What’s the best way to add a surprising and delicious twist to chocolate cake? Caramel, of course! This show-stopping chocolate caramel cake recipe is actually a compilation of three recipes I came across on Pinterest that just work wonders when combined. The best part? It’s entirely plant-based so it’s almost guilt-free! Try it out for a birthday, for mother’s day, or just make it to spoil someone you love.
The first recipe you’ll need is for the cake itself. This chocolate cake from TheBigMansWorld.com is perfectly moist and spongey, and makes a great base for all the rest of the chocolatey, caramely goodness.
we’ve already doubled the recipe here so that you can make a double layer cake with your caramel in the middle!
What you’ll need:
- 3 cups all purpose flour (gluten free, if needed)
- 2 cup white or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vinegar white or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 12 tbsp oil of choice canola, vegetable, safflower
- 2 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line 2 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Combine your wet ingredients and add them to the dry mixture slowly, mixing until a thick cake batter remains.
- Transfer your cake batter into the greased pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan completely to avoid collapsing.
- Once the cake is cool, spread your caramel (recipe below) in between the two cakes, and frost the top and sides with the frosting below. For a salted caramel, add a sprinkle of salt all over the caramel layer.
Some things to keep in mind about this caramel from The CheekyCkickpea.com : if you keep your cake in the fridge for long periods of time, it will harden into a chewy toffee – which is pretty satisfying in its own way, but may not be what you’re looking for. If you want to keep it softer, leave the cake out of the refrigerator (although if you’re frosting it in a complicated way, this may be a challenge). Feel free to substitute this with a caramel recipe of your choice if a slightly chewy centre isn’t to your liking.
What you’ll need:
- 1 can coconut milk (400 ml) (Full fat)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp instant coffee ( reg or decaf)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Add coconut milk and maple syrup to a heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Bring it to a simmer ( medium heat or less) and cook for 20-25 minutes (uncovered), stirring very frequently with a spatula or spoon.
- Scape down sides of the pot a few times. The mixture should slightly darken in colour and of course get thicker.
- When it’s thickened and darkened, pull it off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients – you may want to mix the instant coffee with a SMALL amount of hot water first so the granules dissolve.
- spread the caramel in between your two cakes while it’s hot and easy to spread.
Finally, the pièce de résistance – the frosting. I’ve never been great with frosting, but this one from LovingItVegan.com was pure magic. It’s light and fluffy like a mousse, and so easy to spread over the cake and to apply with piping bags.
What you’ll need:
- 10.5oz (300g) Vegan Chocolate (or chocolate chips)
- 1 cup (240ml) Coconut Cream (Whipping cream works best)
- 2 Tbsp (28g) Coconut Oil
- 2 cups to 2 and 1/2 cups (240g-300g) Powdered Sugar
- Break up the vegan chocolate into small pieces and place into a heat safe bowl.
- Place the coconut cream and coconut oil into a pot or saucepan and heat until it reaches a simmer but not a boil, or heat it in the microwave until just before it boils.
- Pour over the chocolate in the bowl, making sure that the chocolate is completely covered.
- Let it sit for a minute to let the chocolate melt and then whisk with a hand whisk until you have a completely smooth chocolate sauce.
- Add in 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar and whisk it in with your electric mixer (if you have one).
- let it thicken in the fridge for an hour.
- Whisk again with the electric mixer.
- If the consistency is still a bit thin, add another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and whisk again.
- when it’s thick enough to use, start frosting the cake!
You may want to pop the frosting and the cake itself in and out of the fridge a few times to allow it to set. This will make it easier to frost the cake without bits of it breaking off or showing through.
Finally, decorate the top of your cake however you’d like! We chose to put the remainder of our vegan chocolate slab on top, as well as some chocolate shavings and silver balls.
If frosting the sides of the cake is too much of a challenge, try leaving them “naked” and only frosting the top.
And that’s it! while it’s time consuming to make all three recipes, it’s not actually that much work, and it’s certainly not difficult!
A lot of the time it takes is simply resting and cooling time. Trust me when I say the recipient of the outcome of this chocolate caramel cake recipe will thank you for the effort!