“Reduced Calorie” Sweet and Salty Cake

Glossy Sweet and Salty Cake

For a loved one’s 40th, I took Baked’s Sweet and Salty Cake recipe that I made for my husband G. Grod’s bday, reduced it by 2/3 to make a double layer cake, and didn’t whip the ganache. This eliminated one extra batch of salted caramel and a POUND of butter. So while its calories are reduced from the original, G. Grod noted it only meant he could finish a whole piece, not that it wasn’t still decadent.

Glossy Sweet and Salty Cake

Makes one 8-inch 2-layer cake.

1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup sour cream
1 3/4 cups cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon pure vanilla
Salted Caramel Sauce, divided (see below)
Dark Chocolate Caramel Ganache Icing (see below)
Fleur de sel, for garnish

For the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 3/4 cups hot water, and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

3. In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

5. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.

Caramel (for Salted Caramel Sauce and Dark Chocolate Caramel Ganache Icing)

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream, divided

For Salted Caramel Sauce:

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/8 cup sour cream

For Dark Chocolate Ganache Icing

10 ounces dark chocolate (60% to 70%), chopped


1. Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in another small saucepan bring cream to a boil, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add 1/2 cup warm cream; stir to combine. Divide caramel into 2 batches.

4. For the Salted Caramel Sauce, whisk in fleur de sel and sour cream. Set aside.

5. For the Dark Chocolate Caramel Ganache Icing, place chocolate in bowl, whisk other 1/2 cup warm cream into 2nd batch of caramel, let cool 5 minutes. Pour caramel sauce over chocolate. Wait one minute. Stir to combine until chocolate is melted.

(Yes, dividing a batch of caramel is kind of a pain. But not as much as making an entire second batch, as in the original recipe.)

To assemble the cake:

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Spread Salted Caramel Sauce on the cake, allowing some to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top, bottom side up. Pour remaining ganache icing over entire cake. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Salted Caramel ooze

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