Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake

  • Yield: Makes 1 dozen squares
Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake

Source: Halloween 2004, October Holiday 2004


  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for sheet
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • Caramel Buttercream
  • Caramelized Cobwebs and Licorice Spiders


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet, and line with parchment paper. Butter lining. Dust bottom and sides with flour; tap out excess.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together chocolate, coffee, and boiling water in a separate bowl; set aside.

  3. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add sour cream; beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture.

  4. Whisk chocolate mixture again; add to batter. Beat until smooth.

  5. Pour batter into prepared sheet. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in sheet on a wire rack.

  6. Invert cake onto a rimless baking sheet; peel off parchment. Halve widthwise. Spread half of buttercream on top of one layer. Top frosted layer with second cake layer; coat cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate 1 hour. Cut into 12 squares; garnish each serving with a caramelized cobweb.


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