This luscious chocolate caramel cake is unbelievably moist, rich and utterly melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Three layers of soft chocolate cake are filled with buttercream frosting and lashings of salted caramel sauce – in a recipe that is both easy to make and spectacular to look at. Spoil your family and friends by making this for your next special occasion or party cake.
This is the ultimate cake for chocolate lovers! Gooey caramel, decadent chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting – three layers of heaven. Completely rich and indulgent, this delicious cake has it all!
The cake itself is a one-bowl recipe that I have adapted from my mum’s boiled chocolate cake recipe. With a super moist crumb and fudgy but light texture, it is always a crowd pleaser! And it can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. Serve as is, or fancy it up with some caramel popcorn, praline, macarons, flowers or your favourite crushed chocolates for parties or celebrations. To save time, the elements can also be made ahead, to assemble when required.
I have made my own salted caramel sauce which can be made ahead and added to the cake. It is an easy recipe to follow, but if you are short on time or don’t fancy messing around with boiling hot sugar, you can certainly use store bought caramel instead.
This is the chocolate cake of everyone’s dreams, I think!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Extra moist
- Utterly rich and chocolatey
- Very easy to make
- 3 layers, but can also be made as a single cake (or cupcakes)
- Can be made ahead, if required.
What you’ll need
** This post contains tips and instructions to make the best possible cake. For full ingredient quantities and methods, see the detailed recipe card below.
It is best to use the exact ingredients and measurements for best results.
Unsweetened natural cocoa powder – I use a dark, unsweetened cocoa powder for maximum richness and chocolate flavour. The darker the cocoa powder, the richer and darker the cake.
Eggs – did you know that the temperature of your eggs can impact the results of your baking? Use room temperature eggs for the best result.
Oil – don’t substitute the oil for butter in this recipe! Cocoa powder is a drying ingredient. So the oil provides the moisture in the cake.
Boiling water – hot liquid helps to “bloom” the cocoa and enhance its flavour.
Salted caramel sauce – you can find more tips on how to make this easy salted caramel sauce recipe here. But if you are short on time, you can swap making your own for store bought caramel instead.
Step by step instructions
I promised that this was an easy cake, and I meant it! No mixer is required for the batter. The dry ingredients are simply whisked in a bowl before the wet ingredients (and then the boiling water) are added. The cake batter is quite thin, but this is normal. Everything will come together in the oven.
Divide the mixture between three 20cm cake tins and bake according to the instructions below.
The frosting is made by beating the melted butter, cocoa and vanilla in a mixing bowl, before adding the caramel sauce, icing (confectioners) sugar, milk and salt and beating until smooth. If you have made the salted caramel sweet sauce ahead of time, you may need to microwave it to soften it again.
Once the cake has completely cooled, you can layer the chocolate buttercream frosting and homemade salted caramel sauce between each cake layer and over the top. Sprinkle some more salt flakes over the top, slice and serve!
If you love this cake, you might also like to try these recipes!
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a message. For more food inspiration, tips and to share your own recipes and creations, head over to my Facebook Recipe Group. Andrea x
Chocolate and Salted Caramel Layer Cake
- 1 ¾ cups plain flour all purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp bicarb soda baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs large
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup boiling water
For the filling
- 1 ½ cups salted caramel sauce see the link here
For the frosting
- ⅓ cup butter melted
- 3-4 cups icing sugar sifted
- ¼ cup salted caramel sauce see the link here
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder sifted
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- ¼ tsp salt
For the Salted Caramel Sauce
- Prepare the salted caramel sauce as per the instructions here. The sauce can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in the fridge. Simply re-heat in the microwave to soften. Alternatively, you can use store bought sauce.
For the Chocolate Cake
- Pre-heat oven to 160 °C and prepare 3 x 20cm cake tins by greasing and lining with baking paper.
- Add the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Add the eggs, vanilla, oil and milk and stir together until combined.
- Carefully add the boiling water and stir slowly until the water is completely incorporated into the mixture.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the three tins.
- Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until cakes have cooked completely.
- Transfer cakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the Frosting
- Stir the butter and vanilla together with the cocoa. Add the caramel and beat until combined.
- Add the icing sugar, milk and salt and mix until completely combined.
- Allow to set slightly in the fridge. The frosting should be thick enough to hold its shape. If it is too thin, add a little more icing sugar until it reaches the desired thickness.
- Assemble the layers one at a time. To start, place one cake layer on your cake stand or plate.
- Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the first cake layer. Then spoon on some of the cooled and slightly thickened salted caramel sauce.
- Place the second cake layer on top and repeat the frosting and caramel process. Add the third cake layer and then place the cake in the fridge for half an hour to set.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and add the frosting to the top and sides. Drizzle with salted caramel and add a small sprinkle of salt flakes.
- Store in the fridge before use. This chocolate and salted caramel layer cake will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. Enjoy!
- This cake can be made ahead and kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days, but is softest when eaten on the day or following day. Remove from the fridge for at least half an hour before serving.
- The cake layers and caramel need to be 100% cooled before adding the frosting and caramel to the cake. Trust me, I learned this the hard way! The layers will literally slide off each other if they are still warm. Allow the cakes to cool completely on the rack. The salted caramel can be made ahead if needed.
- The butter for the frosting can be salted or unsalted and it needs to be melted before beating, otherwise you end up with lumps. I also recommend sifting the icing sugar to avoid lumps.
- Prepare your cake tins before starting on the cake. I spray them with an oil spray and line with baking paper. All three layers should be baked in the middle rack in the oven. I have a large oven at home that allows me to do this. If they don’t all fit in your oven at once, you can bake the cakes in batches.
- The salted caramel can be made up to two weeks in advance, perfect for adding to this cake when required. If you have made it ahead of time, it will go hard in the fridge. You can warm it slowly in the microwave (stirring) to get it to the desired consistency.