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Salted Caramel Ghirardelli Chocolate Cake

Yields10 ServingsPrep Time1 hrCook Time1 hr 30 minsTotal Time2 hrs 30 mins

For the Cake
 2 cups Granulated Sugar
 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
 2 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
 1 ½ cups Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (sifted)
 3 tsp Baking Soda
 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
 1 ¼ tsp Salt
 3 Eggs (Room Temperature)
 2 Egg Whites (Room Temperature)
 1 ½ cups Full Fat Sour Cream
  cup Whole Milk
 ¾ cup Vegetable Oil
 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
 1 ½ cups Hot Water
For the Icing
 2 cups (4 Sticks) Unsalted Butter (Make Sure it's Very Soft)
 4 ½ cups Powder Sugar aka Confectioner's Sugar
 ¾ cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
 ½ tsp Salt
 3 tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
 2 tbsp Ghirardelli Salted Caramel Sauce
 1 ¼ cups Ghirardelli Salted Caramel Sauce
 Flaky Sea Salt
Set Up

Pre-Heat your oven to 350 degrees (F).


Line the bottom of your 9" round cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with non-stick baking spray generously.

Preparing the Cake

Combine both granulated and brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in your stand mixer (using paddle mixer) or in a mixing bowl if you're using a hand mixer and stir on low until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. If you find any clumps you can use your hands to break them up. (We didn't see many clumps).


In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until completely combined.


Once wet ingredients are combined pour them over into dry mixture and mix together on low until combined, (the mixture won't be all the way smooth just yet)


Pour in hot water and continue mixing until the mixture is smooth and completely combined (about 1 minute). The batter will be thin and loose.


Pour batter evenly between each pan being careful not to fill your cake pans past 1/2 full. We had a little extra batter so we made cupcakes :-)


Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until you can poke the center of the cake with a toothpick and it comes out clean.


Allow cake to cool for about 10 minutes then place on a cooling rack. DO NOT TOUCH THEM UNTIL THEY ARE COOL, you don't want to split your cakes.

Preparing the Chocolate Icing

While your cakes are cooling, using the same mixer and attachment, cream the softened butter until it's completely smooth on medium speed. This should take about 3 minutes.


Once the butter is smooth turn your mixer off and sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.


Turn your mixer back on the lowest speed and stir until the sugars are completely absorbed by the butter. Once absorbed, turn your mixer on medium and add in vanilla extract, whipping cream, salt, and caramel then beat for 3 minutes. (If your mixture is then add more powdered sugar, if it's too thick add heavy whipping cream a teaspoon at a time.)


Transfer icing to piping bags to prepare to decorate the cakes

Putting Your Cake Together

If you don't want a cake that leans, you'll want to take a serrated knife and cut off the top part of each layer of cake before you begin assembly this will make each layer flat.


Place a quarter-sized drop of icing directly to the cake stand and spread to create an anchor for your cakes.


Place the bottom layer of cake on the stand then cover completely with icing. Spread icing evenly over the cake until the cake is completely covered. We left the sides of our cake open, so if you don't want a lot of icing just cover the top, but if you want the cake entirely covered cover the sides here as well.


Drizzle the caramel sauce in a circle and completely cover the top of the layer of cake. Line the edges as precisely as possible, your caramel will drizzle down the sides naturally.


Repeat this process for the next two layers of cake.


Once the cake is completely iced, garnish with flaky sea salt. I took my fingers and just sprinkle sparingly across the top of the cake and decorated the cake plate with the salt.

Go easy on the salt, it's just to add the final kick, but you do not want a salty cake.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 slice

Servings 0