Salted-Caramel Six Layer Chocolate Cake
Look at that cake. Just look at it. You KNOW this will be one of those amazing cakes that everyone talks about for years to come when you make it, right? Trust me. It is amazing. I can’t take credit for this recipe. It’s actually Martha Stewart’s. I didn’t really change too much from her recipe, but her recipe was a little difficult to follow at times so hopefully this one is a little easier to understand.
Trust me when I say this cake is worth all of the steps you have to go through to make it. It is one of those “wow” cakes that you make for special occasions when you want to impress someone with your baking prowess. It’s going to probably take you a couple of hours to do all the steps. Print this recipe out, read it a couple of times, and give it a go. If you are a salted caramel lover, you have to make this cake!
Ingredients for the cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
Ingredients for the caramel:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/8 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
Ingredients for the frosting:
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 lb. semisweet chocolate chips melted and cooled
- Kosher salt for topping
Prep time: 2 hours
- Turn on your oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Then start making the cake batter. Sift the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, and cocoa powder together into a bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups warm water. Beat until it all comes together.
- Pour batter into three pans evenly. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the cake is cooked (check with a toothpick in the middle).
- While cake is baking, make the caramel. It’s best if you have a candy thermometer for this as the temperature needs to be exact. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir mixture constantly as it comes up to an amber color. It will take some time for this. Maybe 20 minutes or so. Be patient. It takes what it takes. When the amber color is reached, remove the pot from the heat and pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble up so be careful. Stir until cream is fully incorporated and then return the pan to the heat and let the mixture come up to 235 degrees. Once it reaches this temperature, take it off the heat and stir in the Kosher salt. After it has cooled for 15 minutes, stir in the cool butter a little bit at a time. Once all butter is incorporate, set caramel off to the side to cool.
- Now you can make the frosting. Whisk the cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water until cocoa is dissolved completely. Beat the butter, confectioners sugar, and a pinch of Kosher salt with a mixer until creamed. Add the melted chocolate and cocoa mixture a little bit at a time. After all chocolate and cocoa is incorporated, let the frosting stand. It will need to stand for 30 minutes before you can use it.
- To make your six layer cake, you’ll need to trim the tops off of your cake to make a level surface. You need a serrated knife to do this. After you have cut all of the tops off of your cakes, cut the cakes into two layers by cutting through each of them through the middle (horizontally). Put your bottom layer down, and add 1/5 of your caramel to the top of that layer. Add the next layer and continue the pattern until you’ve added all layers and used all caramel. You won’t need caramel for the top layer because you are going to frost it with the frosting. Add the top layer and frost the entire cake all the way around the sides and the top. Sprinkle with a little Kosher salt. (Note: I kept those delicious cake tops that I cut off to make a dome cake. I totally just made up that name so I don’t know if it’s a real thing, but I took the three cake tops and made a little cake with them just using the leftover chocolate frosting to frost in between the layers and on top. No caramel since I used up all my caramel on the real cake. I sprinkled the top of my frosted dome cake with Kosher salt.)
So this is not going to be an easy cake to make. I consider myself to be an okay baker, and it was a little challenging because there were just so many different steps that needed to be done for this beauty. The caramel absolutely requires you to have a candy thermometer unless you are used to making candy. I’ve made candy before but for this recipe I still recommend a candy thermometer to ensure your caramel turns out just right. If you don’t cook it long enough, you will have runny caramel that will slide all over the place. If you cook it too long it will get hard. You can get a candy thermometer for a good price on Amazon and once you have it you’ll probably find all kinds of uses for it.
If you are a huge fan of salted caramel like I am, you will love this cake. I hope you give it a try and let me know how your cake turns out.
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