I had a special request from this sweet girl I know to make her a birthday cake so I made this delicious Chocolate Caramel Birthday Cake.
My BFF’s first “baby” celebrated her 14th birthday last week. Oh, to be 14 again! Actually scratch that… I have no desire to relive any high school days. LOL Anyway, her request was that I make the same cake that I made for her Confirmation earlier this spring. It’s honestly a very simple cake. Which is where it’s at for my bestie. She’s very particular sometimes… for instance she always says she doesn’t like buttercream while at the same time she is licking it off the cupcake I just made. LOL She does like my buttercream, but there still can’t be too much of it.
Through the years I’ve had the opportunity to hone my cake making and decorating skills thanks to my friend. She’s trusted me to make MANY cakes for her family’s special occasions. There was just one time I missed out on making one of her cakes because sadly I was out of town due to a family emergency.
I’m very please with how this cake turned out. I made one of favorite chocolate cake recipes. To keep things simple I used a store bought caramel topping and I made my buttercream with just a little cream cheese. Cream cheese buttercream and I have a love-hate relationship. I think it’s delicious, but it’s not always the easiest to decorate with. As you can see I was still able to tint it and pipe with it and it was tasty. 😉
Skip the grocery store cake and make this delicious Chocolate Caramel Birthday Cake the next time you celebrate a loved one’s birthday!
- 2 c flour
- 2 c sugar
- ¾ c cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 1 c whole milk
- ½ c canola oil
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 c hot coffee
- 1½ c (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 4 oz (1/2 a brick) cream cheese, take it out 15 - 20 minutes before using
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 4½ - 5½ c powdered sugar
- 2 - 4 Tbsp heavy cream
- 3 - 6 Tbsp caramel topping
- sprinkles for decorating (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour (or use baking spray/cake release) two 8" cake pans.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and instant coffee. Whisk it all together using the whisk attachment and secure the bowl and the attachment to your stand mixer.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Scrape the bowl down as needed making sure to get all the dry ingredients incorporated. Mix on medium low speed until everything is just combined.
- Continue mixing on low speed, carefully and slowly add the hot coffee. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed until everything is incorporated. The batter will be thin.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake in a preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for 10 - 15 minutes in the pan then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low speed begin adding the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
- After the first 2 cups are added and mixed well into the butter, add the salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Beating well after each addition.
- Continue adding the powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
- Add the heavy cream and whip the buttercream on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
- If necessary, level the tops of both cooled cakes.
- Apply a dollop of buttercream to a cake board or cake stand and place the first cake layer (bottom side down) on it.
- Using a dowel (I used a chopstick) poke some holes in the first layer of cake. Spread some of the caramel keeping it about ¾" away from the edges keeping it all in the center.
- Place the second cake layer on a plate (bottom side down), poke holes in it, and spread with some caramel just like the first layer keeping it away from the edges.
- Pipe or carefully spread some buttercream on the first layer of cake. You want to avoid the caramel getting to the edge because then it could ooze through the buttercream when you decorate the entire cake.
- Place the second layer over the first bottom side up, this gives you a nice flat top to your cake. Pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Now it's time to crumb coat the chilled cake. Drop about a half cup of buttercream on the top of the cake and begin spreading it over the top and allowing it to go over the sides, add more buttercream if you need to. Spread a thin layer all over the cake. Don't worry if any cake is showing, you will cover that with the final coat of buttercream. Chill the cake in the freezer again for 15 minutes.
- Now you can spread or pipe the final layer of buttercream all over the cake and decorate as you like with colored buttercream or sprinkles. Visit YouTube for simple decorating ideas.
- Chill the finished cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Allow to come to room temperature for about 20 - 30 minutes before serving.