Chocolate Cake with Caramel Filling and Espresso Buttercream
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup olive oil or canola oil
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
5 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp heavy cream
In a small saucepan add sugar and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Sugar will clump and appear dry, but then melt and turn a light amber color, approximately 7-8 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in butter, stirring to combine. Lastly, add heavy cream and carefully stir. Mixture will bubble and rise, then turn to the familiar caramel consistency. Strain into a air tight container and set aside. Store in refrigerator if not using right away. Cold caramel can be warmed up in the microwave in about 30 seconds.
For the cake:
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans or three 6-inch cake pans.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, add flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk to combine. Add eggs, vanilla, oil, milk, and coffee and stir until just combined. Evenly divide amongst pans and bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick test is clean, about 30 minutes with 6-inch pans, 35-40 with 9-inch pans. Let cool.
In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, add butter and whisk until fluffy, about 1 minute. In another bowl, combine powered sugar, salt and espresso powder. Slowly add sugar mixture to butter until combined and add heavy cream. Beat for 30 seconds.
Decoration is up to you, get creative! Here's how I decorated:
-Add a dollop of frosting to the center of your cake stand (to secure cake) and place bottom layer of cake. Pipe frosting around the outermost ring of the cake, to create a rim that prevents caramel from leaking out.
-Pour 1/4 c caramel into center of cake.
-Repeat with next layer
-Add top of cake
-Frost cake, decorating with piped frosting, caramel drizzle and espresso beans!