With a tight but tender crumb and incredibly moist texture, this caramel mud cake is crave worthy stuff.

From the moment I created my chocolate mud cake, I knew I had to make a caramel version. Topped with a caramel icing and shavings of caramelised white chocolate, I love this even more than it’s chocolate sibling.

A caramel coloured cake topped with white chocolate on a white plate

This cake is so soft yet so rich and perfect for everything from a single layer afternoon tea cake to a decadent layered birthday cake.

What you’ll need

You’ll find all the usual baking suspects here – butter, eggs, flour, baking powder – you know the drill, but there are a few particular ingredients I want to point out.

Ingredients for caramel mud cake on a marble surface
  • Dark brown sugar: This is where the bulk of the caramel flavour comes from.
  • Golden syrup: This also adds a caramel edge and a little moisture but you can swap it for maple syrup or rice malt syrup too.
  • Milk: This recipe works best with whole (full cream) milk but will work with other types too.
  • Salt: The salt in the cake is just enough to balance it out, so don’t skip it. In the icing though, it gives a distinct salted caramel flavour so skip it there if you prefer.
  • White chocolate: In two forms – regular white chocolate is baked into the cake and the shavings on top are caramelised white chocolate. You can use the latter inside the cake too if you prefer.

How to make it – step by step

Who doesn’t love a cake that comes together in a matter of minutes with a minimum of mess – that’s this caramel mud cake.

Handy equipment to have;

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A glass bowl with cake batter, then being poured into a baking tin
Making the batter for the caramel mud cake

Making and stirring caramel icing in an enamel cast iron pan
Making the caramel icing
  1. Bowl 1: Whisk together all the dry ingredients until there are no lumps.
  2. Bowl 2: melt together white chocolate and butter, then add all the remaining wet ingredients.
  3. Combine: Add the wet ingredients to the dry (photo 2) and give them a mix.
  4. Bake: Pour it into a round cake tin (photo 3) and bake for around 60-70 minutes.
  5. Ice: Make the caramel icing (photos 4-7) and  spread it over the top.

Tips and tricks

  • Don’t be tempted to speed up melting the chocolate. It takes less than 2 minutes, but you must zap it in the microwave in 30 second bursts then stir it really well between each.
  • This cake can be made into two 8 inch layer cakes but check them around the 30 minute mark.
  • Due to it’s dense texture and tight crumb, this recipe works great for layered cakes.
  • Use this recipe if you want to make your own caramelised white chocolate.
  • To make the caramelised white chocolate curls or shavings that top this cake, take a speed peeler and peel along the edge of a bar of room temperature chocolate.
  • This cake is at it’s best 2-3 days after baking. It gets more moist and fudgy as time goes on and the flavour develops as well.

Storing this cake

Although this cake is delicious on day one, it improves with age so you can, and even should, make it 2-3 days ahead of time. Make ahead dessert anyone? Yes, please!

Mud cake keeps well. Store the cake in an airtight container in a cool spot for up to 7 days (sometimes more).

You can also freeze caramel mud cake, wrapped in at least 3 layers of plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Due to it’s dense texture, it can take a full day to thaw, so make sure to take out of the freezer the day before you want to serve it.

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A caramel coloured cake topped with white chocolate on a white plate

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Caramel Mud Cake

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This indulgent Caramel Mud Cake is a caramel lovers dream. This buttery, moist and tender caramel cake recipe is so easy to make and gets better with age.

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 226 g unsalted butter (2 sticks / 1 cup)
  • 180 g white chocolate, roughly chopped (1 cup / 6.4oz)
  • 175 g plain (all-purp) flour (1 ⅔ cups / 6.2oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g dark brown sugar (1 cup / 7oz)
  • ¼ cup golden syrup (notes)
  • cup milk (160ml)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

FOR THE CARAMEL ICING

  • 57 g unsalted butter, chopped
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • cup icing sugar (80g / 2.8oz)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 50 g white chocolate for topping (optional)

Instructions
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease and line an 8 inch spring form tin with baking paper. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  • MELT: Place the butter and white chocolate into a medium bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring really well between each (notes). Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and whisk really well until there are no lumps left.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: Add the golden syrup, along with the milk, eggs and vanilla to the melted chocolate mixture. Whisk until combined and there are no clumps of egg white left.
  • MIX THE BATTER: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry then use a silicon spatula to mix them together until all fully incorporated (don't overmix).
  • BAKE: Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, turning the tin at the halfway point, until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a crumb or two attached. (notes)
  • Let it cool 10-15 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

FOR THE ICING

  • Add the butter, sugar and milk to a small saucepan, stirring over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
  • Once the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute.
  • Add the icing sugar and salt and whisk in until fully incorporated.
  • Let the icing cool for 5-10 minutes before pouring it over the cooled cake.
  • Allow the icing to set for another 5-10 minutes, then use a speed peeler to grate chocolate curls over the top of the cake.

Notes

  1. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients where a weight is the first measurement givenKitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  2. All ovens are different, one will bake slower or quicker than the next, so start checking for doneness with 10-15 minutes left.
  3. Don’t be tempted to speed up the melting of the chocolate and butter as you may end up burning the chocolate or coffee which will make it bitter. 30 second bursts and stir really well between each. It should take no longer than 2 minutes.
  4. If you can’t get golden syrup, you can also use rice malt syrup or maple syrup.
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