Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting #ChocolateforJoan
As you may have guessed from the title, today’s recipe is dedicated to chocolate and Joan, the blogger and creator of the widely popular blog, Chocolate, Chocolate and More. She loved loved chocolate and made it a passion to share decadent, indulgent chocolate (and non-chocolate) desserts with anyone who loves chocolate. In the food blogging community, Joan was a rockstar, a pillar and incredible friend. A mentor, generous teacher who will take the time to teach you, advice you and make sure you are doing everything right to maximize your earnings. Being so successful and I’m sure darn right busy, she always made time for anyone who reached out for help, including myself.
Sadly, last week Joan left us. She passed away suddenly leaving behind her three lovely children. This shocking news left a giant pit in my stomach for days as she was way too young to go. I could just imagine the pain of her young children. I lost my dad, the same shocking way, almost 5 years ago and know exactly how it feels to lose a parent so suddenly. One day we were talking about passionfruit and the next day he was gone. One of the most challenging times of my adult life so I can only imagine how difficult it must be for her teenage children. My heart and prayers go out to them.
I was very lucky to meet Joan a few years ago at a Pillsbury event and was just completely smitten by her infectious laugh and charming personality. Since today is National Chocolate Day and we know Joan loves her chocolate, so her friends in the food blogging community are honoring and remembering her legacy today. She’s all about chocolate and enjoying life to it’s fullest while indulging in treats and this chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting is all about decadence.
These Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes are one of my favorite decadent treats and also one of the most popular recipes on this blog. Almost every other week, I get asked if the cupcake recipe can be adapted into a cake. I always reply with a general recipe to the reader but I figured it’s time I posted the recipe here. I used my go-to dark, chocolatey one-bowl chocolate recipe to make this three-layered cake. The cake is filled and frosted with a whipped salted caramel buttercream. Why? Because chocolate and caramel were made for each other. If I am going to eat chocolate, it better be with a salty counterpart. And because Joan will always approve of chocolate and caramel 🙂
Be sure to visit Chocolate, Chocolate and More for all your decadent chocolate recipes. Let’s keep her website and legacy going for her kids. And please keep them in your prayers as they go through this difficult time. Thank you!!
Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
For Chocolate Cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 cup strong black coffee, hot
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For Salted Caramel Frosting
- 1 ½ cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ cup homemade salted caramel sauce
For the Cakes:
- Preheat oven to 350degrees F. Grease two 9-inch or three 8-inch round pans with baking spray and line with parchment rounds.
- Sift together all the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer or a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and the rest of the ingredients using a whisk.
- Mix the dry ingredients on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add the wet ingredients. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed and scrape the sides and bottom of bowl. Mix for additional minute on medium speed.
- The batter will be thin. Divide evenly among the prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
- Let cakes cool in pans for at least 10 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool completely. Meanwhile you could start on the frosting.
For Salted Caramel Buttercream:
- Whip butter on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream and mix on low for 1 minute until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and whip for 6 minutes. Add in salted caramel sauce and mix until combined.
- Fill and frost cake with frosting. Drizzle cake with salted caramel sauce.
I read about this just 2 days back and was completely taken aback! That is just so incredibly sad for Joan’s family and I hope God gives them the strength in such a difficult time! 🙁 I love this initiative to honor her love and passion for chocolate and food and this cake looks phenomenal!
Chocolate and caramel.. sounds good but looks even better 😀
What a stunning cake!! I’m sure Joan would approve of a slice for breakfast 🙂
Breakfast with a cup of coffee 🙂
This is a beautiful cake, Zainab!! Joan would have loved it! 🙂
YES! Thanks Lyuba!
What a beautiful cake and a loving tribute to Joan! She was an amazing woman and will be missed 🙁
She will be missed!!
Joan made everyone’s life better just for knowing her. She would’ve loved this cake!
You did Joan proud with this cake, girl! What a lovely way to celebrate an amazing women. Sending you hugs and chocolate. XO
Thanks Liz! xo
This is such a beautiful cake, and a beautiful tribute to an incredible woman as well. Lovely, lovely post <3
I know Joan is smiling from heaven reading this my dear!
This cake is positively stunning! It’s really elegant and beautiful and I couldn’t think of a better tribute to your friend 🙂
Such a beautiful tribute post and layer cake, Z! I am so sorry for the loss of your food blogging friend and mentor as well as for the loss of the food blogging community at large. I never knew Joan, but now have a sense of who she was thanks to your post and others I’ve read today. I’m so glad that National Chocolate Day is today so that you could honor Joan, and the essence of who she was, in connection with the contributions she has made in food with her chocolate recipes, in such a meaningful way. Thank you for sharing, my friend! xo
a beautiful tribute, I did not know her or her blog, but could not help but feel a bit devastated by the unfairness of it all.
I don’t know how a family recovers from such a sudden loss….
your post and your cake definitely do justice to Joan
Thanks Sally! It is just plain unfair.
I never crossed paths with Joan, but she sounded like a fabulous person. I feel so bad for her children — it can’t be easy to lose a parent so early and so suddenly.
This cake is a beautiful tribute to Joan, Zainab, and I’m sure she would love it! You did an amazing job, and I can’t wait to try it!
Thanks Marcie. I feel bad for the kids and pray for them during this hard time.
This is such a lovely cake, Zainab, and even lovelier post and tribute. It looks absolutely delicious!
This cake is GORGEOUS, and so is this whole post! Joan was an AMAZING lady and I know that she would have LOVED this awesome cake!
Thanks Taylor! She was an amazing woman indeed.
Such a beautiful post and a beautiful cake for a beautiful blogger! This is a fantastic tribute, girlfriend! Chocolate and caramel are made for each other, and this cake truly does look stellar! I’d eat the whole dang thing if it wouldn’t kill me! I’ll have to suffice with staring at the pictures and drooling! <3 Pinned! Cheers, my dear!
Thank you Cheyanne!
This cake is stunning, and so worthy of a tribute to Joan. Her family must be taking a great deal of comfort in knowing how much she is loved and missed.
ahhhhhhhhh omg Zainab this cake is GORGEOUS and so decadent and I love it and it’s the perfect way to honor Joan. She would’ve loved it too <3
What a beautiful tribute to Joan. She is lovely and fun to talk to. I just emailed her two weeks ago and it’s surprising to hear about her passing away. What a shocking news. She must be smiling seeing this chocolate cake!
Z, this cake is gorgeous! I never knew you had met Joan! this is a beautiful post dedicated to her! and I love your short hair you sported a few years ago!
What a gorgeous cake! A perfect tribute to Joan!
Those layers are beautiful! I really like the contrast of chocolate and salted caramel – how did you not eat the whole thing?? You did an amazing job with this Z, the flavors are perfect!
I heard the news last week Zainab, and I felt so sad for her family.
This is stunning! Such a beautiful cake for Joan! I never got to meet her, but hers was one of the first blogs I ever read. It’s just such a shock when someone is there one day and gone the next as you say, it’s so incredibly hard. It’s pretty raw for me at the moment as my Grandfather just passed in the same way; one minute he was there, the next having a huge heart attack. It’s so terrible how quickly life can change irrevocably.
It’s so lovely that so many food blogger’s came together to share chocolate filled recipes for her though. She will be greatly missed 🙁
I wish I had known her better after reading everyone’s posts and comments about her. I only briefly conversed with her through blog comments on both of our sites but even through those brief encounters I still knew she was a genuinely nice person.
All these tributes to Joan were so nice. I’m sure she’s have loved this cake. It is a gorgeous towering masterpiece.
I have made this combo before using a different recipe, but I have to tell you this was hands-down, the BEST!
Very moist cake and the salted caramel buttercream was spot-on – light but luscious! I made this for my bosses birthday and it got rave reviews from everyone in my office. Yum, Yum!
That’s great to hear Denise. So glad you loved the recipe. This chocolate cake is my favorite!
OMG, Zainab, I made this cake with carob in a 9 by 13 and it was perfection! We all LOVED it. Then I turned it into ice cream cake – it’s on my blog today. Thanks for the awesome recipe, and Happy Mother’s Day! xo
I am so happy to hear this Laura!! And I am in love with the ice cream cake conversion!!
I made this frosting last night to top my daughter’s chocolate cake – the texture and flavor were fabulous! My daughter’s friends couldn’t stop licking the bowl. 🙂 Terrific flavor combo for a chocolate cake.
Excellent! Thank you for a new staple recipe.
So glad to hear you loved this recipe!!! I can never get enough of just the frosting 🙂
Have you ever used the salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream from the cupcake recipe for this cake ? I just couldn’t decide whether to make the cupcakes or cake and thought using the cake with the meringue buttercream might be a good compromise. Although the larger ratio of cake as compared to frosting might need a sweeter frosting…What do you think?
This is for a bridal shower, so its gotta be spot on! Thank you for your help!
Hi Jennifer! I’ve used the salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream on cake and cupcakes. It’s perfect with both adn just up to your preference. For decorative purposes, I love swiss meringue. It holds up great and pipes beautifully. So I tend to almost always use it for events I’m baking up a storm for.
The recipes you suggested is really helpful. thanks for Sharing
Made the double layer, 9″ version of this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking flour but otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it turned out AWESOME!! The caramel sauce and the buttercream are perfectly delicious and the cake was moist and flavourful! Thanks for a great recipe!
So glad you loved it!