Extra Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce


This extra dark chocolate cake with salted caramel sauce has a subtle spice which recalls the flavor of sheet cake. It is extremely rich, so be prepared to make your slices small! Delicious with a tawny port!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
1 9-inch layer cake



  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 2 cups boiling hot coffee

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 ¼ cups white sugar

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • cup half-and-half

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, or as needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease three 9-inch round cake pans.

  2. Combine cocoa powder and chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Pour boiling hot coffee over top and whisk until chocolate chips have melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.

  3. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.

  4. Combine sugar, butter, and vegetable oil in a separate bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture, beating batter briefly after each addition. Spread 1/3 of the batter into each prepared cake pan.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a table knife around the edges of each pan to loosen. Invert one layer carefully onto a serving plate and invert the remaining layers onto a cooling rack. Let cool, about 30 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, combine sugar and salt for the caramel sauce in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until liquefied. Just after mixture begins to smoke, slowly add half-and-half, stirring constantly, until fully incorporated. (Be careful as the addition of cold liquid makes the molten sugar foam up.) Remove from heat and allow to cool.

  7. Pour 1/2 of the caramel sauce on top of the bottom layer of the cooled cake. Add the second layer of cake, top with remaining caramel sauce, and add the final layer of cake. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.

Cook's Note:

This cake pairs beautifully with a tawny port. I had R.L. Buller and Son's Victoria Tawny, which runs around $14 a bottle where I live, and the combination was to die for!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

429 Calories
17g Fat
68g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 15
Calories 429
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 482mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 46g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 187mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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