Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

/// July 8th, 2016

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake! So decadent!

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake slathered in homemade Salted Caramel Chocolate Frosting. So decadent!

Happy Friday!

Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m currently feeling ALL of the feelings. Also currently in the car, driving to the beach, eating a slice of cake and chasing it with an iced coffee.

If today is any indication of what 29 is going to be like, I think this year is going to be pretty great!

Before I embark on my birthday adventure I wanted to pop in and share a slice of cake with YOU. You have been a huge party of what has made this past year so unbelievably amazing and you’re the reason I have so much hope, joy and passion for the year to come.

But enough gushing (because I’m tearing up and don’t have waterproof mascara on right now now): let’s talk about cake!

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake slathered in homemade Salted Caramel Chocolate Frosting. So decadent!

I bake myself a birthday cake every year and this year I wanted something sinfully decadent. At first I thought it would be chocolate (my favorite)… then I started dreaming of something drenched in salted caramel… finally I decided to full on treat myself and create a cake that featured BOTH.

So, without further ado, meet my 29th birthday cake: Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake.

Isn’t she just a knock out?! โ†“

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake slathered in homemade Salted Caramel Chocolate Frosting. So decadent!

Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:

  • This recipe calls for vegetable oil, but you can use an equal amount of melted coconut oil in its place. I do not recommend substituting oil with butter.
  • I used store bought salted caramel in this recipe to save me time, but feel free to use homemade if you’d like! I suggest using a salted caramel sauce with a thicker consistency. You can click here to check out the exact caramel sauce I used. You might also want to check out my recipe for 6-minute salted caramel sauce.
  • For best results, make sure your eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, and milk have all come to room temperature before you begin baking.
  • When you measure your flour, be sure you’re not packing it into the measuring cup. Packed flour will yield a dense and dry cake.
  • The cake layers should all be baked on the middle rack of your oven. If there’s not enough room in your oven to bake them all in an even row at once, simply bake them in two batches.
  • For the frosting, you’ll want to make sure your butter is VERY soft before creaming it.
  • The cakes should be completely cool before adding the frosting and salted caramel.
  • The assembly is a two part process: you’ll place one cake level on a large plate, top it with a thin layer of frosting, then add the caramel, then add another cake level and repeat. Once you’ve added the final cake level you’ll want to leave the top bare and place the cake in the fridge to set for one hour. Once it’s set, you can finish frosting.

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake slathered in homemade Salted Caramel Chocolate Frosting. So decadent!

Alright guys, time for me to wipe the crumbs of my party dress and start celebrating! There’s a mimosa and long nap on the beach in my very near future…

โ†‘ Can everyday be my birthday?!

Have a great weekend and see you next week!

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake slathered in homemade Salted Caramel Chocolate Frosting. So decadent!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and donโ€™t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day.

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake slathered in homemade Salted Caramel Chocolate Frosting. So decadent!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: (1) 9" triple layer cake

Serving Size: 1 slice

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake slathered in homemade Chocolate Frosting. So decadent!


  • For the chocolate cake:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (not packed!)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups full-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (you may also sub in melted coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups hot water
  • For the salted caramel chocolate frosting:
  • 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks, 16 ounces), VERY soft
  • 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (more if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
  • Garnish:
  • 1 and 1/4 cups salted caramel sauce (please see post for more on this)
  • Flaky sea salt


  1. For the chocolate cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350ยฐ(F). Cut out three 9-inch round segments of parchment paper to line your cake pans with. Spray each pan generously - sides and bottom - with nonstick cooking spray, then place the parchment paper cut out in the bottom of the pans and spray again. It's important to make sure every bit of pan and paper are sprayed so your cakes don't get stuck. Set pans aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, combine both sugars, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Use your hands to break up any large clumps, if needed. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, milk, oil and vanilla extract; mix until completely combined. Pour mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on low until just incorporated. Pour in hot water and continue mixing until completely combined; about 1 minute. The batter will quite thin.
  4. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cakes for 10 minutes in the pan before removing from pans and transferring to a cooling rack; cool cakes completely before frosting.
  5. For the chocolate frosting:
  6. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter on medium-speed until completely smooth; about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer off and sift the powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on the lowest speed and mix until the sugar/cocoa have been absorbed by the butter; about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium; add in vanilla extract, salt, heavy cream and salted caramel; beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting appears a little too thin, add a little more confectioners' sugar; If your frosting needs to be thinner, add additional heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  7. Assembly:
  8. Using a serrated knife, carefully trim the raised top of each cake, making each one an even, level surface. Transfer 1 layer to a large plate or cake stand. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top, then add a 1/2 cup of caramel; top with another cake layer, and repeat, thinly spread it with a layer of frosting, then adding a 1/2 cup of caramel. Top final cake layer and place cake in the fridge to set for 1 hour. Once set, finishing frosting the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slice and serve, or keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.


Cake may be baked up to 5 days in advance and stored in the fridge. Unfrosted cakes may be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months. For best results, follow the recipe as written.

Next try my ULTIMATE Salted Caramel Cupcakes!

If you love salted caramel, this cupcake recipe is for you!

75 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

      1. Sharon Asp

        I’m not Sure when you will read this, but i have 2 9inch cake pans, and a 9 inch spring form cake pan. What do i do?

    1. Jessica Bolton

      This looks amazing! Today is my fiancรฉ’s birthday and this is the cake our daughters and I are making him! Wish us luck!!!

    2. Samara

      Hello. I make this cake all the time and its loved by everyone. Just wondering who many people this is to serve as I need to make a bigger cake. Thank you. :)

  1. Amanda

    OH. MY. GOD.
    This may be a turn-off, but I want to lick my computer screen. I have NEVER seen such a decadent cake nor could I ever make something so amazing!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and thank you for bringing a little bit of sweetness into my life everyday (I check your website all the time.) We could all use a sweet smile in today’s world.
    Best to you on your big day! Celebrate to the max!

  2. Emily Mitchell

    I made this cake for my mom’s birthday over the weekend and it turned out AMAZING! Rich and moist but not dense. Thank you so much for this recipe. I will definitely be making it again. Question, have you ever thought of adding brewed coffee instead of hot water? Not that this cake needs more flavor, just curious of you have ever tried it.

  3. mc

    Hi i looked through a lot of your chocolate cake related recipes. May I know if the cocoa powder are natural or dutched processed? Thank you! (=

  4. Chele Munson

    This recipe is out of this world! I have one question? It was a little “gritty” (best word, I could come up with), any thoughts as to why or what to do to fix that? It still tastes fabulous, I just wondered what that could be.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Chele. I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! I’m having a hard time imagining how this cake could be gritty, so I’m not sure why yours came out that way. If you can expand on gritty in more detail I may be able to help… was it dry? too wet?

      1. Chele Munson

        I made it a second time and it was perfect, no idea what happened that first time! I have literally made like 6 of your desserts, keep them coming! You are my go to for desserts!

  5. Kristen Hahn

    So I was about to start the frosting portion and noticed it said to add vanilla extract in the directions but I don’t see vanilla in the ingredients list for the frosting. How much am I supposed to be putting in?

  6. Neha

    Hi! :)
    This cake looks droolworthy. I would definitely bake it over the weekend. I have got one question though. Does the batter stand for some time? I don’t have multuple tins. So, i would have to bake it in batches.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Neha. I would recommend using multiple tins as called for because the cake batter has active ingredients in them that will develop and change the batter as they sit. I hope you get a chance to bake it!

  7. ivey

    I was wanting to make this cake tomorrow and I noticed in the frosting it says to add vanilla in the instructions but it is not listed in the ingredient list so I was wondering how much vanilla to add.

  8. Mike

    I have the same question. As above about the vanilla? It’s not listed in the I grediays under frosting but it is mentioned in the instructions, please help

  9. Rathi

    Hey there I soooo want to make this cake for my mother in laws bday this weekend but I have only 2 cake pans their sizes being 23 cm x 23 cm x 3.5 cm. Would you be able to give ingredient ratios for a 2 layer cake please???

  10. Elaine

    I made this cake at the weekend and it was amazing. Best chocolate cake I have come across and the frosting was gorgeous. Not too rich but just enough flavour.
    Could I use this sponge recipe for cupcakes?

  11. Jade

    Looks amazing, I will be making this recipe for a good friends birthday this weekend. I just want to check cup size please. Is one cup 250ml?

  12. Nicole

    After putting the last layer of the cake, you say to put
    in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Won’t it dry the cake? Also,
    someone asked you if she Canadian put coffee instead of just water.
    Do you think its a good idea or the cake will mostly taste coffee?
    Thank you!

  13. Hugo

    Great,awesome cake ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ and i will make to my aniversary with some changes, Lemon curd to one layer to cut the sweet :p
    But i ‘m from portugal and here use grams, this cups are US or UK?


  14. Cali

    Hi! I made this cake for a family bake off, and it was AMAZING. It won, and everyone loved it. So much so I’m being asked to make it for a Christmas party, and I’m wondering if I wanted to make it in 9×13 would you recommend doubling the recipe? Or just an extra half of the amounts? Your thoughts would be appreciated!
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Cali. Congratulations on winning the bake-off :) So happy my cake could be a part of your family traditions! I’m not sure how this cake would work in a 9×13 pan. There’s a ton of cake batter, so I don’t think you’d need to double it. I’m just not sure where you’d put the caramel if you put it in that kind of pan since there would only be one layer? If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it turns out :)

      1. Cali

        I didn’t mean just one pan, I will still have layers. Might just leave the recipe and just have two layers with a layer of caramel. I will have to see how much batter goes in each pan :)

  15. Sarah Holden

    I am planning on making this cake for my dads birthday in a couple of weeks. I need to purchase cake pans. There’s a Wilton set of three pans for $11.99, but they are an 9″, 10″ and 11″ – could that work for this cake? Or do the pans have to be the same size?

  16. Brenda

    I made this cake for our family Christmas, with just a few adjustments. First, let me comment on how absolutely magnificent this cake tastes! I can’t wait for another special occasion to make it! I normally do not either comment on or make twice a recipe I try from Pinterest. This recipe “takes the Cake”! My adjustments were, I baked in a large 10 x 14 baking dish, (it takes several minutes longer to bake) and halved the icing recipe. Absolutely scrumptious!

  17. Ramona

    Hi! I’m planning to make this for my birthday party on Saturday. Can I make the frosting on Wednesday and the cake on Thursday, and then assemble on either Thursday, once the cakes cool, or Friday? (Basically, can I make the frosting ahead of the cake?) Thanks!!!

    1. Ramona

      Nevermind! I realized it made no sense/there was no reason to make frosting before cake. Cakes are done as of a few minutes ago and frosting/assembly will be done tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe! Everyone is super excited to try it!

  18. Jennifer

    I need to make a wheat free version of this. Cup for cup gf baking mixes aren’t as good as a boxed mix. I’m trying to figure out conversions using 2 boxes of mix and the wet ingredients. The recipe calls for 5 cups of dry ingredients, I think…..would the wet be the same as the recipe, or should I make 1 box and figure the conversions. Any help with any of that will be wonderful!

  19. Pat

    I am drooling over this recipe! I would like to make this cake for my daughters upcoming birthday. Do you think that I could substitute vegan sour cream and non dairy milk (soy milk, coconut milk)? She has had to give up dairy but I know she would like this cake!

  20. Davie

    When you took those pictures, had the caramel Cooled at all? Im afraid that after chilling the Caramel will become solid. If it sits in a refrigerator overnight, do you have that problem?

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Davie. I used a caramel that doesn’t completely solidify, even when refrigerated. I’ve never had an issue with it being rock solid or anything, but I also always let my cake come back to room temperature for at least an hour before serving. I hope that helps :)

  21. Saba Rehman

    Hi. This cake looks so delicious. Will definitely try it for my son’s 3rd birthday. I have one question though. I have a load of caramel candy leftover from christmas. Is there any way i can use it for the caramel sauce?

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Saba. It’ll make a great birthday cake! I’m not sure how you would make a caramel sauce from the candies, but you could try sprinkling them on top of the cake once it’s decorated :)

  22. Noor Lee

    Happy belated birthday!
    I’m wondering is the salted caramel layer will be hard to cut into after the cake being chilled in the fridge. Or do I need to thaw the cake to room temperature before I slice then.

  23. Shana

    I just baked this cake and made the Salted Caramel Sauce in your blog, however, my cakes fell. I live in the Rockies and our house sits at about 4600′. What adjustments can I make so it won’t fall next time….I’m sure there will be a next time judging by the batter and caramel sauce. :)


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