This Salted Chocolate Caramel Cake is made with milk chocolate cake, homemade caramel icing, and chocolate ganache.
Crazy moist Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake, busting with milk chocolate covered toffee bits, coated in Caramel Icing and smothered in silky chocolate ganache. THE only chocolate cake recipe you ever need!
Thank you Green and Black’s Organic Chocolate for sponsoring this recipe. All opinions are my own.
Chocolate Caramel Cake Recipe
I can’t resist its siren calls. Whether it’s dark, white, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate – I answer every time. I try and be polite that way. Whether in cake, brownies, fudge sauce, candy bars, cookies, ice cream, mousse etc., chocolate makes the blissful world of desserts go-round.
My favorite rich dose of chocolate is chocolate cake – this Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake to be precise, because it is mouthfuls of chocolate and caramel. Divine. I adapted my favorite chocolate cake recipe used in my Peppermint Chocolate Cake and infused it with GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Toffee Milk Chocolate. So yes, this cake boasts, chocolate, caramel and toffee! It’s every bit as delicious as you are imagining right now – and then some.
The delectable, buttery, smooth and crunchy organic milk toffee bars get melted as part of the cake batter, chopped pieces get stirred into the batter, and lastly, the milk chocolate toffee adorns each tier of the double rich cake.
With that much chocolate, it better be quality, goooood chocolate so I use GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Chocolate. It is 100% organic and certified Fair Trade. They are a company committed to supporting farming communities around the world who supply them with the delicious Fair Trade ingredients that make their premium, certified organic chocolate bars possible.
Creating the perfect balance of exceptional organic ingredients and mouthwatering flavors is the goal of GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Chocolate, and the result is the best tasting organic chocolate bars possible, in my humble opinion. (See HERE for a complete GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Chocolate brand history and philosophy.)
The crazy, moist, uber-chocolaty cake gets a double layer of silky, Salted Caramel Icing – which is barely enough for how badly you are gong to want to eat it with a spoon. The bit of saltiness balances out the milk chocolate sweetness and keeps you coming back for more.
The crowning glory of this Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake is the silky chocolate ganache: soooo smooth, soft and the perfect compliment to the texture of the crystalized sugary caramel icing.
And the siren calls begin…
After I had finished photographing this cake, I called a few friends to see if they were home so I could drop some off – no one was home. So the cake sat on our counter all day, and all night. By the second day, half the cake was gone. True story. It’s that good. That irresistible. That chocolaty. Thank you GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Chocolate.
Crazy moist Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake, busting with milk chocolate toffee bits, coated in Caramel Icing and smothered in silky chocolate ganache. THE only chocolate cake recipe you ever need!
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake Ingredients
This chocolate caramel cake has three components: the milk chocolate cake layers, the caramel buttercream frosting, and the homemade chocolate ganache. Here’s what you’ll need to make this irresistible cake:
- GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Milk Chocolate Toffee Bars: Chop and keep the Toffee Bars separate in order to measure them. You will melt two, stir one into the cake batter, use ¼ in between cake layers and the rest to garnish the cake. I’ve given detailed directions in recipe.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter softened to room temperature so we can control the salt.
- Brown sugar: Adds a rich slightly molasses flavor and additional moisture.
- Eggs: They provide structure and binding properties. Take care they are at room temperature for fluffier results.
- All-purpose flour: I have not experimented with gluten free flour, but I assume gluten-free 1 to 1 flour like Bob’s Red Mill would work great.
- Baking soda: Is an acidic leavening agent.
- Salt: Added to both the caramel frosting and the milk chocolate cake to balance out the sweetness of the cake.
- Cocoa powder: Use unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe.
- Sour cream: Full-fat sour cream will deliver the most flavor and moisture.
- Hot water: 1 cup of hot (not boiling) water gets added to the cake batter.
- Vanilla extract: Adds tons of flavor! Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Heavy cream: Real heavy cream is a must! Half and half or whole milk won’t deliver the same results.
- Powdered sugar: Sift the sugar before adding it to the caramel buttercream frosting, otherwise you’ll create lumps.
- Corn syrup: Prevents the chocolate ganache from setting fully and keeps it smooth and creamy.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: I use semi-sweet chocolate rather than milk to prevent the cake from being too sweet.
How to Make Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake
I’ve given detailed instructions in the recipe card below on how to make this chocolate cake with caramel frosting. Here are the basic steps:
- Make the chocolate cake layers: The cake batter comes together much like any other cake. The only difference is that hot water is streamed into the batter at the end.
- Bake the cake: Turn the batter into two 10-inch round cake tins and bake until done. Let cool completely before frosting.
- Make the caramel frosting: Add butter and brown sugar to a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add 3 tablespoons heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat with a handheld electric mixer at medium high speed for 4 minutes.
- Frost and assemble the cake: To the first cake layer, add the caramel buttercream frosting. Then, top with chopped up toffee bars. Set second cake layer on top, then frost the entire thing.
- Top with ganache: Make the chocolate ganache, then spread over top of chocolate caramel cake. Garnish with remaining chopped up toffee bar.
Tips for Making Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting
- Pile on the frosting (or not!): For my cake, I frosted it with a thin layer of icing, then let it set then frosted it again with a second layer for a completely enveloped, more opaque look, but you can just frost once and be done – completely up to you! Both taste AH-mazing.
- Never over-mix! For the lightest, most tender cake, take care not to overmix once you combine the wet and dry ingredients. Over-mixing cake batter causes the gluten in the flour to form elastic gluten strands which result in a dense, chewy tough, texture. Stop mixing as soon as you see the flour disappear.
- Glue cake. Add a dab of frosting to the center of a cake stand or platter “to glue” bottom layer down before frosting the cake.
Recipe Variations to Try
- Use different chocolates: I used the GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Milk Chocolate Toffee Bars in this recipe, but you could also use dark or semi-sweet chocolate for an even richer cake.
- Make a naked cake: Not a big fan of frosting? Pile it on between the cake layers, and on the very top of the cake, but leave the sides bare.
- Add nuts: I haven’t tried this yet, but I bet a sprinkling of toasted, salted pecans or walnuts would be delicious atop this chocolate caramel cake!
Can I Prep This Cake in Advance?
You can certainly make the milk chocolate cake layers the day before you plan on assembling the cake, but once assembled this chocolate cake with caramel frosting is best enjoyed day of.
How to Store Chocolate Caramel Cake
Salted caramel chocolate cake should be stored in an airtight container or well-covered with plastic wrap to protect it from drying out. It can be stored at room temperature (if less than 70 degrees F) for two days or will last in the refrigerator for up to one week. Let cake (slices) come to room temperature before serving or I like to microwave mine for 10-15 seconds.
Can I Freeze Chocolate Caramel Cake?
To freeze FROSTED Cake:
- If you are planning on freezing, then prep/frost your cake on a freezer safe plate/platter.
- Place frosted cake in the freezer until it is firm to the touch.
- Once firm, wrap tightly in plastic wrap then repeat with a second layer of plastic wrap. Next wrap tightly in 1-2 layers of foil until completely sealed.
- If you are freezing individual slices, then place these plastic/foil wrapped slices in a freezer bag. If you are freezing your entire cake for an extended period of time, then secure the aluminum foil with freezer tape to prevent freezer burn.
- Frozen cake can be stored for up to 4 months.
To freeze UNFROSTED Cake:
You can freeze the chocolate cake layers individually without the frosting. To freeze the cake layers:
- Let cake layers cool completely.
- Double wrap each cake layer separately in plastic wrap then in 1-2 layers of foil until completely sealed.
- Freeze cake for up to 3 months.
- Allow the cakes to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then unwrap and come to room temperature on the counter before assembling.
Tools Used in This Recipe
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Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake
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Milk Chocolate Cake
- 4 3.5 oz. GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Milk Chocolate Toffee bars chopped, divided*
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
- 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup full fat sour cream
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- Chocolate Cake: Add 2 chopped Toffee Bars to a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave at MEDIUM (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals (about 1 ½ minutes total time). Stir until smooth. Set aside.
- Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer for 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Add melted chocolate and beat just until blended.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a separate bowl. Gradually beat flour mixture into chocolate mixture at medium-low speed, alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla and one chopped Toffee Bar.
- Grease two 10-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray containing flour or butter and flour the pans. Divide batter evenly between the pans and bake at 350° F for 25-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean (mine took exactly 33 minutes). Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack before icing.
- Caramel Icing: Add butter and brown sugar to a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add 3 tablespoons heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat with a handheld electric mixer at medium high speed for 4 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, approximately 10-15 minutes. Icing will thicken upon standing. If icing has become too thick after cooling, beat in additional heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency..
- After cakes are cool and icing has cooled for 15 minutes, spread approximately ½ cup caramel icing on top of one cake round and sprinkle with ¼ of a chopped Toffee Bar. Top caramel icing/chopped candy bar with the other cake and continue to frost. I like to cover the cake in a thin layer of icing then let it set, then finish with remaining icing for a more opaque look.
- Chocolate Ganache: Add heavy cream, butter and corn syrup to a large microwave safe bowl and heat for two minutes, stir to combine. Heat at 30 second intervals if butter is not completely melted at this point. Add chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted. Let cool for 15 minutes. Spread the ganache just to the edges of the top of the cake. Push the chocolate over the edge of the cake in a few spots to create some “drips” if desired. Garnish cake with remaining chopped Milk Chocolate (¾ of a bar).
**Total time does not include cake, caramel and ganache cooling.
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