Caramel-Pecan Mocha Layer Cake
My version of a prize-winning chocolate cake is irresistible, especially when the rich caramel sauce oozes down the sides. —Judy Castranova, New Bern, North Carolina
Total TimePrep: 45 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- FILLING AND TOPPING:
- 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup hot caramel or butterscotch-caramel ice cream topping, room temperature, divided
- 2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans, divided
- Bittersweet chocolate curls
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper. In a small bowl, dissolve coffee granules in hot water; cool completely.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, then cooled coffee. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
- Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
- In a bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with 1/3 cup caramel topping; sprinkle with 1/3 cup pecans. Spread with half of the whipped cream. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread with the remaining caramel topping and whipped cream. Sprinkle with remaining pecans; top with chocolate curls.