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Gooey Chocolate Caramel Cake

10 reviews / 4.8 average

That’s soft homemade caramel + melted chocolate you’re gazing at.

Smooshed into the middle layer of that piece of “cake”.

And now I’ll give you a minute to catch your breath and for me to wipe the warm chocolate and drippy caramel off my forehead. Things got crazy.

In general, I try not to make really obnoxiously lofty claims around here, like “best recipe that ever existed”, “the only recipe you’ll ever need”, “the recipe that will change your life”. But I’ll just give it to you straight: THIS RECIPE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Right now I’m having a hard time thinking of any other dessert that I’ve made, like, ever, that even comes close to the overwhelming chocolatey insanity of this gooey chocolate caramel cake. Which is why as soon as this touched my lips I declared the good news: BEST DESSERT EVER.

Chocolate caramel cake with caramel drizzle.

There was a moment soon after this came out of the oven where Bjork sat at the table, and I leaned up against the counter, and we both just silently swooned over our bowls of warm, fudgy chocolate caramel cake. It was like we couldn’t even talk. We just looked at each other and shook our heads and nodded and took another bite. Repeat x100.

Oh, hey, guys? This is gooey.

No apologies. It’s meant to be that way. Like, if you bake it and think it will be like a fluffy cake, you are going to be surprised because it’s really not like a fluffy cake.

It’s like the richest fudgy brownie that doesn’t even bake all the way stuffed with perfectly soft caramel in the middle. Oozing. Melting. Making a mess. Caramel pooling around the spot where you attacked it with a spoon straight outta the oven.

Chocolate caramel cake in a baking dish.

You won’t really cut it into pieces because it’s gooey. Did I say that already? It’s more of a scoop out into a bowl and eat with a spoon typa thing. Or face plant. Whatever works.

Chocolate caramel cake on a white plate.

Intensely rich, chocolatey, and fudgy. It WILL change your life.

Chocolate caramel cake on a white plate.
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A picture of Gooey Chocolate Caramel Cake

Gooey Chocolate Caramel Cake


Description

This gooey chocolate caramel cake is intensely rich and fudgy. Baked to gooey perfection with a layer of homemade caramel in the middle.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda (divided)
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 2/3 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft or melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Instructions

  1. Cake: Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Stir until well combined. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture (I just used my fingers) until very fine crumbs form. It should look like a cake mix. Add the unsalted butter and milk; mix until a thick dough forms.
  2. Caramel: Melt the salted butter over medium low heat. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a very low boil, stirring constantly. Let it cook over very low, gentle heat, so that the mixture is just barely bubbling if at all. If you heat it too much, it won’t stay soft in the bars, so just heat it enough to thicken it slightly. After about 10 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in ½ teaspoon baking soda. The caramel will foam and bubble – stir or whisk until it’s thick and creamy and mostly smooth.
  3. Layer and Bake: Preheat the oven to 350. Spread half of the batter on the bottom of your baking dish. Cover with the chocolate chips and a layer of caramel (I recommend using about 2/3 of the batch that you just made and reserving the rest for something else). Spoon the rest of the dough over the caramel layer and spread until the pan is evenly covered. Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on your pan size and how gooey you want it (see notes).
  4. Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Store at room temperature to keep it soft; it will firm up a little bit as you let it rest.

Notes

Gooey-ness: I photographed the finished cake the next day to allow time for it to stick together better. This cake will not set up as a normal cake would – it is fudgy and GOOEY. As a less-gooey alternative, you could bake the bottom cake layer for a few minutes ahead of time (maybe 5-10) to get a more firm, solid brownie-like base.
Top layer: It is difficult to spread the dough over the warm caramel without making a huge mess. Drop the dough in spoonfuls evenly over the top before trying to spread it into a top layer.
Baking dish: I used a square 9-inch glass baking dish. It was the perfect thickness, in my opinion, but it bubbled over the sides while baking so if you use this size you’ll want to put a pan underneath it. If you use a 9×13 pan, you wouldn’t need to bake it as long.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate caramel cake, gooey chocolate cake, caramel cake

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79 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    YES! Gooiest cake ever. I can’t believe you got such a great picture of this. Just because it’s such a mess. So yeah, I guess messy cakes are delicious / delicious looking cakes. I can’t wait to try this! At some point, it *will* happen. 🙂

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    ohhhh yesss. This looks freaking amazing, so let’s talk about how you should post stuff like this later in the day, you know, so I’m not drooling all over my work computer. I think that might be frowned upon. Plus, then I spend my whole work day dreaming about gooey chocolate caramel cakes 😀

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love gooey chocolate and caramel especially when it is warm. These pictures look so YUMMY!
    I have not had a chance to visit your blog lately. I have been changing my blog design/theme to include a picture and video index. Visit anytime and let me know what you think. Blessings, Diane Roark http://www.recipesforourdailybread.com

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ed

    Dang that looks like trouble!! They would be even better if they were made “special” 😉 Great recipe yet again!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You can’t get much better than chocolate and caramel together forever. This looks absolutely delicious and is on my baking list. The messier the better =) Great photos!






  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks like a food blogger/photographer’s nightmare while simultaneously being the stuff foodies’ dreams are made of. I’d eat this off a fork, a spoon, or straight out of a bucket…like a pig at a trough. How’s that for classy?

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    chocolate and caramel … two of the best flavors ever. and they go together perfectly. this recipe is going into my “recipes to make” file.

    now i have the perfect excuse to go buy that 9×9 pan i’ve been claiming to need for “oh so long now”.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I hate when I am trying to be a really healthy eater and you post something like this!! It totally reminds me of something my sister’s friend’s mom used to make – did you catch that? I’ve made it for the kids a couple times, and we just call it Ugly Cake. But no one cares what it looks like because it’s that good. This looks like it would give Ugly Cake a serious run for its money!!! I need to go stuff my face in a bowl of melted chocolate chips now. . . .