Italian Bomboloni

A Classic Southern Caramel Cake is a delightful and indulgent dessert that’s rich, moist, and bursting with caramel flavor. Here’s a recipe to make this iconic cake:

Italian Bomboloni, also known as bombolone, is a delectable culinary delight that encapsulates the essence of Italian pastry craftsmanship. Picture a golden orb of dough, gently fried to achieve a crisp exterior while maintaining a pillowy softness within. These heavenly spheres are often likened to doughnuts but possess a distinct character that sets them apart.

The dough itself is a masterpiece, crafted with precision and care. It typically consists of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and yeast, resulting in a rich and indulgent base. Yet, it’s not just the ingredients that elevate bomboloni to greatness; it’s the technique. The dough is kneaded to perfection, allowing it to develop its characteristic lightness and elasticity.

Once the dough has been lovingly prepared, it’s time for the transformation. Each portion is expertly shaped into a round ball, ensuring uniformity in both appearance and texture. These doughy orbs are then left to rise, allowing them to achieve their signature fluffy interior.

But the true magic happens when these dough balls meet hot oil. They’re gently lowered into the shimmering liquid, where they undergo a miraculous metamorphosis. The exterior begins to crisp and caramelise, forming a delicate golden shell that promises a satisfying crunch with every bite. Meanwhile, the interior remains soft and yielding, a testament to the skill of the pastry chef.

Once fried to perfection, the bomboloni are carefully removed from the oil and left to cool slightly. At this point, they may receive a final dusting of sugar or a drizzle of glaze, adding a touch of sweetness to complement their inherent richness.

The first bite is a revelation. As your teeth break through the crisp exterior, you’re greeted by a burst of warmth and flavor. The soft interior yields effortlessly, releasing a symphony of aromas and textures that dance across your palate. Whether enjoyed plain or filled with luscious creams, fruit preserves, or velvety custards, each bite is a moment of pure bliss.

Italian Bomboloni are more than just a pastry; they’re a celebration of craftsmanship, tradition, and the joy of indulgence. With their irresistible allure and timeless appeal, they have rightfully earned their place as one of Italy’s most beloved culinary treasures.


For the cake:
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing pans
– 2 cups granulated sugar
– 4 large eggs
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup whole milk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramel frosting:
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
– 2 cups packed light brown sugar
– 1/2 cup whole milk
– 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans, or line them with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, using a hand mixer or stand mixer.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, then stir in the vanilla extract.

6. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

8. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then, transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

9. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the caramel frosting. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and milk, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.

10. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, continuing to stir constantly.

11. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the caramel mixture cool slightly.

12. Gradually whisk in the sifted powdered sugar until the frosting is smooth and thick. Stir in the vanilla extract.

13. Once the cakes have cooled completely, place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a layer of caramel frosting over the top of the cake.

14. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and frosting, stacking them on top of each other.

15. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it out with a spatula.

16. Serve slices of the Southern Caramel Cake and enjoy!

This Classic Southern Caramel Cake is sure to be a hit at any gathering or celebration. Its rich caramel flavor and moist, tender crumb make it a truly irresistible treat.

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