It was my husband’s 32nd birthday this weekend! He’s one unique lover for chocolate, as well as indecisive on whether he would rather have a brownie, or a chocolate chip cookie. So, I decided to go with both – in this 4-layer Hershey’s caramel brownie chocolate chip cake.
Needless to say, it’s only been 2 days since his birthday and half the cake is gone. Eeek. I’m going to say it’s justified, and mostly eaten by him. But seriously, if you want a way to please everyone – this recipe takes the cake. And with the Holidays coming, there’s no better way to celebrate than for the love of rich, chocolaty goodness of Hershey’s caramel and dark chocolate chips.
Granted, this beaut took me over 3 1/2 hours to make. Having to do the dishes about 4 times didn’t help. But it was so worth it. Word of the wise – have 4 9″in round pans ready under your belt to save you some time.
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups baking cocoa powder
- 1 cup canola/vegetable oil
- 7 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 (14 oz.) jar of Hershey's Caramel
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk (see instructions below how to DIY buttermilk from home)
- 1 1/2 cups Hershey's dark chocolate chips (You may use semi-sweet, or your own preference)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
The ingredients listed above are all ingredients combined for each of 3 separate recipes in this layer cake.
DIY Buttermilk Recipe: if a recipe calls for buttermilk, and you do not have it available at home – you can simply use the amount called in regular milk. Pour milk into a bowl, then add in 1-2 tsp white vinegar. Stir in, and allow to sit for 5 minutes (this is where the magic happens).
Recipe Instructions for Caramel Brownie:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or line 2 round 9″ pans with parchment or wax paper (makes clean up easier).
2. In one large bowl, add and mix together dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3. In your electric mixing bowl, combine and beat wet ingredients:
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup canola/vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
4. Mix in dry ingredients (in intervals) until blended.
5. Pour half the batter in each greased/lined pan.
6. In a separate bowl, pour in 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 jar Hershey’s caramel. Stir together well, and begin drizzling 3/4 of the amount of caramel filling over the batter of each pan with a spoon. Using a knife, carefully swirl the better with zig-zag strokes to blend in the caramel with the batter.
7. Bake for a total 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean in the center. You can either drizzle the rest of the caramel filling once brownies are completely baked, or drizzle over batter about 15-20 minutes into baking.
8. Allow to cool before removing from pan to prevent cracks and tears.
Recipe Instructions for Chocolate Chip Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease/line 2 round 9″ pans with parchment or wax paper.
2. In a large bowl, add and mix together dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3. In your electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar on med-high speed until fluffy (approximately 3-4 minutes).
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4. Reduce mixing speed, then add in 3 large eggs (room temperature) one at a time, until each fully incorporated. Then add in 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla.
5. Here you will alternate adding in the dry ingredients and the 1 cup Buttermilk (see DIY buttermilk recipe at the beginning of the instructions). You will begin and end with dry ingredients (separate the dry in 3 parts, and buttermilk into 2 parts). Allow each to fully incorporate in between additions.
6. Fold in 3/4 cup Hershey’s chocolate chips.
7. Pour 1/2 the batter in each 9″ round pan.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean from the center.
9. Allow to cool before removing from pan to prevent cracks and tears.
Recipe Instructions for Homemade Frosting:
1. In your electric mixer, or by hand, whisk together dry ingredients:
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa powder
2. On a low speed, slowly add in 1 cup milk (a couple tbsp at a time). You may not need to use the entire 1 cup. Adding too much will cause the frosting to become too liquid-y. You want the right consistency that won’t easily drip from the whisk, but like the consistency of thick melted caramel or hot fudge.
3. Begin by boiling a pot of water. Using a metal bowl that will fit in the pot, melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips until completely smooth. This part is technically optional – as you still have chocolate frosting from above, but adding the melted chocolate chips gives the frosting a richer, hardened effect when settled in room temperature or the fridge.
4. Spread on a light layer of frosting in between stacking your brownie and chocolate chip layers. Then pour the icing on top, starting around the edges of the cake to create the dripping effect on the sides of the cake. Use the rest of the icing to fill in the top. Garnish with extra chocolate chips if desired.