It’s my sister’s birthday this weekend, and she requested a vanilla chocolate cake with salted caramel icing. And Rolos. There were…issues with this cake, but I think I salvaged it ok!
I didn’t really feel like doing a marble cake, so I thought I’d do a chocolate chip vanilla. I used my go to vanilla recipe, and added ¾ cups of chocolate chips. I wanted to make sure they didn’t sink, so I floured them pretty thoroughly before adding them to the batter.
Yeahhhh….that didn’t work. They ALL sunk to the bottom. ALL OF THEM. Better yet, being the genius that I am, I only greased the pans rather than lining them. I learned that greasing doesn’t work too effectively on chocolate chips.
The first one wasn’t toooooo terrible:
I scraped the chocolate chips off of the pan and stuck them on, so it actually held together pretty well
Then I tried the second one. Oh dear…
I want to tell you that it’s not as bad as it looks, but it really is.
I kind of changed things around from this point. I decided that I’d stack the two chocolatey sides together, so it would be like a chocolate layer cake rather than a failed chocolate chip cake. I froze the two layers for an hour so that they’d be a little bit more manageable. I only leveled the one domed side (that would be the top of the cake), and put the other domed side face down on the plate. I piped a dam with the salted caramel icing, and filled the inside with vanilla whipped cream:
My trusty cake leveler!
I also decided to put rolos on the inside because…well, why not?!
From here, I stacked the second layer, and trimmed the edges to be…sort of straightish. There were a number of cavities, so I used the trimmings to fill them, and used some whipped cream as glue. I froze it for another 10 minutes, decrumbed the sides a bit with my pastry brush, and iced the cake. I then froze it for another 20 minutes, and fixed up the icing a little bit. I froze it one last time, and piped the borders on. I used a little bit of leftover icing to attach the rolos, since the main icing was not particularly sticky.
At first, I wanted to go with a more classic look, but it felt a little bit plain. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted sprinkles or not.
I then proceeded to come to my senses and sprinkle the cake. I mean really, what in life is not made better by sprinkles?!
- 2-½ cups + 1 tbsp. flour
- 1-½ cup sugar
- 1-½ tsp. baking powder
- 1-½ tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1-½ cup milk
- 1/2 cup oil
- ¼ cup apple sauce
- 3 tbsp. vanilla
- 1-½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup chocolate chips, floured ****
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line and grease two 8" or 9" cake pans
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- Mix milk, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar together
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Don’t overmix
- Fold in chocolate chips****
- Split batter evenly between pans, and level if necessary
- Bake for ~25 mins. Rotate pans 15 – 20 minutes through baking
- Let cool in pans for ~10 minutes, and invert onto cooling racks
****The whole chocolate chip business clearly didn’t work for me, but it might work ok if you used mini chocolate chips
SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
- ¼ cup cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1-½ cups icing sugar
- In a saucepan (light coloured, not nonstick) stir together sugar and water over med-high heat for ~30 seconds. Let it cook without stirring until the mixture turns deep amber
- Remove the saucepan from heat and add in cream and vanilla, stirring rapidly until the mixture is smooth. Let sit until lukewarm, but still pourable.*
- Cream together butter and salt on medium speed until fluffy. Add icing sugar, and mix until uniform. **
- Add cooled caramel to butter mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
*Have the cream and vanilla ready to go. Caramel escalates quickly.
**Add more or less salt based on your preference.
WHIPPED CREAM FILLING
- 1/3 cup cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- Whip cream with a hand mixer until it starts to stiffen slightly. Add vanilla and sugar.
- Continue whipping cream until peaks stay upright. Don’t overmix.