Turn up the YUM on chocolate cake by adding crunch and an irresistible Caramel Frosting! A layer of chocolate crunch is hidden inside the cake for an extra bit of yummy surprise.
This Chocolate Crunch Layer Cake could not have been more delicious (evidence: my inability to stop stealing bites out of the fridge), but I also love that it didn’t take me hours upon hours to make. The cakes were baked in under 30 minutes, I let them cool, then I wrapped ’em up and tossed them into the freezer till the following day. The rest was easy-peasy because I love assembling and decorating cakes. It’s like creating art. Delicious art.
There are two “stars” in this show and I can’t decide which takes the cake (ha!). Star #1: the chocolate crunch that decorates the outside of the cake and that is hidden inside. I LOVE this crunch and want to add it to every cake I make from now on. Star #2: the Caramel Buttercream Frosting! Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is incredible. Now, I am a huge lover of frosting and I don’t know that I’ve ever made one so delicious in my life. It may even win over my Lemon Buttercream Frosting and my Peppermint Buttercream Frosting, which is a HUGE endorsement.
This Chocolate Crunch Layer Cake was a massive hit at Elijah’s birthday party with both the kids and the adults. If you’re looking to impress with minimal effort, this is the cake for you. For a fruitier, lighter option, check out my Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake!
It’s lunch time, so I’m off TO THE FRIDGE. I think there’s one piece left.
Have a great rest of your week, friends!
Chocolate Crunch Layer Cake
- 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick) softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa or regular cocoa
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 tbsp coffee granules
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 1 batch Caramel Frosting
Make The Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously spray two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans (or you can do this with one cake pan, baking one at a time) with cooking spray. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until creamy and free of lumps. Add the milk and Nutella and mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Gradually add to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined. In a small bowl, stir the coffee granules into the boiling water until dissolved. Add to the mixing bowl and mix until creamy (batter will be thin). Mix on medium speed for 2 full minutes.
- Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Using a serrated bread knife, cut the rounded tops off each cooled cake.
MAKE THE CRUNCH (DO THIS WHILE CAKES ARE BAKING)
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside. Pour the chocolate chips into a medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until creamy and free of lumps. Add the cereal and gently stir until thoroughly coated. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread out into a thin layer using a rubber spatula. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and break into small- to medium-sized chunks.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
- Place one cooled cake in the center of a cake or serving plate. Spread the frosting evenly and generously over the top in an even layer. Top with a layer of the chocolate crunch chunks. Top with the remaining cake and a layer of frosting.
- Using an offset or icing spatula, apply the remaining frosting to the sides of the cake and decorate as desired. Press the remaining chocolate crunch pieces into the sides and top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.