How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch (16-cup) tube pan with shortening.
Beat 3 cups sugar and 1 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and almond extract. Add flour alternately with whipping cream, beginning and ending with flour, beating well after each addition. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Pour batter into pan.
Bake at 325°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
Make the Caramel Frosting: Heat 1/4 cup sugar in an 8- or 10-inch skillet over medium heat until amber colored, about 6 minutes, shaking pan occasionally (do not stir). Meanwhile, heat 11/4 cups sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/2 cup milk in a 3-qt. saucepan to boiling over medium-high heat. Gradually stir in caramelized sugar with a whisk; cook until a candy thermometer registers 232°F. Remove from heat; cool, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
Using an offset spatula and working quickly, spread Caramel Frosting over cake (frosting will harden as it cools). Let stand 30 minutes before slicing.