New This Month

Sweet and Salty Cake


Courtesy of Baked bakery in New York City, this Sweet and Salty Cake will satisfy every chocolate lovers' appetite.

  • Yield: Makes one 8-inch 3-layer cake

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 2056


  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 2/3 cups cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Caramel with Salt
  • Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing
  • Fleur de sel, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 1 1/4 cups hot water, and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

  3. In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

  5. Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely.

  6. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about 1/4 cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Reviews Add a comment

  • edeppiesseyaho
    1 MAY, 2017
    Had some issues the first time I made it (the ganache was too runny to use right away) but I chilled it and it was fine. The second time I whipped it in stand mixer until it was completely cool before adding the butter (at least 7-10 minutes) and it was usable right away. The cake layers work best if chilled and baked the day before assembling. The caramel is great and easy to make (and I haven't any professional cooking courses).
  • jimmyfox
    15 MAY, 2015
    This is probably one of the worst cakes I ever made. Sorry. Something is a miss. I know how to bake. I followed the recipe to a T. I felt the caramel at 350 degrees way too hot!?? Huh? It was burnt. To me anyway. I went to Cordon Bleu, and this smelled burnt. That is how they teach you. BY SMELL. Plus it got to 350 way before 10 min. and way too salty. I hate cakes with shortening. And the frosting never got thick. I did everything they recipe called for. I'll try Martha's recipe.
  • francofille32
    16 MAR, 2015
    One of the layers of my cake partially fell apart. I've tried to save it by sticking it and the others in the freezer, with the hope that they'll hold up better to icing once I take them out. HOWEVER, I would love to see this recipe either updated by the web master or removed if it has so many flaws per the other commenters. Half the time, people looking at recipes don't bother reading the comments, and you do a real disservice to your readers in leaving this page active.
  • Lauren Lentini
    18 JUN, 2013
    Martha Stewart recipes are notoriously flawed, as if deliberately.
  • Cake Girl
    1 APR, 2013
    This cake is delicious. Unfortunately it is an absolute mofo to make and a horrific mess. It took me like 4 hours and my kitchen is in shambles. And it fell apart all over the place. I need a shower.
  • DejaW
    3 NOV, 2012
    once again find the recipe without errors at the cooking channel site.
  • DejaW
    3 NOV, 2012
    Ok so for those of you who got some very disappointing results with this recipe I know what the issue is!! I uncovered a flaw in the cooking time. In the original recipe they are suppose to "bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean." I am quoting this directly from the cooking channel site. view recipe here-->
  • Blobby
    22 AUG, 2012
    This is hands down the worst cake recipe we have ever made. Nothing went as planned. Cooking times were WAY off. The cake fell apart even before we attempted to ice it. The caramel ganache was a disaster. We tried to make it twice and each time was worse than the last. When we tasted the cake there were strange tangy pockets. This cake hurt our feelings. I want my time and effort refunded. I am very disappointed in you, Martha.
    • cookie_man
      22 OCT, 2014
      Seriously? The cake hurt your feelings? Maybe you don't need a recipe, maybe you need a freaking psychiatrist.
  • Zdesh
    7 JUN, 2012
    This cake is fabulous. Two thumbs up! So light n moist. I used all butter, didn't have vegetable shortening. I used a different size pan so the cooking time had to be different, used Cadbury cocoa. I didn't even use sea salt n substituted normal salt. Huge success!
  • holleeserena
    28 JAN, 2012
    i made this cake several times before and it was fantastic. i don't know if they have changed the recipe, but it was an epic fail this time. same comments as previously posted. took forever to bake and the consistency was sooo bad that it fell apart when i iced it. tasted good but was a mess!!