The best chocolate caramel cake made with my favorite chocolate cake recipe, homemade salted caramel sauce and a chocolate sweetened condensed milk frosting!
Ok, serious question here: have you ever dreamed of a chocolate cake with seeping salted caramel sauce?! I have…and I wish I could say I was joking, lol. I’ve been wanting to make a cake like this for quite some time and I finally did it. This chocolate caramel cake has made all my dreams come true!
What’s in the chocolate caramel cake?
For the crumb, I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe which I shared with you last week. I partnered with Eagle Brand to make the BEST chocolate frosting using their sweetened condensed milk and I used my basic homemade salted caramel sauce recipe for the filling.
How to make the best chocolate cake
This is my absolute favorite chocolate cake recipe. It makes the perfect three layer 6 inch chocolate cake and is so simple to make! Make sure to check out the post for detailed shots of every step and what other size cake pans you can make the cake in.
This cake uses the basic creaming method, where butter and sugar get whipped, then oil gets added followed by eggs and sour cream. Dry ingredients and milk alternate getting added at the end and voila!
How to make homemade salted caramel sauce
Caramel sauce can be intimidating to make but not to worry at all, because I have detailed shots of every step for that too in my homemade salted caramel sauce post as well. Make sure to follow the steps precisely and it’ll turn out perfect!
Can I use store bought caramel sauce?
The short answer is yes…however, I cannot vouch for any store bought caramel sauce, lol. Homemade caramel sauce is just something I would never compromise on and I haven’t tried any that are anything close to homemade caramel.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also give dulce de leche a try. In my chocolate chip dulce de leche sticky buns, you can see how I poured the Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk into a 9 inch pan and baked it into a creamy dulce de leche filling!
How to make chocolate sweetened condensed milk frosting
Finally onto the best part! Like I mentioned before, I partnered with Eagle Brand to make this frosting using their Sweetened Condensed Milk and it really makes for an AMAZING frosting. It’s super silky and the perfect balance of chocolate flavor and creamy sweetness!
(I also make a similar frosting using their sweetened condensed milk in my new cookbook, Frosted because it’s that good!!) The key to the frosting is to make sure to whip the butter sufficiently before adding in the sweetened condensed milk. Then when you add it in, add it in SLOWLY, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
Assembling the chocolate caramel cake
I think we can all agree that we eat with our eyes first and you’re probably dying over that dripping caramel sauce. Amiright?! Here are the basic steps to follow to make sure your cake looks this good!
I make the salted caramel sauce first because it takes the longest to cool. Make sure to allow it to cool completely to room temperature. You can also refrigerate it for a little if you’re worried it’s too thin.
Then allow the cakes to cool in the cake pans for just a few minutes before inverting them onto a tea towel or cooling rack to cool completely.
Once the cake and the caramel are no longer warm, make the frosting. Use a piping bag to create a border onto the cake, this will act as a barrier to prevent the caramel from oozing out. Then fill the center with a generous layer of caramel sauce and use the piping bag to pipe another layer of frosting on top of the caramel. With an offset spatula, smooth out the ridges in the frosting and then refrigerate the cake for 15-20 minutes before setting the next cake layer on top.
If you skip the refrigeration time you risk the frosting and caramel squishing out between the cake and the cake may tip over once it’s finished. Repeat that for the second layer and then refrigerate the cake for another 30 minutes once it’s all assembled.
After the cake has set in the fridge, finish frosting the outside and then drizzle some extra caramel sauce on top of the cake.
How to get the oozing caramel sauce
If you refrigerate it longer than I did, the cake, caramel and frosting will become more firm the colder they get. I chose to photograph it fresh before they got any colder and as I was photographing, the caramel was warming up and began to ooze out where I cut the slices.
My room temperature was about 70F so I worked very quickly to get these shots before the cake risked toppling over. I would say it was starting to become unstable at room temperature after about 20-30 minutes. If you refrigerate it beforehand and don’t slice it fresh, the cake should be fine for much longer than that!
How to store chocolate caramel cake
What can be made advance
If this is too much to make in one day, you can make the caramel sauce in advance (2-3 weeks) and refrigerate it in an airtight container. Allow it to warm up at room temperature for at least an hour before assembling the cake.
You can also make the cake ahead of time. I prefer not to do more than one day in advance but if you need to, you can make it even a week early, wrap them each in plastic wrap individually and then place them into a freezer bag and freeze them.
I would not suggest making the frosting in advance because it’s quick to make and would require the same amount of time to re-whip before using anyway.
How to store the assembled cake
If the cake is not sliced yet, store it in the refrigerator as it is. If it’s sliced, cover any open areas with plastic wrap and place any cut slices in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To freeze, slice the cake and either wrap each slice in plastic wrap or place them really tightly next to each other in an airtight container and then in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Make sure to let all the air out of the freezer bag before closing it.
Well, if you made it this far, thanks so much for reading and I really hope you guys enjoy this chocolate caramel cake as much as I did! Also make sure to share it with me @baranbakery and @eaglebrandmilk on instagram if you make it. If you have any questions leave them down below and as always, have a blessed day and happy baking!
- 1 3/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 3/4 cup (60g) Dutch-process cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
- 1 Tbsp (10g) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (118mL) canola oil
- 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (170g) sour cream
- 3/4 cup (180mL) milk, room temperature
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (59mL) water
- 1/2 cup (118mL) heavy cream, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate Sweetened Condensed Milk Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups (340g) butter, room temperature (not greasy soft)
- 1 can (14oz) Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/2 cup (40g) Dutch-process cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Sauce
- Place the sugar and water in a medium size heavy bottom sauce pan. Swirl the pan until the sugar is immersed in water. Place the saucepan over medium heat and allow the sugar to fully dissolve in the water, gently swirling the pan every minute or so.
- Bring the sugar and water to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Place the lid on the pan and allow the mixture to simmer until the color begins to darken to a light amber color, this should take about 10 minutes. Make sure to remove the lid and check the color at least every minute.
- You can gently swirl the pan every couple of minutes but DO NOT STIR IT WITH ANYTHING. If there are crystalized pieces of sugar on the sides of the pan, the steam running down from the lid should dissolve them but if it doesn’t, you can use a pastry brush wet with water to brush them away.
- Once the sugar is a dark amber color, remove it from the heat. Stir in the butter until it’s melted, then add the heavy cream, whisking until the caramel is smooth.
- Pour the caramel sauce in a heat proof jar and stir in the salt and vanilla extract.
- Allow it to cool until it’s not piping hot, about an hour. Refrigerate until the caramel is set.
- If you’ve never made caramel sauce, make sure to read my whole post on homemade salted caramel sauce.
6 Inch Chocolate Cake
- Begin by bringing all your ingredients to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) convection (325F/163C conventional) and grease and line three 6 inch cake pans with baking spray and parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until they're evenly distributed. Set aside.
- Place the room temperature butter and the granulated sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer with the whisk attachment to beat them for 1-2 minutes. Add the oil and beat for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed until each egg is fully incorporated, about 30-60 seconds between each egg. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until it's combined.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter, turn the mixer to low speed and then stream in the milk, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Distribute the batter evenly among the three cake pans, about 14 ounces in each pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes. When the cake is fully baked it will release itself from the edge of the pan and it will spring back if you press on the center of it.
- Remove from the oven and invert them onto a tea towel or cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.
- Make sure to read my 6 inch chocolate cake post if you haven't made them before.
- To make the frosting, use the stand mixer and whisk attachment at full speed to whip the butter for 10 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl every few minutes.
- Lower the speed to medium and slowly pour in the Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat until they're well combined. If the frosting is too soft to use, refrigerate for about 30 minutes, mixing it every 10 minutes or so.
- Place the frosting in a piping bag fit with a round tip. Pipe a boarder of icing on the edge of the first layer of cake, fill the border in with a layer of cooled caramel sauce and then pipe another thin layer of frosting on top of the caramel.
- Refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes and repeat with the second layer. Then refrigerate the cake for another 15 minutes, place the last layer of cake on top. Refrigerate the cake for 30-60 minutes before frosting the outside.
- Use the rest of the frosting to frost the outside of the cake. Drizzle extra caramel on top.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.
This post was sponsored by Eagle Brand, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so supporting the brands that support Baran Bakery!