It’s been a week of milestones at the Sweeter Thing house, and I wasn’t even here for most of the week. Our week of milestones kicked off last Friday with Mr. Sweeter Thing’s birthday, which you heard about when I made Orange Crunch Cupcakes. Which, BTW, were apparently a hit. Mission accomplished. But that was for work, I had to have something special for him when he got home that night. Anna and I left for a farewell week in Illinois the next morning so I wanted to make his birthday awesome. We went to The Pharmacy for burgers (OMG…..TO DIE FOR…) and back to our house for Dark Chocolate Caramel Cake with our friends. These dark chocolate caramel cupcakes are Mr. Sweeter Thing’s favorite cupcakes but the batter has no egg or butter in it. If you try to bake it into a cake, it just makes a huge mess and goes everywhere. This dark chocolate cake was moist and full of flavor, and that was before I injected both layers with a bunch of caramel. Then it was off to Illinois to bid farewell to my parents, who begin their Switzerland adventure next week. We shopped, played with the babies, and celebrated all the birthdays that will take place between now and the fall. Good times. We parted ways with the decision that everyone would pretend this was just a fabulous vacation, call it denial, seemed like a healthy coping mechanism to me. I headed back to Nashville Friday to celebrate the biggest milestone of the week, our 10 year anniversary.
We look like babies you say? Umm….yea….we were babies. Now we have babies…well baby….babies soon. That’s us at the
wise insane ages of 18 (me) and 24 (Mr. Sweeter Thing). We look like we are playing dress up. In ten years we have lived in 5 different apartments/houses, had nine different jobs between the two of us, one miscarriage, two kiddos (ok..ok….soon it will be two kiddos), one major relocation, and lots of friends, vacations, and adventures. We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams and while I won’t speak for Mr. Sweeter Thing…I wouldn’t change any of it. So in true Mr. and Mrs. Sweeter Thing fashion…we celebrated. With mexican food (really really fabulous mexican food at Sopapillas in Franklin….one of our favorites!) and World War Z. Yes….World War Z opened on our anniversary….it was practically a sign. Good times. Back to the cake…ok ok….fine.
Mix your dry ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer. I used black cocoa, definitely opt for a dutch processed cocoa powder. The Hershey’s brand dark chocolate cocoa powder can be found at Walmart (I haven’t seen it at Kroger, Target, or Publix). Or grab some online, its worth keeping around for rich fudgy baked goods.
Mix it up.
Pour it into two 9 inch round cake pans and bake for approximately 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
You’ll notice that these aren’t super thick layers. If you’re wanting a tall cake, double the recipe and make four layers or use 8 inch cake pans for slightly thicker layers. Even with the thinner layers, we felt there was plenty of cake just the way it was. I used a double batch of this dark chocolate caramel frosting to fill and frost the cake. Before frosting I poured caramel sundae topping into a candy mold bottle and used it to create several caramel filled holes in each layer. It’s not an overwhelming caramel flavor but it makes the cake layers super moist. After frosting, I used a wilton 1G tip to create the border around the top and bottom of the cake, dumped a bunch of sprinkles on top of the cake and then carefully pressed them into the sides of the frosting.
Dark Chocolate Caramel Cake
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Dark Cocoa Powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup strong black coffee
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Caramel Sundae Topping
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 x 9″ cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of electric mixer. Add the remaning ingredients to the bowl. With paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer). The batter will be liquidy. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pans in the oven. Bake 15 minutes longer or until a toothpick comes out clean – approximately 35 minutes total. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
When cakes are completely cooled, used something like a candy mold bottle or a pastry bag with the tip for filling cupcakes and fill with 1/2 cup or so of caramel sundae topping. Use the tip of the bottle or pastry tip to “inject” caramel into several places all over the top of the cake. For the sake of simpler handling, I placed the first layer on my cake plate, then filled with caramel. I frosted the top and then placed the second layer before injecting with more caramel. I was afraid that if I fill each layer with caramel first, it might make the cake to fragile to handle.
Use a double batch of this dark chocolate caramel frosting recipe to fill and frost the cake.