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Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake covered with caramel drip and caramel truffles on a wooden cake stand

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake layers filled with Salted Caramel Sauce, covered in Salted Caramel Buttercream, and topped with a Caramel drip!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, chocolate, salted caramel
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 300 kcal
Author camila


Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 183 grams, 5.4 oz
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 39 grams, 1.38 oz
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature 113 grams, 4 oz
  • 1 cups sugar 200 grams, 7 oz
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk 157 ml
  • 2/3 cup hot brewed coffee read notes* 157 ml

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 2 cups sugar 400 grams, 14 oz
  • 1 cup heavy cream 240 ml
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter 170 grams, 6 oz
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 1 cup caramel sauce from the recipe below, or use store-bought
  • 6 cups powdered sugar 750 grams, 26.46 oz
  • 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature (453 grams, 16 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste


Chocolate Cake

  1. This recipe makes for 4-6” round cakes, or 2-8” round cakes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350Fº.
  3. Butter 4-6″ cake pans and place a parchment paper circle in the bottom of pans. Butter parchment. You can also use spray oil instead. Set aside.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder, if using it instead of the coffee. Set aside.
  5. Cream the butter at medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  6. Add sugar slowly, cream for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time, scraping the bowl in between and making sure the first egg is incorporated before adding the second one.
  8. Add vanilla extract and mix.
  9. Slowly add milk, mix to combine.
  10. Pour dry ingredients over wet mixture.
  11. Fold with a spatula slowly, until ingredients are just combined.
  12. If you see big clumps of cocoa powder, you can use the whisk to try to gently smooth the batter out.
  13. Once batter is incorporated, pour hot coffee in the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  14. Pour batter evenly onto baking pans.
  15. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15-20 min. After the 12 minute mark, keep checking regularly, because you don’t want to burn your cakes or over bake them. Remove them from the oven once a toothpick comes our clean once inserted in the cake.
  16. Once you remove it from the oven, wait 10 minutes, flip cakes onto a cookie cooling rack and let cakes cool.
  17. Once cool, wrap each layer individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. I like to leave my layers in the fridge for quite a bit so they can firm up and make it easier to assemble and decorate the cake.

Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Place the sugar in a medium to large saucepan. Don’t use a small pan for a couple of reasons: so that the sugar has an easier time melting evenly, and so that the caramel doesn’t bubble up out of the pan once you add the cream and butter at the end.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly to help the sugar melt evenly.
  3. As soon as the sugar melts entirely, it will be amber color. At this point, remove it immediately from the heat.
  4. Add the cream and salt. Be careful. The mixture is going to bubble up to the top, so be careful not to get burnt. After a second, it will subside, and you can whisk mixture.
  5. Whisk until combined.
  6. Add the butter. Again, mixture will bubble up, so be careful.
  7. Whisk until combined.
  8. Bring mixture to a quick boil, while constantly whisking.
  9. Let it boil for a few seconds, literally a few seconds, just until the sugar re-melts. Remove from the heat.
  10. Wait a couple of minutes until caramel cools slightly. If you notice there are still a couple of pieces of crystallized sugar that haven’t melted again, just use a strainer to pour the caramel into a jar.
  11. After pouring the caramel into a glass jar, or heat-proof container, let it cool completely at room temperature.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  1. First make sure the Salted Caramel Sauce is completely cool down, but not cold from the fridge. If the sauce is warm, it will melt the butter from the frosting, and if it’s cold it will lump up.
  2. It has to be at room temperature.
  3. Sift the powdered sugar and set it aside.
  4. Cream the butter at medium high speed for 3 minutes, until very fluffy.
  5. Add the sifted powdered sugar to the butter and mix on low to combine.
  6. Add the caramel and raise the speed to medium high, and cream for a couple of minutes, until fluffy.
  7. Add the salt and the vanilla extract.
  8. If the buttercream is too runny, add more sifted powdered sugar to adjust the consistency. And if the buttercream is too stiff, add a teaspoon or so of water or milk to thin it out.

To assemble

  1. Place one cake layer on top of a cake plate.
  2. Transfer some of the buttercream to a piping bag, leaving the remaining buttercream covered so it doesn’t dry up.
  3. Spread a very thin layer of buttercream on top of the first cake layer. This will help the caramel sauce not soak into the cake.

  4. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of the first layer.
  5. Pour about 1/4 cup of caramel sauce in the middle of the cake.
  6. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the bottom of the next cake layer.

  7. Place it on top of the caramel filled cake layer.

  8. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the cake. Then pipe a ring of frosting around, and fill with caramel sauce.

  9. Repeat until you reach the final cake layer, remembering to always spread a layer of buttercream on both sides of the cakes, to prevent the caramel sauce from soaking into the cake.

  10. Spread a thin layer of frosting around the whole cake and smooth it out.
  11. Place the cake in the fridge and let the cake cool for about 30 minutes.
  12. This process is called crumb coating, and it helps to seal the crumbs of cake in, so they don’t show on the final layer of frosting.
  13. Remove the cake from the fridge and apply a thick coating of frosting around the cake. Use a spatula to smooth it out as best as possible.
  14. Place the cake back in the fridge until very cold, for at least 1 hour.
  15. Then you can begin to drip the caramel down the sides of the cake.
  16. I placed the caramel in a piping bag. You can place the caramel in a piping bag, or use a spoon, or simply pour the sauce on top of the cake.
  17. I usually test out a couple of drops of caramel on the back of the cake to see if they are dripping nicely and steadily before pouring the caramel drip on the whole cake.
  18. If the caramel is too runny, I’ll place it in the fridge for 5 minutes or so. And if the caramel is too thick, I will microwave it for 3 to 5 seconds to thin it out slightly.
  19. Place the cake back in the fridge for about 2 hours to let the caramel drip dry before piping anything on top of the cake.


  1. Keep the cake refrigerated, preferably covered so it doesn’t dry out, for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes

Coffee in the cake: Always feel free to substitute the hot coffee for hot water. You could also add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the dry ingredients if that’s the case, or simply go without and use just the hot water. I have made this cake many times without coffee, using water instead, and it turned out fine. The coffee is simply used to enhance the chocolate flavor and richness, but not completely mandatory.

Caramel: If using store-bought caramel sauce, you will need 2 to 2 1/2 cups of caramel for the filling, for the frosting, and for the caramel drip.

Salt: Leave out the salt from the recipe for regular caramel, or increase the amount of salt if you like it really salted. Cinnamon: a little sprinkle of cinnamon in the frosting (about 1/4 tsp) will go a long way here and really add a lot of depth to the flavors of this cake.

Truffles: I topped the cake with these Caramel Fudge Truffles. They are super easy to make.

Nutrition Facts
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 300
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.