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Old School style Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting. Taking a step back into our grandma’s youth with this DELICIOUS butter cake. Picture a buttery vanilla cake layered with rich, fudgy, chocolate frosting in the center. Then topped with the most delectable, roll your eyes back good – brown sugar frosting that’s sweet and creamy with notes of caramel mixed throughout. Sooo much to love here! Every bite is sweet, salty, extra chocolatey, and truly delicious. The perfect cake to enjoy any day of the week, no “celebratory” reasons required.

overhead photo of Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

Taking it back to the old school days with this cake…or at least that’s what it feels like to me! Growing up my mom made cakes religiously. Come Friday night we’d have fresh baked cookies, cake, or some other kind of dessert on the counter without a doubt. She was the queen of the Friday night dessert.

No matter what the dessert was, we’d always eat them a little warm and gooey, just after baking. Oh, and always with a cold glass of milk. Baking in the kitchen with mom on Friday nights was such a special time. More times than not my brothers would be MIA, so it was just mom and me. My memories of those Friday nights are so fond and perfect. To this day, they are some of my favorites.

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting on first ayer of cake

My mom would often bake up a classic chocolate cake, it was everyone’s favorite. What she wouldn’t bake however was any kind of vanilla cake. They were just not her thing. But, my grandma on the other hand? She’d bake up any flavor of cake…chocolate or vanilla, it just had to be easy.

While I don’t remember the exact cakes my Nonnie would bake, this feels like something she would have happily made. Something about a vanilla butter cake, with a super easy (secret ingredient) chocolate frosting, and a sweet brown sugar icing overtop just feels “old school” to me.

Like something she might have found in one of her Better Homes and Garden Magazine’s back in the day. I can literally picture the torn-out magazine page now…

How many of you have super, super old magazine cutouts your mom gave you with recipes? Please cherish those FOREVER. I wish I had more of them!

Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

When my cousin, Maggie mentioned a butter cake yesterday, I was really curious about the idea. And then I got thinking and loved the idea of doing some kind of “old school” style cake.

So here we are!

And everyone? This cake is GOOD, and it’s even pretty easy.

close up photo of Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

Here are the details, start with the cake.

Start with the vanilla butter cake. I kind of based this off my tiramisu cake, but with a few adjustments. Either way, it’s easy…just beat the wet ingredients together, add the dry, and then beat in some buttermilk.

I always go heavy on the vanilla with my cakes. It’s KEY, so don’t skimp on it.

New! Old School style Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting. Every bite is sweet, salty, extra chocolatey, and truly delicious. Recipe: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/caramel-butter-cake/

The chocolate frosting.

While the cake is cooling, you can start making the chocolate fudge frosting. Now this really IS old school. It’s simply just melted chocolate chips and sour cream. I also added espresso powder, which really highlights the chocolate.

For having just three ingredients, this is some of the most magical frosting. Very creamy, rich, and fudgy. And I love that it’s not too sweet, but just sweet enough.

Now, spread the frosting over one layer of the cake. Add the top layer, then chill the cake while you make the brown sugar icing.

Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

Last thing…the brown sugar icing.

I stole this recipe from my chai cupcakes with brown sugar frosting. It’s the same recipe, only this is melted down into more of an icing/glaze…which yes, also feels very old school. 

The brown sugar melted down adds hints of warm molasses and really deepens the flavor to create an icing that’s perfectly rich and caramel-like. And when you add a touch of vanilla and sea salt? Well, it’s hard to say no to a second piece. I highly recommend slathering on more icing than you think your cake needs.

Also, you’ll want to swirl on the icing while it’s still warm, once it cools it will stiffen up.

Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

To finish, I topped my cake with chocolate curls and sea salt for a salty-sweet finish.

And that’s it. Honestly, this cake is pretty simple to put together. There are three “steps”, but they’re all very easy. And so very good. Each bite is filled with sweet vanilla butter cake, fudgy chocolate frosting, and sweet caramel-like brown sugar icing.

Best kind of any day cake to bake, no reason required. Although it is my Dad’s birthday today…but he’s not big on celebrating it!

Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting with bite taken out of cake

Looking for other easy winter desserts? Here are some favorites:

Brown Butter Malted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Homemade Vegan Snickers

Salted Pretzel Magic Bars

Lastly, if you make this Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories Per Serving: 578 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Brown Sugar frosting

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans and line with parchment paper. 
    2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, beating until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stream in the buttermilk, beating until just combined. Pour the batter among the 2 cake pans.
    3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center is just set. Let cool 5-10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert the cake onto a plate, flip it back over onto a serving plate. Let cool.
    4. To make the chocolate frosting. Microwave the chocolate chips and a pinch of salt, stirring every 45 seconds, until melted. Stir in the sour cream and espresso, a dollop at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Swirl the frosting onto the top of the cake. Place the second cake layer on top. Run a knife around the side of the cake to clean up any frosting. Chill while you make the brown sugar frosting.
    5. To make the brown sugar frosting. Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Add a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift in the powdered sugar, then add the vanilla. Beat until well combined. The frosting should be glossy and pourable. If it feels too runny, add powdered sugar to thicken it.
    6. Pour the frosting over the cake, spreading around the sides of the cake too. The frosting will set quickly on the cake. If desired top with chocolate curls and sea salt. Slice, eat, and enjoy!!

Notes

Storing: this cake keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Chocolate Frosting: adapted from Food 52.
 

Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We loved this cake! I just made it for our 7th wedding anniversary and will definitely make it again. Next time I’ll probably just make the butter cake with caramel frosting because it is very sweet. However, it’s absolutely delicious as is. The recipe makes so caramel so I saved the remainder for my coffee! I made it exactly as written too just for anyone’s information. I wish I could post a photo.
    Thank you for always having well worked out and delicious recipes!

  2. 5 stars
    i had never baked a cake from scratch before – i tried this one over the weekend and it was absolutely delicious! sweet, salty, fudgy – not nearly as pretty as yours but the cakes came out very flat and I was thankful I did not have to level them. i also decided to half the amount of the brown sugar frosting after reading some comments and it was the perfect amount! my mom was super impressed that i made it all by myself and it made her birthday extra special 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    One of the best cakes I’ve ever made! Wonderfully moist and delicious. Both frostings are to die for – the caramel frosting is totally addicting and super-sweet, and the chocolate frosting has a nice tang from the sour cream that balances the sweetness really nicely. Definitely recommend!

    1. Hey Natalie,
      I really appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! xxTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    SUCH A GOOD CAKE!
    The cake itself was tasty and easy to put together.
    The fudge layer was so easy to make and perfectly balanced with the addition of the espresso powder.
    The frosting was not the texture of a typical frosting, but was delicious and I was able to spread it up on the sides of the cake before it fully cooled.
    Sprinkle the top with some flakey sea salt and OMG. So rich and delicious.
    Highly recommend. Easy and tasty.

    1. Hey Kelsey,
      Awesome!! I am thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  5. 4 stars
    I have to say…after making this cake, I am completely confused by a lot of the negative comments! I would make this cake again and everyone I fed it to, loved it!…even kiddos who can be the harshest critics of all. 🙂

    Cake batter: easy to make and was thicker than I thought, but it came out really nicely!
    Chocolate filling: so good! I did it with creme fraiche. I don’t live in the US, so finding good sour cream can be an issue. Perhaps that is why mine wasn’t overly tangy? I’m not sure, but it was perfect. I melted the chocolate in a double boiler and then took it off the heat when I mixed in the (cold) cream fraiche and espresso. That cooled it right down, but I waited 10 mins to put it on the cake…it was perfect.
    Frosting: I was worried about it, but it was amazing. I used her exact measurements and it came out with the perfect thickness to stay on the cake. Again, I waited 10 mins to put it on….but it was definitely still warm.

    I waited to frost the cake until it was fully cooled, put it in the fridge after the chocolate was on it (and while I made the frosting glaze) and I made it all the night before to allow the flavours to gel. I didn’t cut any of the sugar out…I don’t like overly sweet things, but for the first time making it I wanted to stick to the recipe. I though it was lovely and nicely balanced….not too sweet at all. It’s def old school, but that’s what I liked about it. I would love to experiment with the cake recipe and other frostings too!

    1. Hey there,
      I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! I also appreciate you sharing what worked well for you here:) xxTieghan

  6. 4 stars
    I cut sugar to half in all the steps of the recipe, but when it comes to the frosting I wasn’t able to do it because of the texture. The frosting was very sweet for my taste. I had problems with the texture of the frosting and I also ended up with a lot of frosting. I think the chocolate filing would turn out well as a classic ganache with cream instead of sour cream. It turned stiffed really quick. The taste and texture of the cake is great. I used gluten free flour and it went well.

    1. Hey Barbara,
      Happy Monday! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  7. 1 star
    Mine was a total disaster! The frosting melted my cake, splitting it open in three places and oozing cake, fudge, and frosting sludge all over. I guess I should have cooled the frosting a lot longer. I feel like this would have tasted delicious, but unfortunately I can’t serve this to anyone. Bummed.

    1. Hey Anna,
      So sorry you did not enjoy this recipe, was there anything you may have adjusted? Let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

    2. I think there’s a missing step in the recipe to let cool the frosting. I also added cool cream to try to fix it, maybe left the cream out of the stove?

  8. Hi! So I loved the cake and the Carmel frosting was amazing. I have to say that i felt like maybe there was too much sour cream in the chocolate layer. It was a little too tangy/sour and maybe took away from the chocolate flavor for me. I think i will halve the sour cream next time. Will def make again.

    1. Hey Samantha,
      So so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! I would start checking for doneness at 25 minutes. Happy Sunday:) xTieghan

  9. I love your recipes!!! I made this cake for Easter and it was a hit! Thank you for creating such delicious food!

    1. Hey Katie,
      That should work just fine! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know how the recipe turns out! xTieghan

  10. Can I make it the day before? Will it still taste fresh?
    Thanks! I absolutely LOVE your recipes!!!
    Diane

    1. Hey Diane,
      Yes, totally fine to do! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  11. 3 stars
    Cake was yummy but the frosting was really hard to work with. I was warm but just didn’t spread. Maybe I should have out less icing sugar and kept the consistency a little runnier. Good otherwise.

    1. Hey Catherine,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, so sorry you had issues with the icing, please let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

  12. I loved the cake, and the caramel frosting was to die for! I think the quality of the chocolate chips probably makes a difference with the filling. I used *fine* chocolate (Trader Joe’s) with sour cream and it was a little too bitter. I made it again with mascarpone instead and much better! I imagine the sour cream would be good though with a really great quality chocolate like Guittard’s semisweet.

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Happy Weekend! Thanks for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  13. When half baked harvest posted this on Instagram a couple months before my birthday I knew this was going to be my birthday cake. I’m usually a red velvet person but this intrigued me because I love caramel. I made it on my birthday and shared it with 3 friends, my boyfriend and my dad. All whom have since asked for the recipe and plan to make it in the near future. I knew Tieghan does savory food amazing but this…. it was absolutely AMAZING. I was concerned about the sour cream and chocolate at first because I have never had a frosting like that but when everything came together it was unbelievable.

    1. Hey Emily,
      Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am so excited that it was enjoyed! Happy Friday! xTieghan

  14. This recipe looks amazing! I’m hoping to try it tomorrow. With the chocolate ganache, how do you think substituting crème fraîche for the sour cream would turn out? I have that on hand and wondered how much of a difference the substitution would make.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey William,
      I have never tried this, so I am unsure what the results would be. Let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

      1. Hey Amber-Jade,
        I think these would be fine to make into cupcakes, you might want to allow the frosting to set just a bit. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  15. 4 stars
    While making the cake, I found it difficult to get the buttermilk to blend smoothly into the batter adding it after the flour; I discovered some big lumps when I went to pour it into the cake pans. I think next time I would do the flour and buttermilk in two batches of each, adding one after the other. I also think both icing recipes could easily be halved— I used 9″ pans and was generous with the fudge frosting and still had loads leftover, so I halved the caramel frosting and it was the perfect amount. I made it in the food processor to avoid sifting the powdered sugar 🙂 The consistency was excellent for pouring over the cake, much more even than spreading icing by hand (my least favourite part of making cakes).

    I made this for my mom’s birthday, and it was lovely, particularly with a bit of Maldon salt on top. The sour element in the fudge filling is the perfect contrast to the sweet caramel on the outside of the cake. My mom said she could eat this every day, so I’d say it was a success!

  16. 4 stars
    While making the cake, I found it difficult to get the buttermilk to blend smoothly into the batter adding it after the flour; I discovered some big lumps when I went to pour it into the cake pans. I think next time I would do the flour and buttermilk in two batches of each, adding one after the other. I also think both icing recipes could easily be halved— I used 9″ pans and was generous with the fudge frosting and still had loads leftover, so I halved the caramel frosting and it was the perfect amount; the coverage looked just like the photos here. I made it in the food processor to avoid sifting the powdered sugar 🙂 The consistency was excellent for pouring over the cake, much more even than spreading icing by hand (my least favourite part of making cakes).

    I made this for my mom’s birthday, and it was a delight to all, particularly with a bit of Maldon salt on top. The sour element in the fudge filling is the perfect contrast to the sweet caramel on the outside of the cake. My mom said she could eat this every day, so it was definitely a success!

  17. I’m so excited to try this recipe for my mother’s birthday! I do have a questions–you always get me excited with the shaved chocolate on top of everything. Do you have a type/brand that you recommend? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hey Anastasia,
      I like to use Chocolove! I hope you enjoy the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  18. 5 stars
    Wow wow wow’ I made this today for my mom’s bday tomorrow. I leveled the cakes so I had a bunch of leftovers of cake and icings to try together. NEXT LEVEL. The cake taste like the best sugar cookie ever in cake form, the chocolate is in fact very fishy, and the caramel icing is such a great addition. I halved the recipe and that worked fine (I’m not afraid to bring out a scale to calculate 1.5 eggs). I did add a bunch of extra powdered sugar and I’m not sure I should t have added more to make it even less runny. I probably used close to 2 cups. Everything tastes amazing though and looking forward to sharing with my family tomorrow!

    1. Hey Lily,
      Yes, I think that would work well for you! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  19. 5 stars
    Made this today for my daughter’s birthday. It was absolutely delicious and everyone loved it. I decorated mine with chocolate curls. Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Hey Jenn,
      Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  20. 4 stars
    I loved this cake! It was so easy, and you are right about the caramel frosting. Don’t throw the leftovers away! I liked the chocolate filled center, however I had to improvise with bittersweet chocolate and a handful of espresso chips so I am sure my flavor was different. I think next time I bake this I will just use the caramel frosting for the center, I definitely wanted more..

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    Kara

    1. Hey Kara,
      I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it. Happy Sunday! ☀️Tieghan

  21. Hi this looks like the most delicious cake ever I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering if I leave the frosting to firm up a bit would it be pipable? I wanted to pipe and decorate the cake but I’m not sure if it would work with this frosting. Thanks!

    1. Hey Sav,
      I think that should work well for you. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  22. Does the cake need to be kept in the refrigerator since the chocolate frosting has sour cream in it?
    Also, many people said the brown sugar butter cream icing was too runny. How much extra powder sugar should I use? I am making this for my daughter’s bday tomorrow. Should I refrigerate this after frosting both the chocolate and the butter cream frosting?

    Kristi Loven

    1. Hey Kristi,
      You can keep this in the fridge or in an airtight container on the counter. I would use about 1/2 cup extra if needed, or pop it in the fridge to help it set. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  23. 4 stars
    Very yummy and well done as always 🙂
    only thing is that I thought the frosting recipes each made 1.5 the amount of frosting needed

  24. 5 stars
    I made this for a birthday party and it turned out to be one of my favorite cakes. You totally need to make this and it’s worth all the time and ingredients. The caramel frosting alone is worth it, ha! The batter was beautiful and fluffy, it did crack on me but probably something I did wrong. And make sure you use the full amount of powdered sugar, I thought I had the consistency right but I didn’t. Just meant I had icing to use for something else, so not a bad problem 🙂 just wasn’t quite as pretty as the picture.

  25. 4 stars
    This was such a great cake, with an awesome, fluffy texture. The caramel frosting is beyond heavenly, but the sour cream in the fudge frosting adds an acidic flavor to the chocolate that makes it quite bitter. I think I’m going to try crème fraîche or heavy cream instead for that next time. Otherwise, really great!

    1. Hey Cassie,
      I am absolutely delighted that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for making it! Have the best week☀️ xTieghan

  26. 5 stars
    Very yummy! I turned these into cupcakes and filled them with the chocolate fudge. Didn’t have buttermilk so used a milk/ lemon juice substitute turned out great! Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Hey Natalie,
      I am absolutely delighted that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for making it! Have the best week☀️ xTieghan

  27. 5 stars
    We had to modify a smidge, but the cake and caramel frosting in combo were a HUGE hit!!
    Keep at, because you’re doing SO much right!

    1. Hey Janell,
      I am absolutely delighted that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for making it! Have the best week☀️ xTieghan

  28. 5 stars
    My sister made me this cake for my birthday and it was SO GOOD!!! I highly recommend giving it a try 🙂

    1. Hey Kelly,
      I am absolutely delighted that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for making it! Have the best week☀️ xTieghan

  29. 4 stars
    Made this and loved it! But I did a couple things different: I don’t have round cake pans so I used a 12×18” rectangle cake pan and cut it in half. It worked out but the middle was barely done due to the bigger pan. I also used store bought chocolate frosting in the middle. I decorated with apple flowers and the crunch was nice but the brown sugar frosting drowned out the apple taste. I might try strawberry and graham cracker decorations next time. Or orange and dark chocolate curls?
    The brown sugar glaze is very messy but is pretty when it sets! I can’t see ever getting it to look like the picture, but still pretty and shiny. There was a lot left over so I saved that in a jar in the fridge for ice cream or pancake topping. I don’t know how long it keeps.. The sponge is delicious and I like the slightly acidic buttermilk flavor. The brown sugar glaze was very very sweet. I think it went wonderfully with the chocolate and the sponge! I will definitely be making the sponge again if not the whole cake! Thank you for this recipe!!!

    1. Hey Raita,
      I am absolutely delighted that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for making it! Have the best week☀️ xTieghan

  30. 4 stars
    This is very intense. The vanilla cake itself is perfect! I think I’ll use it often in the future! I’m not a huge fan of the sour cream fudge part- too tangy for me, but I like the intense chocolate flavor. The brown sugar icing is soooo delicious, but soooooooo sweet. I only used half to frost the cake; so next time I’d only make half. Definitely let the icing cool a tad before pouring it over cake…it will flow down the sides otherwise! I’d say I used about 2.5 cups of powdered sugar for the right consistency for me.

  31. Hi, i am about to make this recipe and cannot wait to try it. I am from NZ and we dont really have buttermilk though what would you recommend using instead ?

    Thank you

    1. Hey Fiona,
      You can use whole milk in place of the buttermilk. I hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

    1. Hey Lisa,
      You can store on the counter in an airtight container. Thanks for giving the recipe a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jenna,
      You could try using Greek Yogurt in place of the sour cream. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  32. 5 stars
    Do you think this recipe would work for cupcakes? I made the cake a couple of weeks ago and it was SO GOOD!!

    1. Hey Angela,
      Awesome, I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed and thanks so much for giving it a try! Yes, I think cupcakes would work well here. xTieghan

  33. I also found the brown butter icing to be very runny, even with 3C icing sugar. Next time I will refrigerate the icing first, to thicken it up. And maybe cut the recipe in half. But I will make this cake again – made it last night and everyone really liked it!

  34. 2 stars
    The sour cream was way too much for the amount of chocolate.

    The 2 sticks of butter for the icing was too much; I cut the icing by half, and if sufficed.

  35. Hi Tieghan,

    A couple things:
    Overall, I really enjoyed the cake and loved making it from scratch. Here’s my question/ comments:

    When mixing the batter in a Kitchen Aid mixer, what speed should you use? Also, how long should it take to get the butter and sugar light and creamy? I think my butter and sugar mixture seemed too heavy.

    Regarding the chocolate frosting in the middle of the layers, I thought the frosting was too bitter. Have you ever done a different frosting that would be a good substitute?

    Lastly, I loved the brown sugar frosting but you weren’t kidding when you said it sets up quickly. any tips for spreading it so it looks nice and what tools do you use for spreading the icing?

    Thanks,
    Tim

    1. Hey Tim!

      – I mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes for light and creamy butter.
      – you could do a more traditional chocolate buttercream frosting that us sweeter. I am sure that would be great!!
      – for the brown sugar frosting, if you spread it on while warm it spread much, much nicer. I always frost the cake right after mixing the frosting!

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  36. so excited to try this! Just realized I forgot the heavy cream.. would you suggest buttermilk or whole milk as a substitute?

    1. Hey Chelsea,
      Sorry you need the heavy cream for the caramel:) I hope you love the cake, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  37. 5 stars
    Delicious cake! I found I had what felt like too much icing for the layer and couldn’t get it to set. Maybe I needed to cook and chill longer. My top layer kept sliding. Mine looked awful messy (disastrous) but tasted yummy.

    1. Hey Alison,
      I am thrilled this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! Happy Sunday! xTieghan

  38. Hi Tieghan! This looks crazy delish omg haha
    Could I swap out the sour cream for Greek yogurt when making the choco fudge frosting?

    1. Hey Angela,
      Yes, that should work just fine for you. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  39. 5 stars
    Made this recipe as a birthday cake and it turned out great – only issue was the caramel frosting being a bit runny as other reviewers have pointed out. I think my problem was the cake was a bit warm still when I applied it – make sure the cake is at room temp!! Aside from that it was a big success – great reviews from everyone that ate it & very yummy!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

    1. Hey Laura,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, it makes me so happy that it was enjoyed. Happy Friday! xTieghan

  40. 5 stars
    The cake was amazing… both frostings were delish!! But i halved the quantity of frostings and was enough for me .. if you’re okay with having lots of leftovers or you want to heavily ice the cake… go for it!! Overall just lovely.. and not so difficult…

    1. Hey Parsha,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, it makes me so happy that it was enjoyed. Happy Friday! xTieghan

  41. Hi! I am wondering if full fat plain Greek yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream in the chocolate frosting? Just used the last of my sour cream before remembering I needed it for this recipe.
    TIA

    1. Hey Danielle,
      Yes, that should work well for you. I hope you enjoy the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  42. 4 stars
    Loved this cake. Dense full of buttery flavor. The fudge middle is special, but my favorite is the salted caramel icing. I should have used more powered sugar as it was so thin it ran over the cake and pooled so much I stopped short of using it all.

    1. Hey Kelli,
      I am so thrilled this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for giving it a try!! Sorry about the frosting!! xTieghan

  43. 5 stars
    This cake is delicious! I love the soft cake with the sour cream chocolate and the sweet brown sugar frosting. It is rich aso a little bit goes a long way! I delivered cake slices to a few family members and they loved it too.

    1. Hey Casey,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, was there anything you may have adjusted? Let me know how I can help! xTieghan

  44. 5 stars
    Really loved this cake. The semi sweet chips cut some of the sweetness from the caramel frosting making it just the perfect amount of sweetness.

  45. 5 stars
    This cake is AMAZING!!! IT was so moist, tasty and the chocolate layer with that caramel icing is wow, party in my mouth! I will definitely be making this again, followed the directions exactly and turned out just like the pic! Thanks for the amazing recipe!!

  46. 3 stars
    The cake and chocolate frosting are amazing!! I did have issues with the Carmel frosting. It was really grainy but also runny and I don’t know what I did wrong! I checked the reviews and it looks like other people had this issue so I added more powdered sugar and it was still runny. I’ll probably just make a standard buttercream next time

    1. Hey Alexandra,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, so sorry to hear about the frosting. Was there anything you may have adjusted? It is hard to say what exactly went wrong without seeing the results. xTieghan

  47. 5 stars
    After reading the comments, I was tempted to halve the caramel frosting. So glad that I stick with the original recipe. My whole family loved it. The cake was so delicious– thanks for another stellar recipe. I am tempted to make it again with chocolate cake. Then again with caramel cake. Then again, with…

  48. 4 stars
    Made this tonight and it’s good! However, I had trouble with the frosting sliding down the side of the cake. Next time I’ll probably have to add more powdered sugar ( I used around 2.5 cups). I’m not a huge fan of the semi-sweet chocolate w/ sour cream mixture but that could be adjusted to personal preference. Overall, it’s a tasty cake and my family enjoyed it.

    1. Hey Megan,
      Thanks for trying the recipe, so sorry to hear about the frosting, sounds like you needed some powdered sugar:) xTieghan

  49. 5 stars
    Delicious cake!! My family was very impressed. I ended up halving the top frosting ingredients. When in the mixer, I added 1/2 cups of powdered sugar at a time for a total of 1 1/12 cups. I added an extra Tablespoon of heavy cream while it mixed to get it to the consistency of a frosting. It was perfect! Next time I’d try making the fudge with something other than sour cream, some people were not a fan of the taste. Very impressive cake and easy to make!

    1. Hey Jessica,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have great week:) xTieghan

  50. 5 stars
    Hi. If I only have one 8in springform pan, can I bake all of the dough at once and cut the cake in half or would you recommend splitting the dough and baking one at a time? Cant wait to try this recipe!

    1. Hey Jo,
      Just because I have never tested this before, I would recommend splitting the batter and baking one at a time. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  51. 3 stars
    I found that the chocolate middle layer quantity made too much to use in the cake and went to waste. Cake was good texture and flavors!

  52. Hi, I’m very excited to try this recipe, sounds wonderful! However, I do not have a stand mixer, only a hand mixer. Do you have any recommendations for this change or mixing by hand?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Kendra,
      Totally fine to use a hand mixer here. I hope you love the recipe, let me know how the cake turns out! xTieghan

  53. 3 stars
    delicious, except the sour cream in the chocolate frosting made it taste like it was spoiled, so my husband and I ended up eating around the chocolate, which was the part I was looking forward to the most!

  54. 5 stars
    New Favorite Cake! I loved the flavor of the cake, very moist and paired well with the chocolate and caramel. I will definitely use this cake as a go-to and try mixing up the frosting!

  55. 5 stars
    This cake comes together quick and is DELICIOUS. I’m excited to make it again and perfect it! The carmel icing sets quick- work quickly and try not to mess with it too much. Next time I make this I plan to pour the icing on the cake over a wire wrack and sheet pan, let the icing totally set and then transfer the cake to a cake plate. I think it would have been a prettier finished product this way!

    1. Hey Alina,
      I have not tested with greek yogurt, but I think it should work well for you. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  56. 4 stars
    The brown sugar frosting is SO DELICIOUS- I could eat it all day long- seriously so good, saving to use in the future.

    Personally wasn’t a huge fan of the chocolate frosting- it was very fudgey, which I’m just personally not a huge fan of but if you like fudge – you will like it!

    All in all a very easy and yummy recipe!

  57. 4 stars
    This cake looked awesome when you previewed it on Instagram! I couldn’t wait to make it! We made it today and the caramel icing and yellow cake were awesome! Cake was moist and fluffy. The only thing we couldn’t get over was the flavor of the chocolate frosting with the sour cream. Next time I make this we won’t use the sour cream frosting.
    This cake would also taste good with chopped pecans.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  58. I haven’t tried this yet and definitely plan on it! Quick question about the cake texture, is this a dry crumbly or more moist-type cake? I’ve been looking for something not as dry as some cakes I’ve tried.

    1. Hey there,
      This cake is more on the moist side. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  59. Hi, Tieghan! I was just wondering.
    Where are the caramel notes in the cake? I came here for a caramel cake as stated in the title..but it’s a vanilla butter cake with chocolate frosting and brown sugar icing.is there a way to make the cake caramel? Thanks!

    1. Hey Kelly,
      The caramel is in the frosting:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  60. Excited to try this recipe! I an wondering for the chocolate curls on top do you just use a bar of regular chocolate and not a bar of chocolate for baking? Does it matter? Thanks!

  61. 5 stars
    This recipe is to die for! I made it in ramekins as minis to gift (had to increase the bake time quite a bit due to their thickness) but the cake and frosting are AHHmazing! I filled with caramel sauce I had from another recipe which made it mind blowing!

    1. Hey Shimmy,
      Totally! I would just reduce your baking time and start checking for doneness at 25 minutes. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  62. I’m gonna bake this cake today for my boyfriends birthday which is tomorrow 🙂 I’m really excited and I hope it turns out well 💓

  63. Hi ! New follower but I’ve made 2 recipes so far of yours and LOVE!
    Wondering what size cake pans you used for this recipe!
    Thanks so so much!

    1. Hey Jeanne,
      I used 8 inch cake pans. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  64. 3 stars
    hi! my son and I made the cake for family dinner yesterday, and everyone agreed that the chocolate was too rich and overpowered the cake. I also could have halved the frosting recipe because there was a pint leftover (which I keep eating with a spoon!!) Love your recipes!!

  65. A question for you: is it ok to use unsalted butter? For some reason i have a lot of unsalted butter on hand and would like to use it up. Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes.

    1. Hey Tamzen,
      Yes, totally fine to use unsalted butter. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  66. 5 stars
    Made this Saturday and everyone loved it! The best part is it wasn’t difficult at all, and I had everything on hand…. Well actually I didn’t have a whole cup of sour cream (about half) so I made up the difference with Greek yogurt and it was perfect.

  67. 5 stars
    I made this! And it is a life changing experience. Every flavor is divine. Will be making again for special occasions!

  68. 4 stars
    This cake came out delicious. The bitterness of the chocolate with the sweet caramel and tender cake are a great combo. When I make it again, I will freeze the cake prior to frosting with the caramel icing – it comes out quite loose. The recipe says that it ought to seize up when it’s poured over the cake. I watched the video posted in instagram stories, so I was sure to whip the caramel icing for a really long time so it could cool quite a bit before I poured it over the cake. It was still pourable but definitely not runny. The cake wasn’t quite cold enough when I took it out of the fridge, the icing ran off but it was chilled enough that the icing was able to be worked back on the cake to become more spreadable like standard icing.

  69. I made this tonight. Like a few others already stated it was perfect until I got to the frosting. It was way too runny and I continued to add powdered sugar until it was crossing the line of being way too sweet. Next time I will cut back and just do one stick of butter, I made the frosting in this recipe a few weeks back, very similar but less butter and has the consistency I like for icing a cake: https://www.bakedbyanintrovert.com/easy-banana-cake/. Other than that it is delicious!

    1. Hey Hannah,
      I store in an airtight container on the counter. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Maureen,
      I would use an equal amount of gluten free flour. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  70. Every recipe I have tried is amazing!! Love love!!
    I am always confused thought about the oven settings, as it’s never specified: conventional or fan mode?
    I ve noticed it makes a huge difference especially in baking! Could you please specify oven setting on your recipes? Thank you :):)

    1. Hey Eliza,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipes, I always use regular bake:) Let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  71. I had similar issues with the brown sugar frosting. It was on the runny side and pooled on the plate after I poured it on top. Wish it was thicker. It made more than I needed. I saved it and will come up with a creative use for it somewhere else. Overall it tasted delicious and my husband loved it.

    1. Hey Jen,
      So sorry about this, sounds like it needed some more powdered sugar. I hope this helps for next time! xTieghan

  72. 4 stars
    The cake is delicious although mine was not a total success. When I added the buttermilk it curdled. It baked very dense and doesn’t rise much. The frosting is very good but it was very liquid I poured it over but wasn’t able to swirl it it don’t look like yours. Despite these problems my hubby thought it was Greaaattt. I will try it again to see what happens.

    1. Hey Wendy,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe as try! Try adding more powdered sugar to thicken up the frosting:) Sorry about the buttermilk, next time make sure it’s room temperature! I hope this helps. xTieghan

  73. Good Morning from Ontario. That brown sugar icing is an old time favourite over here! It is used on my mom’s old time “pound” cake recipe (she called it a walnut cake but never used walnuts), banana loaf, and cupcakes. Always a favourite! I must try this cake – it looks absolutely delish!

  74. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! I ended up with way more brown sugar frosting than I needed but other than that it worked out perfectly! I maybe should have waiting for the frosting to thicken a tiny bit before I poured it over the cake because it made a bit of a mess on the plate but it tasted fantastic. My whole family loved it

  75. I really wish you would put the weight of the actual flour you used into grams or oz for a food scale. As some one that love to bake and LOVES your blog I wish i had more exact measurements as i do have issues with your recipes when i try to be precise and measure out the ingredients.

    1. Hey Jacqueline,
      If you just click “metrics” under the ingredient list, you will find all of the measurements in grams. Hope this helps! xTieghan

  76. 5 stars
    Dear Tieghan,

    This cake is EVERYTHING! I am not a cake lover (I actually *hate* most cakes and prefer pies), nor am I much of a baker (I tend to burn things), but this had me thinking of memories with my grandmother, so I just had to try this one. My family is Lithuanian and we use sour cream in our cake recipes too! (We make a multi-layered honey cake with sour cream that is delicious.) If we are talking old-school, I used my grandmother’s 50+ year old KitchenAid mixer and my boyfriend’s grandmother’s 50+ year old springforms to make this cake. Now – I don’t have 8″ springforms, I have a 9″ and a 10″, so I got creative and trimmed one layer to match the other and got to sample the cake by itself just out of the oven. And **drool**!!! The cake just by itself is to die for! My biggest challenge was the icing/frosting – I ended up with may too much!!! And for my personal preference, I would add just a touch more salt to have a salted caramel kind of flavor. Needless to say, this cake was a huge hit with my boyfriend – who has the biggest sweet tooth I know – and with me! YUMM!! I look forward to making it again.

    Thank you for sharing this and taking me down memory lane with my grandmother.
    xoxo,
    J

  77. Resistance is futile! I certainly don’t need this cake BUT I WANT IT! It’s currently baking in my oven! Will post pic when it’s finished.

  78. Everything has turned out great so far except the brown sugar icing. It’s very runny. Did the recipe maybe mean to call for 1 stick of butter instead of 2?

  79. 5 stars
    You certainly convinced me that I can make a cake “just because”, and that’s exactly what I did. I halfed the recipe and was able to make a 2 layer 6” cake. I just monitored the cakes in the oven and 22 min worked well. This cake was AMAZING. The vanilla cake was so soft. I love the texture of the chocolate filling, and the caramel frosting was perfectly caramely and simple to make. I was a little confused on how much to cool the frosting, so when I poured it over the cake (after chilling it in the fridge), it was still very warm and started to melt the chocolate from the sides. It still came out fine and I actually had some pretty chocolate swirls mixed into the caramel frosting. Next time I might let it cool a little more. But I still love this cake, and will definitely make it for our next occasion. Thanks for the recipe ☺️

  80. 4 stars
    It came out very good. What chocolate do you use? I used semi-sweet and with the added expression I thought it had a little bitter taste. The caramel frosting was everything though!

    1. Hey Catherine,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! I used semi sweet chocolate as well! Happy Sunday:) xTieghan

  81. I so wanted this to turn out. I can only guess my baking soda was out of date – the 8 inch cakes slid out of pan easily BUT were super thin. Somewhat dense.

    1. Hey Christie,
      So sorry to hear this, when baking it is key that your leveling agents are fresh, otherwise you will not get the desired results. I hope this helps for next time! xTieghan

  82. Hi Tieghan!
    Love soooo many of your savory recipes- this will be the first sweet I’m trying of yours! Testing this out as a possible birthday cake. Would you say the caramel color of the icing would be too tough to color with gel? Curious because I want to try the flavors as intended, but am wondering if I should go with a more classic buttercream for coloring. Would appreciate any advice! Thanks!
    -Vanessa

    1. Hey Vanessa!! I would go with a more classic buttercream. I think you could end up with a wonky color if you use the caramel. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  83. 3 stars
    All components taste great, but frosting the cake was a disaster 🙁 I followed the instructions exactly but the frosting slid right off the cake…so I stuck it in the fridge thinking that would help but then the frosting crystallized and did not stick well to the cake when I tried to fix it. I ended up using my hands to press it on the cake- not cute 😂

    1. Hey Christina,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try. So sorry to hear about the frosting, but it sounds like you needed some more powdered sugar! Hope this helps for next time:) xTieghan

    1. Hey there,
      One stick of butter is equal to 113 grams. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  84. I’m making this cake right now and everything was perfect and delicious until I got to the second frosting. Mine isn’t as thick as yours and had little globs of sugar that didn’t mix in. I’m chilling it a bit to allow it to set and thicken but not sure why I got the little sugar balls! Any thoughts?

    1. Hey Karen,
      Sorry to hear this, was your powdered sugar fresh? I would add more if you need it to be a little thicker. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  85. Hi Tieghan!
    Can I sub regular espresso for the espresso powder? I don’t want to eliminate it completely, but would rather sub an ingredient if possible.
    Thanks so much!
    Lauren

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Sure, I think that would work just fine for you! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Taylor,
      It sounds like you probably need some more powdered sugar in your frosting. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  86. Kicking myself for not reading the comments first! Totally left out baking soda and hope it’s still ok 🤦🏽‍♀️

  87. AHHH! Tieghan your killing me! Its lent now and I can’t make this AMAZING cake!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing, and as soon as lent is over I am going to bake this cake.

  88. This recipe reminds me of my mom’s “famous” devil’s food and caramel frosting cake which all children and grandchildren have had for their birthdays for generations ( passed down from her Grandma) – this is sort of an updated version so I can’t wait to try it !!! That caramel frosting 😋😋😋😋😋!

  89. Hi! Great recipe. It looks so good!
    I have a question. The butter listed in the recipe is salted ou unsalted? I know it’s written salted, but I never had seen a cake made with salted butter.
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Matheus,
      I always use salted butter:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Cassie,
      I have not tested this with greek yogurt, my only concern is that it might curdle. I hope you love the recipe, let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

    1. Hey Elizabeth,
      I would recommend using whole milk in place of the buttermilk. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  90. My daughter-in-law got me onto you site and I love your recipes and descriptions. This cake sounds so yummy and I’m anxious to try it. I live in the foothills of Denver at 7,800 feet. Do I need to make adjustments. We moved here six years ago and so far have mainly been relying of high altitude recipes for baking. Thanks!

    1. Hey Karen,
      Thanks so much for your kind message:) You can go ahead and follow the recipe as is, no adjustments needed. I hope you love the cake, let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

    1. Hey Angela,
      I would just reduce your bake time by 5 minutes or so until a knife comes out clean. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  91. I will try this recipe on Sunday, it looks so delicious!
    Can you add the ingredient in metric measurements? That would be fantastic!

  92. 5 stars
    Love this. I’m older and used to cut out recipes too. I don’t need 10 servings, so I’ll half the recipe some way…and always heavy on the vanilla. Never had the caramel cake though.

  93. I can hardly wait to make this! Just made your Earl Grey Blueberry Lemon Bread so as soon as that is gone, THIS is next! My pix of the bread are on Instagram. kweenbee_612
    Thank you Tieghan, you ROCK!!!

    1. Hey Kelley,
      So sorry for the confusion, I fixed the recipe! You will want to use 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  94. Found my birthday cake! OMG this is MY kind of cake! every element makes me say mmm! Can’t wait to make this because I already know it’s going to be to die for! Thank you! and it’s soooo beautiful!

  95. Opps ! Baking powder is listed twice? Help!! I wanted to make it for tonight’s dinner . Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! You don’t know how much fun it is to look forward to what recipe is going to pop up on your website next ! You offer so much joy to all of us bakers, Tieghan ! ❤️

    1. Hey Lulu,
      Sorry for the confusion, the recipe is fixed! You will use 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Claudia,
      So sorry for the confusion, yes the 1/4 teaspoon is baking soda, I fixed the recipe. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  96. I wish I had more of my grandma’s recipes, too! She used to make this plain vanilla cake. It didn’t have frosting, but she liked to serve it with ice cream. I regret not asking her how to make it. Looking forward to trying this recipe! Thanks!

  97. Tieghan, you have baking powder listed twice in the ingredients list. Is it safe to assume the first is baking powder and the second is baking soda?

  98. Is the espresso powder required? I know it enhances the chocolate flavor but I’m trying to be better about not buying ingredients that I’ll use 1 or 2 times a year. Could I use a small amount of coffee instead? Or leave out all together?

  99. Oh wow, another perfect cake to finish the working week. Adding this one to the list, as I love a fudge flavour with chocolate too. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  100. Hi Tieghan! This cake looks delicious! Quick question ~ you have baking powder listed twice. Which measurment should be baking soda?
    Many thanks,
    Dianne

    1. Hey Dianne,
      So sorry for the confusion, the recipe is fixed, but it is 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. I hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

  101. Good Morning.
    Any suggestions what to make instead of the Choc Frosting? I cannot have choc anymore. :(..
    Not sure White Choc would compliment?
    Thanks much.

    1. Hey there,
      You could do a vanilla frosting or white chocolate would be great too! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan