Chocolate Caramel Cake

Can you ever go wrong with chocolate and caramel? Ever since middle school, where Fridays meant a slice of pizza at lunch and a pack of rolos to get me through Algebra, I’ve found the combination of chocolate and caramel irresistible. As an adult, I don’t buy or eat much candy, but I do satisfy my chocolate and caramel cravings by baking the occasional decadent cake for Ryan and me to share.

This cake came about after I made a HUGE jar of homemade caramel last Wednesday. Here in Austin,we’ve almost reached our candy-making limit. With highs in the 90s, it is almost too hot to stand over a pot of boiling sugar and butter. My advice for my southern readers: make your caramel first thing in the morning. Not only will you be cooler, you can drizzle a little caramel on your pancakes too.

I spread a thin layer of my caramel on a few polenta and honey cookies, but I still had over half a jar left . And is there really a better way to use caramel then as a filling for a  cake? I think not.

This cake turned out beautiful and tasted even better than my 8th grade rolos. I like my caramel on the salty side, so I added a healthy pinch of sea salt once bringing it off the burner. The salty caramel contrasted beautifully with the spongy chocolate layers.  Because Ryan and I don’t usually eat entire cakes in one setting, we invited a few friends over to help us put a dent in this. We found that one small sliver was more than enough to satisfy any and all dessert cravings.

And that’s what I like about my desserts. They are rich, but satisfying.

If you haven’t had a chance, visit the website for Cake Stand and like me on Facebook. I’m baking two cakes this weekend, and I’d love to share both of them with you! And if you’re looking for a cake in Austin, let me know.


Thick Caramel Sauce

1 cup butter

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

1-2 teaspoons sea salt

1. Atttach a candy thermometer to a heavy saucepan. In saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring with a wood spoon.

2. Carefully and slowly stir in whipping cream. Be careful, cream will boil rapidly and can burn.

3. Continue to stir mixture until caramel reaches 238 degrees, the soft-ball stage. This will take anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt.

5. Store in a glass jar after the mixture has cooled slightly. If your caramel is too hot, there is the risk of glass breaking.

Note: As caramel cools, it thickens. If you aren’t using caramel right away, you can store for 1-2 weeks in a glass jar. When you’re ready to enjoy your candy creation, spoon out a chunk (yes, it will be that thick), add a dash of cream, and then microwave in 15 second increments until smooth.

Chocolate Cake

*From Ina Garten

Butter, for greasing the pans

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cups cocoa powder (Hershey works well)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup full-fat buttermilk, shaken

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

3. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with the caramel filling. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting (recipe follows) evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1. Melt butter in microwave or on stove. Stir in cocoa powder until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add more milk if necessary. (I also added a few spoonfuls of my caramel sauce. Why not?)


Anecdotes and Apple Cores

63 thoughts on “Chocolate Caramel Cake

  1. Nick Combs


    Congrats on everything. Looks like you are doing real well, and I had no idea you loved to bake let alone make it your job/life. Good for you. Everything looks amazing and super delicious. Hope you are well!


    1. Monet Post author

      Thanks, Nick! It is so good to hear from you! I hope you are doing well too!

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  2. Jennifer Cote

    Monet, the cake looks beautiful as a dress! And I love your website- your husband did a great job designing it :)
    The white and blue wedding cake is so artsy- HOW FUN! OK, I’m a fan. And congrats on making Foodbuzz’s Top 9 with the Polenta Cookies 😀

  3. Jeanne

    Nope, there’s nothing better than chocolate and caramel. Especially when they’re in a cake this beautiful! It’s a masterpiece, Monet. I sure could take some of it off your hands if only I were in Austin…

  4. Brittany

    Oh man, I used to love Rolos growing up as well. They were my mom’s favorite candy and I followed in her footsteps. :) This cake looks amazing, as does your new site. I love it!! I’m so excited for you and your new business! Congrats.

  5. Beth Michelle

    Rolos were my most favorite candy when I was young! Nothing beats chocolate and caramel thats for sure. This cake is stunning. You did such a beautiful job with it!! Im sure your friends were more than happy to come help you eat it :)

  6. Bunkycooks

    Congrats on your new venture and the new site! Looks like you will be busier than usual with even more baking. This cake is lovely and I know that any recipe from Ina Garten is a winner, especially chocolate. :-)

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  7. Lauren (PB&G)

    Beautiful cake, Monet! I’m itching to see the inside of it!!

    I wish I lived in or near Austin so we could make a vegan version together. =)

  8. june

    Oh…I can only imagine how gorgeous and delicious a slice of this tastes. It can’t get much better than chocolate and caramel in one cake, can it? Beautiful…absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing this, Monet. It has gotten my weekend off to a very happy start (and has quite possibly inspired me to get myself to the shops and try my hand at baking this for the weekend…perhaps for brekkie as well as for an after dinner sweet). I give it ten yummmmms out of a possible ten!

  9. Liz

    Better than Rolos????? This must taste magnificent! And it’s just gorgeous, Monet! You’re going to be busy with cake orders, my friend!

  10. Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet)

    Well…yum! Love that ribbon look on the icinng…and salted caramel is hands down my FAVORITE! Stay cool this weekend…we’ll be hitting 97 this afternoon. Can’t WAIT to be in Portland next weekend for a WEEK of cool temps!!

  11. grace

    what a lovely cake! chocolate and caramel go together magnificently, and your ruffles of frosting are lovely!

  12. Barbara

    I live in South Florida, Monet, and am in complete agreement with hot stoves and ovens in the summer!
    What a gorgeous cake! You are very talented and there’s nothing better than a caramel icing!

  13. Becky

    I have never made a chocolate cake with caramel, but here’s always a first time. I love chocolate and Caramel together. Your ribbon frosting is stunning. I can just imagine how good the cake must taste.

    Stay cool in Austin, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  14. Tina@flourtrader

    Lovely cake, you did an amazing job on the ruffles! Not an easy task as far as I am concerning. Chocolate and caramel does sound like a winning flavor combination to me. Delicious post!

  15. Ashley

    Hello! I love your new blog site!! Your cakes look heavenly! I wanted to share some good news with you. I recently adopted a little kitten I’ve now named Riada. I thought of Cricket when I wrote my most recent post, so I wanted to drop you a line. :-) I hope all is going wonderfully well.

  16. Reeni

    Your cake is a sight for sore eyes! I adore the chocolate and salty caramel combo. And your frosting is so pretty! I wish I had half your talent. Have a great week my dear friend! xoxo

  17. Lilly

    Beautiful cake!! You are so talented and so nice for inviting some friends over to share this cake. Can’t wait what you’ll be baking next.

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    Hi Monet! What a wonderful site you’ve indulged in..=} Am I missing something or do you not yet have a envelope button thingy that would allow me to send/share these amazing recipes by email? I cant wait to try so many of these!

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