double chocolate salted caramel birthday cake
adapted from Serious Eats
frosting & filling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350f. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt and baking sugar into a large bowl. Briefly whisk to combine.
  2. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, vanilla, sugar and oil. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Spray the inside of two 9-inch cake tins with oil, or grease with butter. Line the bottoms with greased parchment paper.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and whisk to combine until you have a smooth, lump-free mixture. Divide between the two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes.
  5. Run a knife around the edges of the cakes, then tip them out onto a wire cooling rack and remove the parchment paper. Leave to cool completely while you make the frosting.
  6. Start checking for doneness at about 20 minutes – you want the skewer to come out clean. When the cakes are done, leave them to cool for about 10 minutes in their tins.
  1. I like to make the frosting in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but you could also do it in a large bowl using an electric hand whisk. Begin by beating the room temperature butter for a few minutes until its lighter and fluffier. Add the sifted powdered sugar gradually, keeping the machine on a low speed.
  2. Once you have added all the powdered sugar, add the cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt and vanilla. Keep beating and add the heavy cream. Add the cooled chocolate next. If the mixture is a little too thick, add a splash of milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Fill a large piping bag with frosting. Pipe a little smudge of frosting onto your plate or cakestand so the bottom cake sticks to it. Fill with a layer of frosting (about 3/4 cm) and drizzle with salted caramel. Add the top layer of the cake and repeat the frosting. Frost the sides of the cake, using an offset spatula to smooth the surface. Add sprinkles if desired.