If you’re a fan of rich dark chocolate, smooth buttery caramel, and delightful crunchy toffee, you’re going to absolutely adore this high altitude chocolate caramel cake. This scrumptious dessert features three layers of soft, super-moist chocolate cake, filled with tantalizing dulce de leche and irresistible toffee bits. Topped off with fluffy chocolate caramel buttercream and an enticing caramel drip, this delectable cake is perfect for any and every occasion!
WHY THIS RECIPE WILL STEAL YOUR HEART
Just imagine it – chocolate, caramel, and toffee are all harmoniously blended into one heavenly cake. Can you think of a more mouthwatering combination? The chocolate cake is indulgently dark and rich, while the caramel brings a luscious, buttery sweetness. And let’s not forget those delightful toffee bits, adding the perfect crunch that ties everything together.
Stays Moist for Days, the chocolate cake stays soft and moist for days and is truly the best high altitude chocolate cake you’ll ever make.
1 hour 7 minutes
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, fluffed, spooned, and leveled
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp meringue powder (optional)
- 1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee
- ⅛ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
- ¼ cup salted caramel sauce or dulce de leche
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp dulce de leche
- 6 tbsp toffee bits
- ¼ cup salted caramel sauce
- ¼ cup dulce de leche
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, and position a rack in the center of the oven. Spray the bottoms of three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then whisk until completely combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk just until combined.
- Divide the batter between the pans. Tap the pans lightly on the counter a few times to pop any large air bubbles. Bake the cakes on the center rack for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with moist crumbs clinging to it, and the tops spring back when gently touched.
- Set the pans on a cooling rack, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely before frosting. Once the cakes are cool, remove them from the pans, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for several hours. Chilling the cake layers is an optional step, but it makes the cake more stable when assembled with a slippery filling like caramel.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for one minute until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, meringue powder, espresso powder, and salt, and mix on low to combine. Add the caramel sauce and vanilla.
- Whip on medium speed (#6 on a Kitchen Aid mixer), scraping the bowl down several times, for 4-5 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Turn the speed down to “stir” and mix for 1 more minute.
Filling & Assembly
- Place one layer of cake on a cake board. Fit a piping bag with a round piping tip, and fill it with chocolate buttercream. Pipe a border of buttercream around the edge of the cake – this will act as a “dam” to hold in the filling.
- Spread 3 tablespoons of dulce de leche onto the cake, inside the border of buttercream. Sprinkle the dulce de leche with 3 tablespoons of toffee bits.
- Repeat the above 2 steps with the second layer of cake. Finish by placing the third layer of cake on top.
- Frost the cake all over with a thin crumb coat of chocolate buttercream, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill the crumb coat. Frost the cake with a final layer of buttercream.
- In a bowl, stir together the caramel sauce and the dulce de leche. With a small offset spatula, spread the caramel mixture on top of the cake. Gently spread it towards the edges, encouraging it to drip over the sides of the cake.
- Caramel drips pretty slowly, but don’t be tempted to add more on top. After 15-20 minutes, the drips down the sides of the cake should be a bit longer. If it drips too quickly, just set the cake in the refrigerator to chill it and slow down the drips.
Leftover cake should be stored in an airtight container or cake carrier for up to 5 days.