Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Tasty Tuesday: Salted-Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake

on February 25, 2014

salted caramel 6 layer cake 1This cake recipe, for lack of a better description, takes the cake! 🙂 It is absolutely the most amazing, moist, delicious cake I have ever had. In fact, for Valentine’s Day, my husband requested this cake instead of cheesecake (which is saying a lot). And my 3-year old Calvin wants this for his birthday cake. It is that good.

The chocolate cake itself is good, but then you add between each layer a layer of homemade caramel. And then you top it with a layer of homemade frosting that hardens into perfection. And combined. . . Mmmmmmm!!

Now, this is a Martha Stewart recipe, so that usually means it takes a bit of time (which this does) and calls for a few ingredients I don’t have (or care to buy, for that matter). Even with a couple tweeks, though, it was DELICIOUS! This last time, I made the cake and caramel the day before I assembled the cake and made the frosting. I recommend doing that.

And now, for the recipe (from Martha Stewart  with my modifications noted in parentheses):



Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans (I used cooking spray the first time, which was ok; the last time I used butter, and the cakes popped out perfectly)

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

3 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (Mine didn’t say “Dutch-process,” and it was fine)

1 tablepoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Coarse salt

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk (I used 1-1/2 tbsp vinegar [or lemon juice] plus enough milk to equal 1-1/2 cups, which I let sit for at least 5 minutes)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil (I used vegetable oil)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 cups heavy cream

Coarse salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder (same as above)

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Coarse salt

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled (I used choc chips)

Garnish: flaked sea salt, such as Maldon (I could never find flaked sea salt; the first time I made this, I tried coarse salt, but used way too much. This last time I sparingly sprinkled coarse salt, which was amazing!)

COOK’S NOTE : To make this cake ahead of time: The caramel can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using. Cake layers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days (they actually taste better when refrigerated and have a better texture for stacking). When finished, the frosted cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter three 9-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.


Divide batter among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.


Make the caramel: Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream (mixture will spatter); stir until smooth. Return to heat, and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees, about 2 minutes. Pour caramel into a medium bowl, stir in 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool completely.


Meanwhile, make the frosting: Whisk together cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water in a bowl until cocoa dissolves. Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and a generous pinch of coarse salt in a clean bowl with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in melted chocolate and then cocoa mixture until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes before using.


Trim tops of cakes using a serrated knife to create a level surface. [This last time I wrapped my cooled cake in plastic wrap and frozen them overnight–so much easier to cut in half this way!] Cut each in half horizontally to form 2 layers. Transfer 1 layer to a serving platter, and spread 3/4 cup caramel over top. Top with another cake layer, and repeat with remaining caramel and cake layers, leaving top uncovered. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.


Frost top and sides of cake in a swirling motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.salted caramel 6 layer cake 2

SOURCE: Martha Stewart Living, November 2011

I recommend watching the tutorial on how to level and split a layer cake that is on the recipe page. It probably would have helped me a bit. It looked pretty scary before I frosted it. Even after, it didn’t look perfect, but it sure tasted perfect! 🙂

{On Tuesdays, I share a yummy recipe. Typically, my recipes will be super easy, because I’m a mom with littles. I try to be healthy and frugal as well. But I like good food, so it will always be delicious! }


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: