Chocolate & caramel layer cake

Chocolate & caramel ombre cake

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(84 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 55 mins Plus cooling

Moderately easy

Cuts into 12 slices
For the ultimate indulgence look no further than Sarah Cook's four-layered chocolate-caramel extravaganza

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze before filling and icing

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1036
  • fat67g
  • saturates35g
  • carbs99g
  • sugars75g
  • fibre3g
  • protein15g
  • salt1.25g
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For vanilla & chocolate sponges

  • 225g very soft butter, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 85g ground almond
  • 1 tsp baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 3 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 150ml pot natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder

For caramel & caramel-choc sponges

  • 225g very soft butter, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 3 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 150ml pot natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cocoa

To assemble

  • 397g can caramel (stocked near the condensed milk in stores)



    This is white, granulated sugar melted until it browns, after which it sets clear and hard when…

  • 140g dark chocolate
  • 140g milk chocolate
  • 300ml double cream


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment. For the Vanilla & chocolate sponges, mix all the ingredients, apart from the cocoa, together with an electric whisk. Scrape half the mix into a second bowl and whizz in the cocoa. Scrape into the tins and bake for 20-25 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean.

  2. Repeat step 1 for the Caramel & caramel-choc sponges, again leaving cocoa out of the first mixing, then splitting the mix in half and whizzing the cocoa into one batch. Cook as above.

  3. While sponges are cooling, melt the dark and milk chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream and cool or chill until spreadable.

  4. When the sponges are cool, spread a third of the caramel over the Vanilla sponge and top with the Caramel sponge. Spread over another third of the caramel and top with the Caramel-choc sponge, then the final third of caramel and top with the Chocolate sponge (don’t panic if you mix up the layers, the cake will still look great when you cut in). Spread the chocolate icing over the whole cake to serve. It will keep in a cool place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Comments (117)

ericamaude's picture

I made this for a friend's birthday party a couple of weeks ago, I'm still being inundated with compliments and requests for the recipe. I will be making it again soon, it is very simple to make but very impressive, perfect for special occasions.

omfmcmahon's picture

Amazing cake! yes its a hell of a lot of calories but i ended up cutting it into more slices than suggested so wasn' t too filling. After layering the cake with the caramel the layer started to slide around so i poked some straws into it and put it in the fridge. After covering in ganache it looked fabulous and i removed the straws once it had set in the fridge.
I can't wait to make this cake again!

lawnor's picture

I forgot to rate. Its been a month and im still getting great reviews of this cake. One friend went home to her boyfriend and told him this cake had her making noises he never could! This is a legendary cake.

tieganp1's picture

I have made it for my sisters party i made some mastakes lik i adde to much youghurt but it seems to be fine but then i i was asembling it i couldnt get caramel so i made it out of condenced milk , sugar and butter and i layerd the cakes up coved it in the chocolate stuff and the caramell consistantly ooozed out the side so i lef it in th fridge it is now ok but the first thing my sister asked was what is that yellow puss stuff on the side not the best start but fingers crossed it tasted nicee :)

sandimum's picture

Not difficult to make and looked very impressive. Went down very well with work colleagues and certainly a cake to share out between a LOT of people. I thought the two middle layers were the nicest and was slightly disappointed by the chocolate layer however. When adding the cocoa powder to the plain sponge it became very dry so I had to use more than half of the mixture. The final chocolate layer subsequently turned out a bit dry. In future I would use less cocoa powder or put in some melted choc instead.

crazycakeking's picture

after deciding this cake was just too high in calories i split it in two caramel-chocolate& vanilla and chocolate with caramel has anyone else tried this and has it worked? under great anticipation for tomorrow it looks so tasty but im bringing it to work tomorrow! must resist temptation!

lawnor's picture

The 2 chocolate layers didn't cook evenly, even though they looked like they had and so they fell apart while I was assembling the cake. I've tried to use the icing to glue it all together but a good chunk of the cake isnt holding on. However, I have tasted it and it is delicious. My advice would be to give the chocolatey layers longer in the oven, and check them thoroughly before allowing them to cool. And don't eat too much at once. It is a very rich cake.

ruth_august's picture

made this for my dad's birthday, people were talking about it a lot longer than the cake lasted! It was amazing!

emsmith's picture

Spectacular! And despite looking as though it's been slaved over for hours on end it was really quite straightforward to make and assemble. The cake batter was rather thick and I was worried that this might result in quite a heavy sponge but all four layers cooked beautifully and evenly. Will definitely be making this one again. So easy and yet so impressive!

quinnga's picture

Cake is a lot easier to make than you would think to look at it! I made the cakes and the icing the day before and assembled it on the day. It is quite a moist cake so was fine. Everybody was really impressed - especially my daughter whose birthday it was for! Definately a cake with the wow factor! It is rich and I think if you cut it into 12 slices one slice would be too much - in fact I got 21 slices out of it - none on the small side - which makes the calories etc much better. We finished the last couple of slices on the day after the party - I warmed them through and although the icing melts it was lovely with some ice cream - like a chocolate fudge cake. Would recommend for a special occasion. NB I would use less cocoa in the chocolate layer next time as the mixture was very stiff and I think you would get just as strong a colour with 3 tablespoons.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

Wow, wow and wow again! This was not difficult to make and the end result was fabulous. Gloriously tall and made a fabulous cake for a teenage birthday party.

mrstopley's picture

Made this as a special request from my husband for his birthday. Turned out fab! Saying that, next time I would only make it with two layers, the two caramel and use half the choc frosting.

mother_ship's picture

Made this for my son's birthday and it was very straightforward, looked impressive and tasted wonderful!

clareclare18's picture

I made this for Easter but only made 3 tiers, leaving out the chocolate sponge as I thought 4 layers was a bit excessive. I also adjusted the amount of icing I made, only using half the cream, to try to cut down on the 67g of fat per serving, (that's your whole fat allowance for the whole day!) and it still looked impressive and tasted good.

antistarlet's picture

Made this for my sister's birthday - everyone loved it. Relatively easy to make too but seems a lot more fancy! Does take a while to do (only had 2x 20cm sandwich tins) but would definitely make again for someone special enough!

sarahll21's picture

Made this yesterday and it is a very easy to make and looks really impressive. I personally find it too sickly, and I struggled to put the chocolate on without the layers sliding all over the place.
Husband loves it though, even though it is slight wonky.

Linnyma's picture

Just eaten this with the family for a dessert on Easter Sunday it was absolutely delicious and everyone enjoyed it; it will serve 12 easily, more like 14. I made the cakes and froze them earleir so that i could assemble and decorate the cake on the day. The cakes were very moist and a good taste. Will definately make this again.

vrog's picture

Easy to make, and a real wow factor when cut. I found it made more than 10 slices as each one was very rich.
Not sure why instructions said to put half in another bowl, then add cocoa to second bowl each time. I put half in sponge tin then added cocoa to the remaining half in the original bowl!

lizfisher56's picture

Firstly, I had difficulty with chocolate layer as it took longer to cook and then caught a little by the time the middle was cooked - I am prepared to admit that either me or my oven was at fault! I was not too keen on the chocolate icing as I found it a little bitter. Having said all that, my friends loved it and loved the icing, so it seems that it comes down to personal taste. One friend even took some home for her husband and son! I really enjoyed making this cake and will definitely make it again for a gathering.

alexairey's picture

Layer 3 split in two
Still, the icing has held it together reasonably well. Can't wait for my husband to come home, so we can eat it!


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