birthday boy's salted dark chocolate caramel + pretzel cake

Birthday's are my favorite! And by favorite I mean; whom ever's birthday it is, they deserve to be the highlight of the day, I want to make you your own special cake, buy you the best gifts, and take you to your favorite meal.. so when it's my husband's day, that means I'll be baking the best cake ever just for him, and we get to have that cake all week long just for us!

start the birthday morning with grand central bakery treats.

start the birthday morning with grand central bakery treats.

Since my husband has a massive sweet tooth -he once had me make a chocolate box cake for ourselves to have for snacking, we ate its' entirety in a weekend- I did my research and knew it had to be a chocolate-something-cake. I found bon appetit magazine had a dark chocolate caramel cake with sea salt. Immediately sold. 

salted dark chocolate caramel cake

To jazz up the recipe even more, I added pretzels and an additional layer of dulce de leche, just in case there was some questions regarding if this cake was all chocolate and no caramel.

salted dark chocolate caramel cake

This cake has become a favorite, the salted caramel, pretzel crunch, and additional pour of dulce de leche make it a solid recipe to keep in your archives!





Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly coat three 8-inch diameter cake pans with nonstick spray and line bottoms with parchment paper; spray again. Whisky Flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. 

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat eggs and sugar until pale and doubled in volume, about 4 minutes.  Add mayonnaise and vanilla and beat until just combined. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with 1 1/3 c. lukewarm water in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape batter into pans, dividing evenly. 

Bake Cakes, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks and let cool 20 minutes before turning out onto racks. Let cool completely. 

Frosting and Assembly

Put chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 c. water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, swirling pan occasionally and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until mixture turns a deep amber color, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to medium heat ad cook, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour caramel over chocolate and stir until mixture is smooth; let cool, stirring occasionally. 

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat chocolate mixture, gradually adding butter until frosting is thickened and smooth, about 1 minute. Chill, stirring occasionally, until stiff enough to spread easily, 20-25 minutes. 

Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand and spread 1 cup frosting over to to just beyond edges. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and place second cake layer on top, pressing down gently. Repeat process with 1 cup frosting and 1/4 tsp. salt. Place third layer on top, and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Pour dulce de leche over the top of the cake, sprinkle with crushed pretzels and a pinch of maldon flake salt. 

Serve at room temp. Store covered in a refrigerator. 


non stick vegetable spray

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 large eggs

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 1/4 c. mayonnaise ( not low-fat)

1 tbsp. vanilla extract


12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3/4 c. sugar

1 tbsp. light corn syrup

1 c. heavy cream

1 1/2 c. ( 3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 tsp. flaky sea salt

extra virgin olive oil ( for drizzling: optional)

1/4 c. crushed pretzels *optional

1/2 c. dulce de leche * optional

a pinch of maldon flake salt *optional


Original recipe from Bon Appetit with a slight adaptation 

salted dark chocolate and caramel cake




a cold, crunchy, sweet treat.


i'm back, i'm back!

-back from my hot and humid -yet incredibly amazing- vaction in se asia that is! 

although it is nearly winter, i can't help but think of this fun ice cream cake that i made this summer for a friend's birthday.

when said friend says they don't like cake, you say "shut up dude, i am making you a cake. it could even be corn bread cake, because that's what i am willing to do." you then wait for their response, "well, i only like ice cream, can you make me an ice cream cake?"

"well then duh!" i quickly reply!

since an ice cream cake was to be, i started out with a list of things that make up my favorite kinds of ice cream cakes:

  • a cake layer, maybe a brownie
  • a crunchy layer, like dairy queen's ice cream cakes
  • ice cream, of course
  • a magic shell

now that i complied a list of what makes a great ice cream cake, i drew out the layers and labeled what i expected this ice cream cake to be:

blondie browning bottom layer, vanilla ice cream, crunchy layer, more vanilla ice cream, topped with an additional blondie brownie layer, coated in magic shell and decorated with golden oreos!

blondie brownie vanilla bean ice cream cake assembly:

started with two 6"round -already prepared- blondie brownies. one blondie round to be the base and the other is reserved for the top. place one round in the the bottom of your spring form cake pan. layer with 1 cup of softened vanilla ice cream. place layered brownie and ice cream to the freezer. time to prepare the crunchy layer.

build the crunchy layer:

  • crush up a dozen naked blonde oreos. another excuse to feel like a bartender with my muddle.
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and 4 tablespoons of peanut butter melted, stir until combined. add oreo crumbs to the melted coconut oil and peanut butter to create the crunchy layer.
  • pull the layered cake from the freezer and evenly layer the crunchy layer on top. return to the freezer for an additional 20 minutes to set up.


  • add remaining 1 cup of vanilla ice cream and top with second layer of blondie brownie. return cake to the freezer while you prepare magic shell topping.
  • once again, mix 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 3 tablespoons peanut butter, melt and mix. poor peanut butter magic shell over  the last brownie layer and top with more golden oreos. ps. stick candels in now if you can, otherwise they won't go in when the shell sets up.
  • return to the freezer until it's celebration and singing time!!!

h a p p y  b i r t h d a y  t o  y o u !  h a p p y  b i r t h d a y  t o  y o u !


happy birthday bubba!

-try to freeze the heck out of the cake prior to cutting. if it's too soft chances are you will avalanche like we did...-




food network's: almost-famous maple-butter blondies *

*i omitted the white chocolate chips from the recipe