4-Layer Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake

chocolate salted caramel cake (1) WM

it’s so owey gooey it won’t stand up straight!

This cake is pretty amazing.  Like over the top amazing.  Like you have died and gone to heaven amazing.

So, as I’m sure by now you know I live in Colorado and I stick to box cakes because I’m scared of the whole altitude baking thing, and yes, this is a box cake mix.  If you have a favorite from scratch chocolate cake mix feel free to use that, otherwise pick out your choice of boxed chocolate cake mix.  Also, since this cake uses a boxed cake mix and a jar of pre-made chocolate frosting, it’s pretty dang easy to make (again, if you have a favorite frosting recipe, use that).  The hardest part is making the salted caramel, but if you don’t freak out the homemade caramel is pretty amazing (you can cheat on all 3 ends and buy a jar of caramel too!).

Ingredients:

Chocolate cake mix + eggs, oil, water as stated on the box

large can of pre-made chocolate frosting

Ingredients for the Salted Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 7 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

Directions for the chocolate cake:

1. Mix all of the ingredients, per the directions on the back of the box.

2. Pour into 4 greased and floured round cake pans.

3. Bake per instructions on the back of the box.

4. Let the cakes cool completely before attempting to frost / assemble the layers of the cake (do not start on the caramel sauce until the cakes are cool).

Directions for the Salted Caramel:

1. Add the sugar and water into a saucepan over medium low heat.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Use a spoon to remove any crystals that form on the side.

2. Once the sugar has dissolved increase the heat to high.  Now and then, using the handle, give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving  – do not stir the mixture directly.  The mixture will start to bubble after a minute.

3. As the mixture darkens to a medium amber color, approximately 5-7 minutes, add the butter, heavy cream and kosher salt to saucepan.  The mixture will bubble wildly.  Whisk to combine.

A note: even if the heat is on high the sugar might start to clump and not be liquidy (mine turned from clear liquid to clumps) – don’t worry!  Just begin to whisk the sugar so it all becomes hot again.  If you wait too long you’ll have to chop up the sugar clumps with a wooden spoon.  I turned the heat down to low during this declumping process so the caramel wouldn’t burn.  This clumping didn’t happen the first time I made caramel but it has all of the subsequent times for some reason.  After the sugar is clear liquid again (no clumps) it will start to turn that beautiful amber color, then you can add the butter, heavy cream and salt DO NOT add these ingredients when the sugar is still clumpy and before the sugar has turned into the amber color of caramel.

Assembling the cake:

1. Slice off the tops of the cake layers to make sure that each layers is flat.

2. Frost the top and sides of the first layer.  Pour and spread 1/4th of the warm salted caramel over the frosted cake layer.

3. Repeat with the other 3 layers, placing toothpicks between each layer otherwise you will end up with a cake that leans like in the picture above.

4. Spread frosting over the sides of the cake if necessary.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or milk as this cake is over the top sweet and needs cream to help with that!

salted caramel tres leches cake

salted caramel tres leches WM

The first time that I had tres leches cake was at my aunt’s house in Seattle, I have been using the same recipe my cousin used for years – this time I modified it by adding salted caramel.

Ingredients for the tres leches cake:
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions for the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
3. Cream butter or margarine and 1 cup of the sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla extract, beat well.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter or margarine mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
6. Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
7. Pour the warm salted caramel over the cooled cake.
8. Whip whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup of the sugar together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated.

Ingredients for the Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 7 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

Directions for the Salted Caramel:

1. Add the sugar and water into a saucepan over medium low heat.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Use a spoon to remove any crystals that form on the side.

2. Once the sugar has dissolved increase the heat to high.  Now and then, using the handle, give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving  – do not stir the mixture directly.  The mixture will start to bubble after a minute.

3. As the mixture darkens to a medium amber color, approximately 5-7 minutes, add the butter, heavy cream and kosher salt to saucepan.  The mixture will bubble wildly.  Whisk to combine.

A note: even if the heat is on high the sugar might start to clump and not be liquidy (mine turned from clear liquid to clumps) – don’t worry!  Just begin to whisk the sugar so it all becomes hot again.  If you wait too long you’ll have to chop up the sugar clumps with a wooden spoon.  I turned the heat down to low during this declumping process so the caramel wouldn’t burn.  This clumping didn’t happen the first time I made caramel but it has all of the subsequent times for some reason.  After the sugar is clear liquid again (no clumps) it will start to turn that beautiful amber color, then you can add the butter, heavy cream and salt DO NOT add these ingredients when the sugar is still clumpy and before the sugar has turned into the amber color of caramel.