Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Cake


A sinful and decadent Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Cake covered in chocolate caramel ganache will make your chocolate-loving sweet tooth sing.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Cake

I think there’s an unwritten rule somewhere that if you are a baker, you bake your own birthday cake. Not that nobody else does; Mom usually makes me one and my coworkers as well, but I always manage to be a tad bit ambitious with mine. It’s my special day and deserves an over-the-top cake that I probably won’t make until another special occasion pops ups. Yes, today is my birthday (go Team May Babies!) and knew I was going to really bring it with a few of my favorite things – cake, cheesecake, chocolate, and caramel (and a last minute addition of mini marshmallows). That’s why I baked up a Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Cake – two layers of decadence covered in indulgence. Or if you really want me to spell it out – a chocolate caramel cheesecake topped with a chocolate cake stuffed full of mini marshmallows then covered in chocolate caramel ganache.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Cake

So there’s a funny story behind this cake. Before wanting to make it, I had one 9-inch cheesecake pan and two 8-inch round cake pans. Knowing they needed to be the same size, I purposely bought a 9-inch round cake pan. Or so I thought. Turns out the “9 inch” pan measured 8 inches on the bottom, thus making an 8-inch round cake (despite what the label said). An 8-inch cake on top of a 9-inch cheesecake? Um yea let’s just say I’m glad this tasted better than it looked. The now-8 inch pan was pretty full, so the recipe will still be fine in a true 9-inch pan (please measure all pans). Just a bit thinner as you can imagine.

The idea for a chocolate caramel cheesecake cake (saying cheesecake cake sounds so much fun, doesn’t it?) came from the book Desserts to Die for (Amazon affiliate link). Except the original recipe was really complicated with all of these layers and took about three days to make and assemble. I cut out some of the extra components and used my favorite cheesecake and cake recipes instead. You do need to make the cheesecake layer overnight, so you will need about two days (or one really long day) to make from start to finish. It’s not a complicated recipe; just need more time than usual to complete it.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Cake

The chocolate caramel ganache was probably my favorite part. I’ve made peanut butter ganache and Irish cream ganache but never caramel. Quick food lesson – ganache is chocolate and heavy cream melted together that hardens as it cools. It still has a soft bite to it, not crunchy like “magic shell” and is often used as a lazy way to frost desserts. Ahem.

Yields 9-

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Cake

This cake does take time to prepare, so plan to spend two days on it - one day for the cheesecake layer then another for the cake and assembly.

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Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake:
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
1/2 cup caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
4 ounces melted semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
Chocolate Cake
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot coffee*
Chocolate Caramel Ganache
12 ounces (2 1/2 cups) chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup caramel (homemade or store bought)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows


    For the cheesecake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla, caramel sauce, and melted chocolate.
  3. Pour batter into the pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set on the edges and top but still slightly wiggles in the middle. Cool in the pan for 1 hour then cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. It's ok if the middle sinks a little lower than the edges - this will actually help hold the filling when assembling.
  4. For the cake:
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom only with parchment paper (cut to fit).
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes or until everything is incorporated and smooth. Gradually beat in the hot coffee (the batter will be thin).
  7. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (it's ok if the middle looks a little wrinkly). Cool 15 minutes in the pan then invert onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. If the top domed during baking, trim it so the top is completely flat.
  8. For the ganache and assembly:
  9. In a large bowl, add the chopped chocolate and caramel sauce.
  10. In a large saucepan, heat the cream until hot (but not boiling). Pour it over the chocolate. Wait 5 minutes then whisk everything together until completely smooth.
  11. On a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add the cheesecake layer (or directly on a plate or cake stand but it's going to get messy). Spread 1 cup ganache on top for the filling then top with the mini marshmallows. Top with the cake and press down to "glue" together. Pour the remaining ganache all over, covering the whole cake**. Let the chocolate harden before moving and serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.


Coffee is used because it enhances the chocolate flavor; you cannot taste coffee in the cake. However, you can substitute hot water if needed.

*If you don't work fast enough and the ganache thickens too much, just reheat until warm again. Alternatively you can keep the bowl on a heating pad while assembling.

Source: Inspired by Desserts to Die for (Amazon affiliate link)
Want more? Here are other birthday cakes to celebrate your special day:

Devil’s Food Layer Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Cookie Dough Frosting

Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake

Mini Layered Guinness Cake with Irish Cream Ganache Frosting

Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake (mini size)

Award-Winning Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

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  1. How gorgeous is this cake! Sounds just irresistible..

  2. Happy birthday Carla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This cake looks amazeballs. Mislabeled pans turn me into a giant squid of anger, but it looks like you totally pulled it off!

  3. Yesssss! Why isn’t it my birthday? Because this is the cake I want this year for mine. You need to come here in December and make it for me. Also happy birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday Carla and you sure did bake a fabulous cake for yourself. Decadent with luscious layers.

  5. Cheryl Illinois says:

    My MAY baby Daughter always wants fruit pie for her birthday and my May baby Granddaughter (a new teen-ager this year) always wants some weird thing like Little Debbie Swiss Rolls or something with ice cream and caramel sauce.

    • For my actual birthday (I made this cake before my birthday so I could post it today), I made a s’mores pie. We even stuck a birthday candle in it. I love the way your granddaughter thinks with the ice cream and caramel sauce ;)

  6. I need a fork and a tall glass of milk. That looks ah-mazing!!!

  7. Oh, my. That thing is tall, dark, and way too tempting! Perfect for a celebration. Happy birthday!

  8. By “lazy way to frost dessert” you really mean, “brilliant and delicious way to frost dessert” right? Haaaaaaaaappy birthday, dear friend! This cake is perfect for a celebration of this caliber. It looks perfect ‘n mindblowingly delicious. I hope you enjoyed every bite (no sharing) and are having a day that’s as fabulous as you are.

  9. this looks so decadent!

  10. Gosh I almost didn’t read this entry, but when I read what the title of the recipe was—-I was compelled by a force stronger than me being tired. So Happy Birthday, Little Girl. This definitely qualifies as OVER THE TOP, as well it should be for your birthday. It is a special day. Its the day you and everyone in your sphere of influence are celebrating that you exist. Wow! I pinned this wonderful creation.

  11. Happy birthday! You’re lucky–every time I’ve tried making my own birthday cake, it’s been a disaster. This one looks SO rich and decadent and delicious!

  12. Yup, I think I’ll be making my own birthday cakes forever…maybe it comes with being a woman who still wants birthday cake no matter her age :) This is stunning, perfect combo for indulging!

  13. Can I come live with you?

  14. Never mind the pan size problem, that is one beautiful cake, Carla! Hope your birthday was as fabulous as you are!

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