Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream (aka. cake of doom)

This cake here was a nice little reminder of why my blog’s name is Beautiful DISASTERS. Read: DISASTERS

This cake may be called the cake of doom.

Yes, I know it looks all innocent and what not now, but you just wait.

See, there is this thing called patience…sometimes I just think that following directions and what not is pure silliness.

It’s not. It’s smart and responsible and many things that I don’t find too fun or interesting.

This cake started out all dandy. Made my cakes, baked up nice and perfect. Chilled them for a bit before trimming.

Stacked everything up nice and dandy. Looks great!!

Then…I frosted my cake. Without letting the filling set up in the fridge. Bad Casey.

Therefore, my cake crashed and burned. Literally. Minus the burning part.

Oh, you’d like a close-up? Here you go.

But hey, you can just turn it around and no one will notice right?? Nope, still looks like a giant piece of doo doo.

So then you hack pieces off, trim the edges, and drizzle some caramel sauce here and there, eat unmeasurable amounts of frosting (IMPORTANT), and cover everything in chocolate.

Voila. CAKE!

Dark Chocolate Cake

(adapted from my regular cake recipe)

2 cups boiling water

1 cup cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa powder)

2 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

2 1/4 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with circular piece of parchment paper.
  2. Place cocoa powder in small-medium heat proof bowl and pour hot water over cocoa. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla extract. Alternately mix in cocoa-mixture with dry ingredients into bowl of mixer. Mix until thoroughly combined and incorporated. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. There should be some extra batter leftover, you may freeze this for later use or bake into cupcakes, or subtly consume (I’m not looking).

Caramel Buttercream


1 1/2 sticks (12 Tablespoons) butter

2 1/4 cups brown sugar

3/4 cups milk (I used skim)

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt  butter and brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside and let cool.


2 1/4 cups prepared caramel sauce

9 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 sticks (12 Tablespoons) butter, room temperature

1/4 cup milk (I used skim)

  1. Combine butter, powdered sugar, cooled caramel sauce, and milk in a mixing bowl. Beat together for about 5 minutes until creamy. Add additional powdered sugar or milk as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons chocolate chips

  1. Place chocolate in heat proof bowl and set aside. Make ganache by heating cream in saucepan until boiling and it starts increasing in size. Pour hot cream over bowl of chocolate and stir until fully incorporated. Let cool for about a minute before pouring on chilled cake.


  1. After cakes have cooled, remove from pans and remove parchment paper from bottom of cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and let chill for at least 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove plastic wrap and trim edges and tops of cakes to make even. Place one cake round on serving plate, cut/trimmed side facing up.
  2. Spread filling (Caramel buttercream) on top of first cake round. Be sure to leave at least a half inch on the edges to allow for smoosh-age when the top cake layer is put on top. I like to outline the filling by filling a piping bag with the filling and drawing a circle with the piping bag and then filling in the rest with a spatula. You should not be using a very large portion of your frosting for the filling, probably about 3/4 cup. Keep in mind that you will be using this same frosting to frost the tops and sides of your cake.
  3. Place cake, as is, in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place top cake layer on, cut-side down. Place in fridge again for another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, frost cake with remaining caramel buttercream. Be sure buttercream is smooth and creamy enough to spread. You may need to beat it in your mixer again, or add more milk. Place frosted cake in fridge to chill for about another 30 minutes.
  4. Drizzle leftover caramel sauce over the top of cake. Pour prepared ganache over top of cake, letting it drip down the sides. Place cake in fridge until ready to serve. Keep leftovers covered, in the fridge. Enjoy and follow directions!! ;)

Random Fact of the Day: 315 entries in Webster’s 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.

3 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream (aka. cake of doom)

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