Vanilla Chocolate-Chip Rolo Cake with Salted Caramel Icing


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 ****


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line and grease two 8" or 9" cake pans
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  3. Mix milk, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar together
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Don’t overmix
  5. Fold in chocolate chips****
  6. Split batter evenly between pans, and level if necessary
  7. Bake for ~25 mins. Rotate pans 15 – 20 minutes through baking
  8. 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


  • 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


  1. 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
  2. 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.*
  3. Cream together butter and salt on medium speed until fluffy. Add icing sugar, and mix until uniform. **
  4. 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.


  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. sugar


  1. Whip cream with a hand mixer until it starts to stiffen slightly. Add vanilla and sugar.
  2. Continue whipping cream until peaks stay upright. Don’t overmix.



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