When I was a teen, my best friend's Mom, Diane made a similar cake. It always came with the story that it's supposed to have a layer of caramel magically suspended inside. You would bake the cake with the caramel on top and somehow the caramel would appear in the middle.
It never quite worked out that way. The recipes I found for that cake said to partially pre-bake the bottom, pour the melted caramel on top, then pour the batter on top of the caramel and bake the lot to finish.
Like they say, Ain't Nobody Got Time For That.
I had a light bulb moment and thought about how to come close to the recipe. I had one last layer of birthday cake in the freezer to be iced. That day I grabbed two cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk from the cupboard and used the recipe from this blog for "Explosively Good Caramel" to make the layer of caramel in the middle. Boiled water with the two cans in the pot obsessively checking it every 20 minutes to make sure they were completely submerged for two hours. Turn the heat off and allow to cool with the cans in there.
The filling took only 1/2 of a can which meant that for snacks I have been having caramel.
It's not as hard as the candies you'd get at the shops, this was more like a pudding or jelly consistency.
We topped it off with that white icing we whipped together which turned out to be a bit too sweet for my tastes. The brown icing mimicking a "Black and White" cookie was the result of our joking around about how those cookies are hard to find here in South Florida, not impossible, just rare.
Next time I make cake, I'm planning on doing something different with the batter, and making cupcakes.
Since I have another can of caramel on hand, you can be sure some of them will be "iced" with the stuff.