I made this cake for Thanksgiving, and it took our family about a week to finish it. I left it out on the counter (covered). It was delicious, and got better every day – although the caramel layers were not as discreet by the last few days. I do recommend making this 2 days in advance and letting it sit out, to give the flavors a chance to fully develop.
The best ever. Although making the cake is a little complex, it was certainly worthwhile going through. The cake turned out really good, nicely moist, delicious taste. I served it to a group of friends, following watching the opera La Boheme in HD, together with champagne (actually it was cava) and it was a most successful party. Everyone loved it and toasted Martha. I am planning on making it again when my daughters come visit for Christmas, and treat them to something decadently tasty.
Making this was time-consuming but the results were spectacular, and pleasingly close to the example picture. I’d say refrigerating the cakes overnight is essential, since they were fragile straight from the oven, but sturdy and easy to work with the next day. And whatever you do, don’t refrigerate the frosting before applying it! It gets clumpy fast.
Cake was a big hit in spite of the fact that caramel was a runny mess. Not sure what I did wrong. I want to try it again but would love some tips. It looked beautiful and tasted great. Would be fine on ice cream but way too thin for cake.
made the Caramel first so it could cool thoroughly. just assembled the 6 layers. They keep sliding and listing. I’ve wrapped the stacked cake in plastic wrap to hold its shape.
Hoping that an overnight stay in the fridge will solidify the caramel enough that it will hold its shape when the plastic is off and it’s time to frost it. I sampled the cake I shaved off the dome with a little caramel drizzled on top. YUM.
Made cake and caramel ahead of time. Sliced cake and froze layers. Heated caramel slightly to “pourable” but still very thick. Assembled cake and caramel, which “hardened” up on frozen layers = no sliding. Refrigerated. Then made icing, let sit, then frosted.
Piped decorative edge, poured some remaining caramel on top, contained by piping. No slips or slides. Put scraps and leftover caramel and frosting in a dish for a preview. Oh my goodness – I predict no leftovers at tonights party!
This cake was so moist, rich, and tasty! By far the most delicious cake I have ever made! The only concern is, the cake is so moist I had trouble cutting it in half and keeping it from sticking to the cooling racks. I made this last week and my mom gave it all away, I was so upset I just remade the recipe but I halfed it it this time! Hopefully it will turn out just as well as the first time! (Smells like it will)!
If your the baker in your family the benefit is you get to pick your own Birthday cake. I couldn’t have picked a better cake! I used all parts of the recipe; just added more time for caramel and and frosting to set. I would make this one again and agree that the batter would be good this any frosting; its just the right amount of chocolaty goodness but not too dense like some other chocolate cake batters.
For the Cake:
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablepoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Caramel
4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
For the Frosting
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled
Garnish: flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Trim tops of cakes using a serrated knife to create a level surface. 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.
6. Frost top and sides of cake in a swirling motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Watch: How to Create a Swoopy Finish.