Southern Spotlight: Caroline’s Cakes

Southern Spotlight: Caroline's Cakes
Richard and his daughter, Caroline, named after her grandmother, Caroline Ragsdale Reutter.

Unwilling to jeopardize the time-honored recipe she had developed with her grandmother, Caroline filled that first big order in authentic cottage industry fashion. “It showed Mom’s true entrepreneurial spirit that she put a commercial kitchen in the basement of her home and got the order out—baked in the basement, packed in the garage,” says Richard, who works alongside his brother, Charles.

Caroline’s Cakes operates by mail order and boasts about 30 flavors of four- and seven-layer cakes (depending on the season), such as their 7-Layer Coconut Cloud Cake, Carrot Cake Traditional, and Pink Champagne Cake. They also offer savory meal kits and sides like Southern Cheese Biscuits and Carolina-Style BBQ Party.

Southern Spotlight: Caroline's Cakes
Caroline Ragsdale Reutter, founder of Caroline’s Cakes.

While Caroline passed away from ovarian cancer in 2017, her lasting influence remains with those who knew her as well as the spirit of the firm and its motto, “Eat Cake. Be Happy.” Her sons carry on the work she started and continue to honor her in a special way: each September, in support of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, 25 percent of all caramel cake sales are donated to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. Richard says his mother unequivocally left her mark on Caroline’s Cakes, from the recipes she flagged in cookbooks still housed at the bakery to the fond memories treasured by those who knew her. “This will always be Caroline’s Cakes,” Richard says. “She left quite a legacy.”

Read the full story in our March/April 2021 issue, and learn more about Caroline’s Cakes at

Text by Holly Seng; Photography courtesy of Caroline’s Cakes

Discover inspiring style ideas, seasonal recipes, and more by ordering your Southern Lady subscription today!

Southern Lady Magazine September 2022 cover with "Subscribe Today" text