Sea-salted caramel chocolate cake

Sea-salted caramel chocolate cake

Danielle Wood

Chocolate and salted caramel have become an all-time favourite flavour pairing for me. I’ve used sea salt in this cake so the cake flags are a nautical blue.

For the chocolate cake:


Quantity Ingredient
110g cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
260g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
225g soft dark brown sugar
6 medium eggs, lightly beaten
420g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
270ml whole milk

For the salted caramel sauce:

Quantity Ingredient
375g caster sugar
450ml double cream
75g unsalted butter
2-3 teaspoons flaky sea salt

For the salted caramel ganache:

Quantity Ingredient
400g dark chocolate, finely chopped
400ml salted caramel sauce

For the salted caramel buttercream:

Quantity Ingredient
250g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
150ml salted caramel sauce

To decorate:

Quantity Ingredient
Cake flags, in turquoise and white
flaky sea salt


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 15cm round, deep cake tins
cake board or stand
How to level & split a cake
How to fill and cover a cake with buttercream or chocolate ganache


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease the cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Place the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and 180 ml boiling water in a heatproof bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool. In a clean bowl, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars for 3–4 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Add the beaten eggs to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and beat well.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a clean bowl. Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Add half of the milk, continuing to beat and scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add another third of the flour, the remaining milk, then the remaining flour and beat until just combined.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake in the oven for 50–60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn them out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. While the cakes are cooling, make the salted caramel sauce, ganache and buttercream. To make the salted caramel sauce, heat the sugar in a large saucepan (a silver-coloured saucepan is best as you need to check the colour of the sugar as it melts) over a medium heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, swirl the sugar into the liquid areas of the pan without stirring. Meanwhile, gently warm the cream and butter in a separate pan until the butter has melted. After about 10 minutes, or once the sugar is completely melted and dark amber in colour, remove the saucepan from the heat. Immediately whisk in the warm cream and butter mixture (be careful, as the hot caramel can splash up). If the sugar solidifies, return the pan to a medium heat until the mixture is liquid again. Stir in the salt. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a heatproof bowl, to remove any lumps of sugar, and leave to cool slightly.
  5. For the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour 400 ml of the warm caramel sauce over it. Gently whisk the mixture until it is completely smooth and all of the chocolate has melted. Transfer to a shallow container and set your chocolate mixture aside to cool, then chill for 20 minutes or until it is firm enough to spread.
  6. To make the buttercream, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter for 3–4 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and cool salted caramel sauce and continue to beat for another 2–3 minutes until smooth.
  7. Level the cakes by cutting off the domed tops and split each cake in half so that you have 4 layers in total. Fix your first cake layer to the cake board or stand with a small amount of buttercream. Spread the first layer with a generous amount of the salted caramel buttercream filling and drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the salted caramel sauce. Place the second layer on top of this and repeat, then repeat again with the third layer, finishing with the final cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of the remaining buttercream and chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
  8. Beat the ganache by hand until smooth then cover the cake with the ganache and decorate with sea-coloured cake flags and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.
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