  1. We all enjoyed Armah’s Caramel Cake for afternoon tea! It is definitely our silver lining for today. The cake is great but the icing is exceptional! Thanks for another great recipe.


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