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Triple Chocolate Espresso Cake with Chocolate Salted Caramel Frosting

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triple choc espresso cake


Behold, “The Ugly Cake”!!!!! 😀 😀

Omg….I don’t know what happened. I can’t decorate a cake to save my life.

I started off ok, well, “good enough for government work”, as my hubby always says! Then everything slid down a mudslide.

I got the dang thing coated so-so, then did the top ok. (I actually thought that part came out kinda cool).


I tried to do the same kind of treatment to the side of the cake, after excess chocolate sauce dripped down, so I added more to drip down to cover my mistakes, and it didn’t work very well. Not at all, actually.

By this time, the frosting was getting a little soft, but I thought that it would still be ok.


I should’ve popped it back into the fridge. But I was going to finish this sucker no matter what. It had become a battle and a quest!!!

I started around the top edge, and totally messed that up. So, in my infinite wisdom, I thought that I could just go around a second time. Yea. Uhm….now I messed up the top rim TWICE as bad. A double-ruffle-disaster! Ha! 😀

By that time, the frosting was melting badly. So, I just squirted the rest all around the bottom, popped on the lid, shoved it into the fridge, and called it….”I need a drink” time. 😉


triple choc espress cake


I really do try to make cakes look pretty, I honestly do. The top wasn’t too bad, actually.


trip choc espresso cake


But what I really, really need to do, is just spend some time with some basic frosting, some parchment paper, a couple of beers, and just play. See what all the tips do, and practice, practice, (have a few cold ones), and practice again. Cuz this just ain’t workin’! 😀 😉


Triple Chocolate Espresso Cake with Chocolate Salted Caramel Frosting!


Now, the cake on the other hand. That. Was a different story.

It was freaking awesome!!! And I started with a basic cake mix! You’d NEVER know it, though!!!!

It’s amazing what a few pantry items like espresso, pudding mix and cinnamon can do for one of those boxes!!

Not to mention, substituting their added ingredients such as whole milk for their water, melted real butter instead of vegetable oil, and adding in a little vanilla, chocolate sauce, and a tiny pinch of salt to bring out all of the flavors!


triple chocolate espresso cake


And the flavor explosion didn’t stop there! I’ve NEVER cared for canned frostings. Most of the time, I think they’re pretty gross, and quite a rip-off. Lazy on the flavor, cheaply whipped with air, and full of stuff that we don’t even want to think about.

But there’s one exception.

That new Salted Caramel frosting that they have out. That stuff has shockingly good flavor. My hubby brought home a can of it many months ago, and we’ve been hooked on it ever since!

It went amazingly well with the chocolate cake, and healed my pride a little. This truly was the UGLIEST cake to date, but it sure did taste DELICIOUS!!!!

All was not lost. We didn’t care what it looked like.
We were too busy inhaling every moist, rich and delicious, bite. 😉

Hope you enjoy, too!! 😀



Triple Chocolate Espresso Cake with Chocolate Salted Caramel Frosting
Yield: 1 - 8" layer cake

Triple Chocolate Espresso Cake with Chocolate Salted Caramel Frosting


  • 1 (15.25 oz.) box Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake mix such as Duncan Hines
  • 1 (3.56 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp. regular table salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, ok to sub 2%
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1 Tbl. Ghirardelli Premium Chocolate Sauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 Tbl. melted cooled butter (can still be a little warm)
  • *Frosting Used: 2 cans Duncan Hines Creamy Salted Caramel Frosting and Ghirardelli Chocolate sauce squeezed on top in a back and forth motion then a knife run through


  • Prepare baking pans by lightly greasing with Butter Flavor Crisco and then lightly flour. Set aside.
  • Into large mixing bowl, add first 5 (dry) ingredients. Blend until just mixed.
  • Mix in rest of ingredients on low, except melted butter, for 15 seconds, just to get started.
  • Mix in butter, mixing for another 15 seconds.
  • Beat at medium speed for 1 minute 30 seconds. Stop, scrape sides and bottom of bowl well with a spatula. Scrape paddle, then continue beating for another 30 seconds on medium.
  • Clean batter off paddle into bowl, scrape bowl one last time with spatula, folding, to make sure all ingredients got incorporated.
  • Spoon and level into prepared pans using an offset knife.
  • For dark coated 8" layer pans, bake for approx. 33 - 39 minutes, or until center springs back and toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. *My ovens run slow, so mine take the full time that I've given. If yours runs hot, you may want to start checking after about 27-28 minutes. All ovens are different, and only you know your own oven better than anyone else. (*Follow directions on back of box for other baking times using other pans, and for cupcakes).
  • When cakes are done, remove to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Loosen sides, and invert back onto racks to cool completely.
  • When completely cool, place one cake onto plate, frost top, place second cake on top. Frost top and sides of cake. Decorate with extra frosting as you like.
  • Notes

    *Do not add the water and oil that it says to on the box. Use whole or 2% milk, and real melted butter instead.


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    Dishin with Didi

    Tuesday 19th of April 2016

    Ugly? Did you say ugly? Girl! You do nothing short of marvelous ever!! ♥ This one again is a masterpiece!! I could taste the richness of the cake!


    Tuesday 19th of April 2016

    Awwww, Didi!!! You're too kind sweet friend! :) Hugs!!


    Monday 18th of April 2016

    It's BEAUTIFUL! Definitely saving to my Special Occasion recipe box!


    Monday 18th of April 2016

    Welp. All I can say tasted good!!!! ;) I had one heck of a time with it that day! It was either laugh or cry! I chose to just laugh!!!! :D ;)

    Mary Pat Frick, aka twissis

    Monday 18th of April 2016

    So let me be sure I understand you correctly ... You're honestly trying to tell us that's your idea of an ugly cake? I have only once decorated something to my satisfaction & I had a "secret weapon" no one ever guessed. You need to get a grip, Kelly. I still marvel at your photos after all these yrs. :-)


    Monday 18th of April 2016

    :D Hahahahaha!! (It looked MUCH, much worse in person!) Trust me, even my hubby laughed this time! But it was all in fun! I laughed so hard my side ached!! :D :D So nice to hear from you, Mary Pat!! And thank you!!! :D Do you still take photos, too? :D I hope so!!! :)

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