Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

This is not just your ordinary, Sunday afternoon, need to invite my friends over so I don't eat this whole dang thing, chocolate cake. It's a very special cake, dedicated to a special person. A few bloggers have got together to host a virtual baby shower for Jessica from How Sweet It Is. It's really a shame though (that it's a virtual baby shower, and not a real-life one), because a party with over 65 food bloggers making delicious food is pretty much my idea of heaven. And it's also a shame that I wasn't able to share this cake with Jessica in person, because I know that she would be the first one to appreciate the extra effort I made into trashing it up a.k.a dumping salty sticky caramel all over the top and then sprinkling with Maldon salt. Jessica's level of commitment to providing the world with the most delicious recipes is incredible. If I'm ever feeling a bit down, or lacking inspiration, I head on over to her blog, which is basically a site for all things tasty. And now she has a cookbook Seriously Delish that is just as amazing, and I'll admit that on a few occasions, I've been caught drooling all over the pages.

Jessica's love for food and life, is what originally drew me to her blog. Her recipes are inventive and colorful, and I am constantly waiting in anticipation for her new creations. Her writing makes you feel as though you've known her for years. I have not yet got the opportunity to meet her in person, but I want to, because she seems so awesome. When I heard that we were having a virtual baby shower for her, I knew that I wanted to make a cake, because its sort of my thing, and I knew I could have some fun trying to trash-it-up. I chose my favorite chocolate cake recipe from Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate,

which is one of the easiest and fool-proof cake recipes that I have ever made. I made a salted buttercream frosting, and then reserved a bit of the caramel to drizzle over the top, followed by a few sprinkles of Maldon sea salt. This cake is good. I mean really good. So good, that I really did invite 6 friends over to help me eat it, because I knew that if I didn't get any help, I was in fact going to eat the whole thing myself. Hopefully, some time in the future I am able to make this cake for Jessica in person, because I feel sort of bad talking up such a big game over here. A big congratulations to you Jessica!

If you'd like to take a look at what some of the other bloggers made for the virtual baby shower, I have shared the links below.

Trashed-up Salads

Gimme Some Oven -

Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Sauce

The Lemon Bowl -

Brussels Slaw with Tahini Dressing and Za'atar Crostini

With Style & Grace -

Kale Salad with Apple, Hazelnuts & Bacon

Trashed-up Cocktails

Dine and Dish -

Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail

Food For My Family -

Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy Cocktail

Minimalist Baker -

Bourbon Pumpkin Milkshakes

Stylish, Stealthy & (sometimes) Healthy -

Apple Cider Shandy

A Spicy Perspective -

Preggy Punch Mocktail

Girl vs. Dough -

Boozy Maple Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake

Honestly Yum -

Maple Bacon Pisco Sour

Cookin Canuck -

Pink Grapefruit Margaritas

A Thought For Food -

Mezcal Citrico Cocktail

A House in the Hills -

Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer

The Novice Chef -

Ginger Bourbon Apple Cider

Bran Appetit -

Citrus Cider Punch Floats

Trashed-up Burgers

Edible Perspective -

Meatloaf Veggie Burgers with Mashed Potatoes + Gravy

The Little Kitchen -

Salmon BLT Sliders with an Avocado Aioli & Brie

Daisy At Home -

Balsamic Beef Burger with Mac and Cheese

Cookies and Cups -

Candied Bacon Maple Cheddar Burger

Climbing Grier Mountain -

Trashed-Up Steak Burger with Chicken Fried Bacon & Dijon Gravy

Dessert For Two -

Bleu Cheese Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries

Country Clever -

Fig Rosemary Roast Chicken Brie Brussels Sprout Panini

Foodie Crush -

The Best Cheeseburger Soup

Lady and Pups -

Spicy Sambal Chicken Meatball Sub with Eggs

Two Peas and Their Pod -

Sweet Potato and Kale Grilled Cheese

Bake Your Day -

Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich

Trashed-up Tacos

Spoon Fork Bacon -

Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos

The Fauxmartha -

Boozy Beef and Butternut Tacos

With Food + Love -

Harvest Hash Breakfast Tacos

Mountain Mama Cooks -

Crispy Kale and Brussels Sprout Tacos with Bacon

Heather Christo -

Bahn Mi Tacos with Spicy Sriracha Honey Sauce

A Couple Cooks -

Loaded Huevos Rancheros Tacos

Fitnessista -

San Diego Lobster Street Tacos

Trashed-up Desserts

Table for Two -

Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, and Brown Butter Shortbread Bars with Sprinkles

My Name is Yeh -

Mini Vanilla Loaf Cakes, All Trashed Up

Picky Palate -

Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch Sprinkle Cupcakes

Sprinkle Bakes -

Cake Batter Confetti Cupcakes

Averie Cooks -

Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Sweet Phi -

Trashed Up Shortbread Cookie Bars

Love and Olive Oil -

Loaded Junk Food Brownies

Lauren’s Latest -

Bakery Sugar Cookies

Cookie + Kate -

Peanut Butter, Banana, Honey and Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Sugar Hit -

Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream Cake

Hummingbird High -

Breakfast Cereal Cake Donuts

Top With Cinnamon -

Triple Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake

Bake at 350 -

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sundaes

Simple Bites -

Lemon Layer Cake

Bakerella -

Baby Block Cake Pops

She Wears Many Hats -

Chocolate Covered Grapefruit

Trashed-up Pizza

Bev Cooks -

Beer Battered Fried Calamari Pizza

Rachel Cooks -

Apple and Chicken Sausage Pizza with Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Crust

Foodie With Family -

Trashed Up Barbecue Turkey Pizza

Shutterbean -

Pesto Potato Bacon Pizza

i am a food blog -

Grilled Cheese Pizza

My Life as a Mrs -

Chili Cheese Dog Pizza

Simply Scratch -

Steak + Blue Cheese Pizza with Crispy Fried Shallots and Honey Balsamic Drizzle

The Beeroness -

Beer Cheese Tater Tot Pizza

Yes I Want Cake -

Roasted Pumpkin Pizza

Two Red Bowls -

Bacon Mashed Potato Pizza

Dula Notes -

Pork Bahn Mi Pizza

Weelicious -

Trashed Up Mexican Pizza Pockets

Take a Megabite -

Roasted Beet Pizza

Hungry Girl Por Vida -

Hard Cider Braised Pork with Sour Cherries and Cheesy Polenta 

Bakers Royale -

Trash’d Street Tacos

TRIPLE LAYER CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH SALTED BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

serves 14

recipe adapted from

Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate

2 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup whole milk

1 cup boiling water

2 tsp light corn syrup

4 tbsp water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon juice 

2 sticks butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

Maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Line 3 - 6" cake pans with parchment paper. Grease with butter, and then dust with flour. 

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. 

Add the lightly beaten eggs and combine. 

Add the canola oil and the milk and combine. Stir in the boiling water. Your batter should now be fairly liquid. 

Divide the batter into the three pans. Place into the oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from their pans. Let them finish cooling on a wire rack. 

Place the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan and combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Do not stir the mixture while it's boiling. Continue to boil until it thickens and turns a light brown caramel color. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the cream, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice with a wire whisk. If the caramel clumps unevenly, place back on the stove on low heat, and stir until it becomes smooth. Set to the side to cool completely.

Once the caramel sauce is completely cool, combine the 2 sticks of softened butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, and 3/4 of the caramel together in a mixer and beat until a smooth. 

Once the cakes have cooled completely, assemble them by placing a thick layer of frosting between each layer. Cover the top and sides with the rest of the frosting and smooth out with a spatula. Drizzle the left over caramel on top. Finish with some flaked Maldon salt.