Moist Chocolate Cake filled with homemade salted caramel, mini chocolate chips, fresh whipped cream and chocolate ganache. This cake is easy to put together and you can make some of it the day before! This Easy Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake recipe is the perfect birthday or party cake
Within any part of life, you get in ruts and lack motivation. I was feeling like that when I started making this cake almost five years ago. Originally published on July 23, 2013. Little did I know that this would be the cake most often made for my family and friends. I wrote in my original post "This cake will be made over and over again in my house. I hope you enjoy it as well." and I wasn't lying!!
It makes sense really, chocolate cake + fresh whipped cream + salted caramel + chocolate ganache = H-E-A-V-E-N!
Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel
As soon as I tasted this cake I knew I needed to get back into the groove of things and bake again. This chocolate and salted caramel cake recipe is moist and fluffy, the salted caramel and fresh whipped cream and thick chocolate ganache, all my favorite things in one dessert.
Easy Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake
This recipe is easy if you plan ahead. Although I have made this in an afternoon, took a few hours, but it can be done!
Then the day of you just needs to make your whipped cream and chocolate ganache. Then assemble. When making a layer cake I find it easiest to use a cake turntable. The one I have has a nice heavy base, it is 12 inches wide so perfect for many cakes. It makes all the difference. So does having an angled spatula. You can smooth on the frosting, whipped cream, ganache SOOO much easier. I have both a 9 and 13 inch but either will work!
Baking is a science and to really achieve the best results I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale. This OXO Kitchen Scale is the one I use and is also the number one recommended kitchen scale by Cook's Illustrated. Think about it -what one person scoops into a "cup" is completely different from what someone else scoops!
How do you make Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel?
With any layer cake, there are a few components. At first, it might seem hard but this is a cake I am confident many beginners can tackle.
Start with your salted caramel sauce. I love making it homemade, here is a step by step tutorial. But feel free to use storebought as well.
Make your cake layers. You only need two bowls, start with the dry ingredients; cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, baking soda and powder, salt and sugar. Make sure everything is whisked together evenly. No white or dark bits at the bottom, cocoa powder needs to be fully incorporated!
Then in a separate bowl mixture add your eggs, vanilla extract, vegetable oil and buttermilk. Add your wet to the dry bowl. The mixture will seem thick, that's fine. Then you will add strong brewed hot coffee, mix slowly so you don't spill. The cake batter will be quite thin, that's what we want.
Pour evenly into your prepared cake pans. I use these Fat Daddios cake pans all the time, I literally have over 20 of them. They are the best-lightweight, even heat, and cool quickly after coming out of the oven.
Let the cakes cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before inverting on to a wire rack- at this point, I take another wire rack to invert the cake back right side up. It's not the end of the world if you don't do it but I usually do.
Let the cakes cool completely and either continue on with cake assembly or wrap layers tightly in plastic wrap for tomorrow. If you want to make the cake layers a few days in advance I recommend brushing a simple syrup on the cake layers before wrapping them in plastic wrap and then freezing until use.
Simple syrup is just equal parts water to granulated sugar let it cook over low-medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan for 10 minutes. This helps keep the moisture in.
How do you assemble this Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake?
Make your whipped cream. I always place my metal mixing bowl and metal whisk in the freezer or fridge for ten minutes before I start the whipping. Add your whipping cream, powdered sugar and a bit of dry milk powder (this helps stabilize the cream a bit) to your chilled bowl and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. The slower you beat your cream to whipped cream the more stabilized it will be. Once the cream is whipped set it back in the fridge while you make your ganache. I have a whole post dedicated to making stabilized whipped cream, it only takes 4 ingredients and five minutes.
How do you make Chocolate Ganache?
Heat your heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl or in a small pot over low heat. Heat until warmed up, not boiling. Pour over chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then use a whisk and mix together, until you get a smooth glossy texture.
Putting Everything Together
Cut each cake layer in half, to create 4 layers. I use a cake leveler as I am not good at slicing even. But by all means, use a serrated knife to cut the layers as equally as you can.
Using your cake turntable if you have one, place a 9-inch cake board down and a bit of salted caramel- this helps the bottom layer of cake stick to the board. Place one layer of chocolate cake then drizzle 3 tablespoon of salted caramel on the cake layer then ⅓ of the whipped cream (making sure to spread it evenly with the help of an angled spatula) and an extra drizzle of salted caramel, repeat until final cake layer is on top.
Place chocolate ganache on top of the final cake layer, let it drizzle down the sides of the cake. You can use your angled spatula to help push the ganache a bit further down the sides. If you want more of a specific drip look I suggest putting some of the chocolate ganache in a squeezy bottle and pressing a bit at the edge of the cake to drip down.
Sprinkle mini chocolate chips and drizzle more salted caramel on top, if desired. Store covered in the fridge. I like to store it in a tall cake carrier to make sure nothing falls on it in the fridge.
If you want an easy sheet cake style cake with similar flavors try my Better Than Sex Cake Recipe or a basic chocolate sheet cake! Or another caramel recipe I love is my salted caramel upside-down apple pie.
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!
- Two Years Ago: Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake
- Four Years Ago: Golden Oreo Cake Batter Ice Cream Pie
- Five Years Ago: Biscoff Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 400 grams (2 cups) Granulated Sugar
- 250 grams (2 cups) 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 90 grams (¾ cup) Dutch-process Cocoa powder (current fave: Bensdorp Dutch Cocoa Powder)
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 3 Large Eggs, at room temp.
- 2 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 4oz (½ cup) Vegetable Oil
- 8oz (1 cup) Whole Milk or Buttermilk, at room temp.
- 8oz(1 cup) Hot Coffee (I put 1 tbsp of instant coffee and pour hot water on top, let sit for 1 minute)
- 8oz (1 Cup) Homemade Recipe or Store Bought
- 6oz (⅔ cup) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 10oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Whipped Cream & Assembly
- 24oz (3 cups) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp Dry Milk Powder
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C and grease two 9 inch round pans. Set aside.
- In a large bowl sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Mix to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer combine eggs, vanilla, oil, and milk mix until fully combined. Slowly add in dry ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated. Add in hot coffee, the mixture will be very thin. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
- While the cake is cooking I make the fresh salted caramel. In a thick bottomed heavy saucepan cook the sugar on low-medium heat. Do not mix the sugar but you can swirl the pan around to mix it that way. The sugar will begin to turn to an amber color.
- Watch the sugar carefully as it can burn quite easily. Once it reaches 350F add all of the butter whisking quickly to combine.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in heavy whipping cream, whisk very quickly- the mixture will bubble up but as you whisk will calm down. Once combined mix in salt and let cool.
- Once cool pour into an airtight container i.e. mason jar, plastic container, reused spaghetti sauce jar..etc. Store in the fridge.
- The next day take the cakes out of the freezer and salted caramel out of the fridge In a small saucepan heat heavy cream for 4-6 minutes. In a medium-sized bowl pour in chocolate chips and pour heavy cream on top of the chocolate. Let sit for 3 minutes then stir until completely combined. The hot cream will melt the chocolate mix until fully combined and set aside.
Whipped Cream & Assembly
- In a bowl of an electric mixer whisk heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and dry milk powder until stiff peaks form. Set in fridge while preparing the cake.
- Cut each cake layer in half, to create 4 layers. Place one piece on cake plate/serving dish then drizzle 3 tablespoon of salted caramel on cake layer and 2 tablespoon of ganache then ⅓ of the whipped cream and an extra drizzle of salted caramel, repeat until final cake layer is on top. Place chocolate ganache on top of the final cake layer, let it drizzle down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips and drizzle more salted caramel on top. Store in the fridge.
I make this cake the day before I need it but feel free to make the day of as well.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American