Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake This is a rich, fluffy, and moist dark chocolate cake make with dutch process / special dark cocoa powder. The cake recipe is a one bowl, simple, easy, make ahead cake recipe. The cake is filled with chocolate cookie crumbles made like milk bar crumb. There is also a sweet and salty caramel in the middle and a fluffy chocolate frosting made from melted semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips. You can make this a naked cake or frost the outside as well. Find the recipe for this celebration / birthday cake / chocolate lover best cake on

Chocolate Caramel Crumble CakeChocolate Caramel Crumble CakeHere in America, it’s the morning after election Tuesday, and let me just say that I’m thankful. 

I’m thankful to live in America. I’m thankful for the right to vote. I’m thankful for the freedoms and liberties that my country and its leaders have afforded me.

To be honest, though, I’m mainly thankful that my hope is not dictated by politics. My joy and peace do not stem from a winning vote. In fact, I can list a million things that I have to be thankful for right at this very moment, and not one of them has anything to do with whoever ends up living in the big house on Pennsylvania Ave. Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Instead of spending our time chit-chatting about politics, let’s skip right to dessert. On days like these, we need something sweet like chocolate caramel crumble cake to remind us that it’s all good. To remind us to take life one slice at a time. So if you’re not too busy planning your retirement to Canada, let’s settle in and discuss this cake, shall we?

Chocolate cake is no stranger to me. My favorite chocolate cake is regularly in rotation around our house and I’d cast all of my votes on this beauty if I could. There are so many things you can do to a really good chocolate cake recipe to make it feel like a million bucks, but if you ask me, you can never go wrong with salty caramel and chocolate crumbles. So let’s hang out there today.
This chocolate caramel crumble cake is a three layer chocolate cake with drizzles of homemade salted caramel sauce and crunchy chocolate shortbread crumbs in between. I prefer to make this salted caramel sauce, and the chocolate crumble recipe was modified from my favorite shortbread crust recipe that can be found here. Once the cake has been stacked, the whole thing is coated with a sweet and silky whipped chocolate frosting that is made with a combination of cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and real bits of heaven (so you know it’s good.)
chocolate crumble cake stop motion 
I made little stop motion video of this chocolate caramel crumble cake so that you could watch the assembly yourself. This recipe makes enough frosting to coat and decorate the entire cake, but a naked cake never hurt anybody either. So if you prefer a naked cake, you can check out more photos and written instruction on how to stack one here.
If this election has you all hot and bothered for more cakes, you can find a few more cake recipes here including the pumpkin and burnt sugar cake I made a few weeks ago. You can also check out my instagram for more chocolate cake decorating inspiration- I even made this cake for my birthday a few weeks ago!
 chocolate caramel crumble cake
Happy Wednesday to all you Republicans, Democrats, and Independents out there. No matter who you voted for, this cake is for you! Cheers!

Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

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4.3 from 4 reviews

Chocolate caramel crumble cake is a three layer chocolate cake stacked with coats of fluffy chocolate frosting, drizzles of salty caramel, and sprinkles of chocolate cookie crumbles.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 2 hours


For the chocolate cake

  • 21/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 21/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 21/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 21/4 teaspoons corn starch
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 11/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups black coffee, hot
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 11/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate crumbles

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the chocolate frosting

  • 21/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 11/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup prepared salted caramel sauce


To prepare the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 (8″) round cake pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, loosely combine all of the wet ingredients and these to the bowl of the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for just shy of 2 minutes, scraping the bowl (and bottom of bowl!) twice throughout.
  3. Pour equal amounts of batter in to all 3 pans. Carefully place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until center is just barely set and toothpick comes out of cake almost clean. Allow to cool in the pans and on a cooling rack for 20 minutes and then remove from pans to continue the cooling process. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

To prepare the crumbles

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar on medium low speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low until large crumbs begin to form. Chill the crumbs in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the crumbs.
  3. Spread the crumbs out onto a quarter sheet pan and bake in the oven, tossing occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until crumbs are baked and set.

To prepare the chocolate frosting

  1. Whip butter in the bowl of a stand mixer over medium speed (I use 4 on my Kitchen Aid) for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, and salt and beat for an additional 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the melted chocolate, beating until throughly combined for an additional 1-2 minutes. Place in the fridge if it is too soft. This is enough frosting for a 3 layer, 8″ cake.

To assemble to cake

  1. Spread a small dollop of frosting on a cake board and place one chocolate cake layer on top. Spread 3/4 cup of frosting on top, spreading it evenly to the edges of the cake. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of caramel and sprinkle with 1/3 of the crumbles. Repeat this process once to assemble the second layer.
  2. To finish the cake, set in place the final cake round. Spread 1 cup of frosting on top and decorate as desired, garnishing with the remaining caramel and crumbles.


  • Cakes can be made ahead and frozen. See my blog post for chocolate cake for more tips on cake baking.
  • Frosting can be made ahead and frozen. Bring to room temperature and re-beat prior to using.
  • Store bought caramel is fine, but see the link in my post for my favorite salted caramel recipe.
  • Chocolate crumbles can be made ahead and frozen.
  • You can half this recipe to prepare a smaller 6″ cake.
  • This cake can be frosted and decorated as a traditional cake as well. Instead of preparing it as a naked cake, you can pipe a dam of frosting on top of each layer of cake and fill with caramel and crumbles. Once the cake is stacked, coat it in a thin crumb coat and place in the fridge to set up. You can finish it by frosting and decorating as desired.

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