Orange Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake

When making my 101 in 1001 list, I added the item “Bake a cake for someone” because I think giving someone a layered, completely-from-scratch cake is an excellent way to show how much you care for them. I also like making cakes, but I don’t do it often because I’m a taste-tester who samples far too much whenever I’m baking.

I decided I would make said cake for my friend Paige, after she had her baby, as a way to celebrate her and the excellent job she did birthing her sweet baby boy. I looked over my Pinterest cake board, and I knew that one of my oldest pins, Annie’s Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake, promising rich chocolate flavors combined with the sophistication of salt and caramel was the perfect choice for a new mother.

It took me 3.5 hours, but it was by far the best thing I have ever created in the kitchen. I was a little nervous about the Swiss meringue buttercream, but I just kept on whipping (I think I had it in my kitchenaid for almost 30 minutes) and it eventually came together.

I’m not going to write out the entire recipe (go to Annie’s site to see it) but I did make one small change out of necessity that really took things over the top (in a good way). I didn’t have enough plain chocolate, and didn’t want to go downstairs to buy more, so I raided the husband’s supply of dark chocolate bars with candied orange peels and used that for the frosting. The very subtle orange flavor combined with the richness of the salt and the caramel and the dark chocolate was perfect. If you make this cake, give that tweak a try.

That Husband wants me to make this again, and soon. I loved it, but how can I make this one again, when there are so many other tantalizing cakes waiting to be created?

Although it isn’t as pretty, I had the idea to make a little mini cake for my photo shoot. That way I could take nice pictures in the daylight without being the obnoxious friend giving someone a cake and then asking to take a picture of their slice. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Orange Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake

  1. Yum, yum, yum. So many tasty cakes out there for us to discover. Life is HARD! 🙂

    I love that you made a mini photo version. That’s a perfect solution to the picture problem and also a good cure for the “I want to taste this but don’t want to ruin the final version/eat more junk than I ought” situation.

  2. This looks really good! I’m going to add it to my list WITH your change. I love chocolate and orange, so I know it was a great flavor combo on this cake.

    I hate when people ask you to make the same cake again. I have so many recipes I want to try. For instance, my Nana wants me to make the same Black Forest cake this Easter (I usually only make it for her birthday). I want something more in tune with spring. So I will make that cake just for her (she’s 71 years old, so she’s entitled to eating an entire cake, lol) and make something else for the rest of us.

    Gwendolyn Reply:

    I also hate it when people ask for the same cake over and over! People keep asking for me to make my wedding cake recipe for birthdays, potluck, holidays. And I just want to make something new and exciting!

  3. This looks DELISH!!! Question….I notice there is coffe in the recipe. I hate the taste of coffee…I know you don’t drink it, so did you make a substitution? Did it work? Or should I suck it up and put coffee in there? Thx Jenna:-).

    Jenna Reply:

    I just used the coffee. You can’t even taste it I promise! It just enhances the richness of the chocolate.

    Evie Reply:

    Awesome, thanks!

  4. This looks – and sounds – incredible! One of my goals is to learn how to bake a cake from scratch. So far, I haven’t progressed from cupcakes. Mainly because I haven’t had a real Cake Occasion. But I’m going to pin this recipe to try!

  5. Hi, just wondering what brand of chocolate bars you used? I’m having trouble finding some with orange bits. Should I look in the candy aisle instead of the baking aisle? Thanks!

    Jenna Reply:

    Yep, they were from the candy aisle. Maybe Lindt?

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