Chocolate Caramel Cake
On Tuesday I shared that we were celebrating Daughter Number 3’s 12th birthday! I failed to mention that it was her Golden Birthday! She turned 12 on the 12th!
One of our family traditions that I have continued since my own childhood is the birthday dinner. The birthday girl (or boy) gets to pick what they want to eat for their birthday dinner. They also get to choose the birthday cake. The tradition is also to make the birthday cake as opposed to buying it. There have been times we have broken from tradition, but that is a rarity.
When I asked Daughter Number 3 what she wanted for dinner she asked for homemade Macaroni and Cheese, with a side of “Little Smokies”. Although I tried to explain to her that she had that backward, but that didn’t work. So I agreed to make her Macaroni and Cheese with a side of “Little Smokies”.
She also asked for an ice cream cake (from a chain whose name is somewhat royal). I told her that this year we would opt for making a cake, not buying one so she told me that she would have to think on it for a bit. A short time later she came back to me. Could I make a chocolate caramel cake? While I hadn’t ever made one that didn’t mean I couldn’t.
I have a go-to chocolate cake recipe that is one of the moistest and easiest chocolate cakes to make. Ever. It is a mayonnaise cake recipe that I found more than 25 years ago when I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe for someone with milk allergies. My dad helped me find it, and I have used it ever since. For the filling between the layers I decided to do Dulce de Leche. My initial plan was to cover the outside with Ganache, however Daughter Number 3 she said she preferred buttercream. I asked if she wanted a chocolate buttercream and she asked for caramel buttercream. I obliged.
It was a delicious cake and I am so glad she asked for it! I have learned some new tricks that I will be using forever, and I learned a little bit more about baking, filling, and frosting cakes.
Whenever a recipe calls for Dulce de Leche I make my own. While I typically make it on my stove top in a stockpot, I decided to change it up. Recently I read that you can make my delicious kind of caramel using a slow cooker so that’s what I did.
For this cake I made 3 thin round cakes out of the batter. After they had cooled I covered layers one and two with the Dulce de Leche. I then covered the top of the third layer and the sides of the cake with the Caramel Buttercream. My family would definitely eat this cake, prepared exactly the same way, again.
If you are getting ready to make a birthday cake for someone and want it to be a little bit different, you should absolutely try this combination of chocolate and caramel-y goodness! If you are simply looking for a delicious and easy to make chocolate cake, I recommend That Mayonnaise Cake above all others!
That Mayonnaise Cake
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour cake pans.
Combine all ingredients. Beat hard 2 minutes.
Pour into prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes, and turn out of pans onto rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 9-inch cakes.
Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/3 can sweetened condensed milk (caramelized (see notes))
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Sea salt
Cream softened butter in a glass bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add in the caramelized milk.
Cream until well mixed.
Add powdered sugar, about ½ cup at a time, mixing well between add-ins.
When you have reached your desired consistency (you made want more sugar, or less) add in vanilla and sea salt. Mix until blended.
Use to frost cooled cake.
- 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
Remove the label from the can. Place the can in the crock of the slow cooker. Fill with water to about an inch over the top of the can. Cook on slow for up 7-8 hours. Turn off slow cooker. Remove can and cool. Open can, pour caramel into bowl, whip with an electric mixer until creamy. If you want salted caramel, grind in some sea salt. Stir.