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Chocolate Caramel Cake with Butterscotch Frosting

Chocolate cake from a boxed mix gets a special treatment when spread with an easy butterscotch frosting and draped with a caramel-nut topping. “I love to make this cake for guests or to take to potlucks,” writes Gloria Guadron of Washington, Indiana. “It’s easy yet looks like it took all day.”
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + cooling Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    10-12 servings


  • 1 package German chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold 2% milk
  • 2-1/2 cups whipped topping


  • Prepare and bake cake according to package directions for two 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium. Do not stir. Cook for 3-6 minutes or until bubbles form in center of mixture and color is amber brown. Remove from the heat; stir in pecans. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving platter; spread with 3/4 cup pudding mixture. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining pudding mixture over top and sides of cake.
  • If necessary, reheat pecan mixture over low heat to achieve a spreading consistency. Spoon pecan mixture around edge of cake. Store in the refrigerator.

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  • justmbeth
    Jun 10, 2017

    My husband made this for me on my last birthday and it was wonderful! Not as pretty as the picture but that was ok. As suggested we let the toppling cool before drizzling.

  • antonich129
    Aug 2, 2014

    We LOVED this cake! I added toffee bits to the cake before i baked it. I also used about 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream whipped (no added sugar) to mix with the milk/pudding mixture instead of cool whip- since i had it anyway for the rest of the recipe. I left out the pecans too because we have a nut allergy in the family-the caramel was still great. My 6 year old kept raving about how good the caramel part was. I printed it to make again and again. So easy, and so good.

  • Becasanova
    Jan 13, 2013

    No comment left

  • bakergirlmd
    Dec 7, 2012

    An excellent recipe using a box cake mix! The only tweak was to make whipped cream using heavy cream (about 2 to 2 1/2 cups) and then adding the butterscotch pudding mix in place of the milk and whipped topping. Once you ice the cake with this mixture, place in the fridge for a little while to firm up. DO NOT put the warmed pecan mixture directly on top of the cake, or you will have volcano running down the side. Let cool to room temperature before placing on the iced cake. You will achieve the result like the picture!

  • dzm388
    Oct 13, 2012

    No comment left

  • blueskyestarr
    Apr 27, 2012

    Delicious! I made this for my husband's birthday and it was a huge hit. I substituted butter pecan cake mix for the chocolate since he's not too into chocolate. The frosting is light and not too sweet. It led me to experiment with other pudding flavors- I made my mom a vanilla cake with lemon frosting (using lemon instant pudding mix and whipped topping) it was also a big success!

  • coopandchansmom
    Mar 20, 2012

    was a little concerned with putting the warm caramel on the pudding icing...was a little melty..any suggestions???

  • lurky27
    Sep 15, 2010

    Delicious. Must keep refrigerated or it will melt.

  • thekingsfive
    Jul 18, 2010

    This cake was very good. I loved how the frosting was so light and airy. The cake was very moist and delicious, and the caramel added an extra crunch and sweetness.

  • perrygirl1
    Nov 22, 2009

    This recipe is what brought me to Taste of Home on-line. My husband raves about this cake!