This is my go-to cake for special occasions, as every always loves it. But you do have to love chocolate ~ Caramel ~ English Toffee! It is a simple recipe, but the add-ins make it rich and delicious.
The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (King Arthur available at Amazon)
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- One jar of the best caramel topping you can find, kept in the refrigerator to make it harder.
- English Toffee
- Big Malted Milk Balls
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring. Then line with 9″ round parchment paper and spray again. (I buy the pre-cut rounds by Wilton – available at Walmart)
- For the cake:
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
- Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center, comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
- Using a serrated bread knife, cut each layer in half so you have four layers.
Putting it together:
- Make the Chocolate Buttercream recipe shown below. Pipe or spoon a ridge of the buttercream all around the outside of the first layer.
- Fill the center with the now hardened caramel
- Put on the second & third layer and repeat
- Frost the cake with rest of the frosting (there always seems to be a bit too much)
- Put the English Toffee in a ziplock bag and crush with your rolling pin or meat pounder.
- Decorate how you like with the Malted Milk Balls
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
- Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
- Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
- Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
- If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.