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salted caramel chocolate fudge cake

Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Cake

Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Cake features a rich chocolate cake, layered with salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream, covered in whipped ganache and drizzled with homemade salted caramel sauce!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cool Time 45 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 or more


  • Two 8-inch cake pans


Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (cut into pieces)
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de del (or other flaky sea salt)

Beatty's Chocolate Cake:

  • Butter for greasing the pans (or Pam for Baking)
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for greasing the pans (or gluten free cup for cup flour blend)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder (such as Hershey's)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (shaken)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or Canola oil
  • 2 large or extra large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 4 egg whites from pasteurized eggs (like Davidson's Safest Choice)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 17 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons Salted Caramel Sauce, or more to taste (recipe above)

Whipped Ganache:

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (such as Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt


Make the Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy, 2-3 quart saucepan. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. The sugar will form clumps, just keep whisking and they will melt. Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.
  • Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. At this point caramel can burn in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you have an instant read thermometer, cook until the sugar reaches 350°F. As soon as the sugar reaches 350°F, add the butter all at once. Be careful as the caramel will bubble when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream. Again, be careful as the mixture will bubble. Whisk until all of the cream is incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Add the fleur de del and whisk to incorporate.
  • Set the sauce aside for 10 to 15 minutes to cool, then pour into a glass container and cool to room temperature. Sauce can be store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm sauce before using.

Make the Beatty's Chocolate Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans (I use Pam for Baking cooking spray and also use Evenbake Cake Strips around the pans to ensure even baking).
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. If not frosting immediately, wrapped cooled cakes in plastic wrap then place each in a large resealable plastic bag and in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Make the Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low for 1 minutes, or until they foam.
  • Add the cream of tartar. Beat and eventually raise speed to high.  When the egg whites become thicker, gradually add the sugar. Beat for 5 to 10 minutes until a thick meringue forms.
  • Turn the mixer to low speed and add the butter one tablespoon at a time, making sure that the butter is fully incorporated before adding more. At this point, the meringue will deflate and look curdled- this is normal. Keep mixing. Once the butter has all been added, mix until the buttercream is smooth and silky. If it looks curdled, keep mixing, it will come together.
  • Whisk in the vanilla extract and Salted Caramel Sauce to taste.

Make the Whipped Ganache:

  • Chop the chocolate (if necessary) and place in a heatproof bowl.
  • Bring the cream just to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate making sure that it is all covered, then add salt.  Do not stir, otherwise the ganache will cool too quickly and become grainy. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny.
  • Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat with a stand mixer using the whisk attachment until the mixture is paler and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes.

Assemble the Cake:

  • Remove the cakes from the refrigerator and slice each one in half carefully using a long, serrated knife to create 4 layers.
  • Place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand and spread ~1/4 of the buttercream over the cake.
  • Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons salted caramel over the top of the buttercream. If the caramel is too thick, you may microwave it for a few seconds. Be careful not to pour hot caramel onto the buttercream.
  • Add another layer onto the cake and repeat with buttercream and caramel layers until you have the final cake layer on top.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream thinly over the cake to create a crumb layer. Refrigerate cake for at least 15 minutes to set up.
  • Spread ganache onto cake and drizzle remaining caramel over cake.


Inspired by Domestic Gothess
Caramel Sauce adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Cake adapted from Ina Garten
Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream adapted from Domestic Gothess and Rose Levy Beranbaum
Whipped Ganache adapted from Martha Stewart
You're Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword cake, chocolate, dessert, gluten free