Are ya’ll ready for me to share a secret with you?
You know how secrets work, though. If I share one, you have to share one, too. This is hands-down my favorite chocolate cake. Most definitely not a secret. It is incredibly moist and delicious and never fails to impress. The only thing I don’t like about it is when people ask for the recipe. Because there’s a secret ingredient. An ingredient that some would prefer remain a secret.
But this is a safe space, right? You guys aren’t going to judge me? Okay. It’s mayonnaise.
NOW, before you wrinkle your nose at that, let me explain. The mayo replaces any eggs, oil, or butter in this recipe because that’s basically what mayo is: eggs, oil, fats.
As a result, the ingredient list remains short and simple and it truly turns out one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. Besides, who wouldn’t love a chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream?
This was my first time making a layer cake (!!!) and I was so pleased with how it turned out.
It’s always satisfying to finally accomplish something in the kitchen that you haven’t previously tried (see: pie crust, buttercream frosting, poached eggs, etc.)
Please promise me you’ll try this cake because you would seriously be missing out if you don’t. And the whole point of secrets is that you don’t judge, right?
Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
3 cups flour
Scant 1/2 cup cocoa
Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. (Also works for cupcakes; just adjust the baking time to 15-18 minutes.)
Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
Add the water, mayo, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Pour batter into the cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar (give or take, until you get the right consistency. I didn’t measure, just eyeballed it.)
Fleur de sel (optional, for sprinkling on top of the cake)
Beat butter on medium-high for about a minute, or until smooth.
Add caramel sauce and vanilla. Beat 2-3 minutes on medium-high until well combined.
Slowly add powdered sugar until you’ve reached your desired frosting consistency.
Sprinkle (sparingly!) the fleur de sel on top. I got mine at Central Market.