Chocolate Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting and Whiskey Caramel Sauce

September 12, 2014

Every year for my birthday, Josh makes me a boxed cake mix.  Cherry chip cake (with his “secret” applesauce substitution for an extra moist cake) with chocolate frosting.   This is my once-a-year from-a-box cake treat, and honestly there’s something I love about boxed cherry chip cake.  It’s soft and fluffy and reminds me of high school.  Why high school? … No idea.

Chocolate Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting and Whiskey Caramel Sauce

Every year for Josh’s birthday, I have him request whatever kind of cake he wants. One year, it was chocolate malt cake. Another year, it was a simple chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.  It always results in a lot of procrastination from him, a mild amount of kicking and screaming, and a delicious end result. For some reason, he just doesn’t want to decide on cake! This year’s came about from him rambling off everything he loves: chocolate cake, cookie butter, and caramel.

Chocolate Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting and Whiskey Caramel Sauce

This cake had a lot of firsts for me, which was exciting.  First wholly successful frosting recipe. First recipe creation with cookie butter. First time making caramel.  All huge successes, if you ask me.  I had originally intended on going full indulgent with this cake until I realized I didn’t have enough oil or ANY all purpose flour.  What kind of home doesn’t have all purpose flour? This one and I’m A-Okay with that.  Pro Tip: put a little extra salt in the whiskey caramel and your life will be changed forever. Eat any amount of cookie butter frosting and you’ll die of happiness.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Chocolate Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting and Whiskey Caramel Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 12

  • Chocolate Cake
  • 2 c white whole wheat flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • ¾ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • ¼ c vegetable oil
  • ¼ c unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso powder dissolved in 1 cup boiling water (or 1 c HOT strong coffee)
  • Cookie Butter Frosting
  • ½ c butter, softened
  • 1 c cookie butter (smooth)
  • 2 – 4 tbsp. of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • Whiskey Caramel Sauce
  • 1 c sugar
  • ⅓ c whiskey (Use a kind you like! If you use the cheap stuff, it will taste like the cheap stuff)
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • hefty pinch of salt
  • 2 + tbsp. milk (I used cow’s milk)

  1. For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans by spritzing with nonstick spray.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk/stir to combine.
  3. Add milk, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture. Mix on medium until well combined. Reduce speed and add prepared espresso (or strong coffee) carefully. Beat on high speed for 1 minute.
  4. Distribute evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove and cool completely. Remove from the pan.
  6. To prepare frosting: Combine softened butter and cookie butter in a in a bowl and beat with a mixture. Gradually add the sugar, adding splashes of milk as necessary until the sugar is mixed in. The frosting should be thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 more minute, until nice and fluffy.
  7. To prepare the caramel: Add the sugar to a heavy saucepan over medium heat and leave undisturbed until it begins to melt.
  8. Stir occasionally with a fork, until melted into a golden caramel.
  9. Remove from heat and add the scotch, butter, and salt. The caramel will harden and steam. Return to heat, stirring often, until re-melted. This will take 10-ish minutes.
  10. Add 2 tbsp. of milk and stir in, to prevent the sauce from seizing up when cooled. Allow to cool before using.
  11. To assemble cake: Place one layer of cooled cake on your serving dish. Spread frosting on top and place second layer of cake on it. Cover the rest of the cake in frosting. Drizzle room temperature caramel all over the top. Serve.
  12. Store uneaten cake covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

Cook time assumes you make the caramel while the cake is baking. Does not include time to cool. I made all of my components a day in advance and assembled before serving.
Nutritional estimate not included, because I really didn’t want to know 😀
The recipe was inspired by this cake, this frosting, and this caramel sauce, all slightly adapted.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/12 of cake


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    Erin @ The Speckled Palate Sep 18, 2014

    Oh my goodness, Kelly. THIS CAKE. I kind of want it for MY birthday now… and I’m drooling. So good job!

    Heather Sep 18, 2014

    Looks fantastic! I had never thought of cookie butter frosting, but I bet it is amazing! Especially with caramel on the top 🙂

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    Isadora @ she likes food Sep 16, 2014

    Kelly!!!! It isn’t even my birthday, but I want to eat the entire thing! I’ve never had this cookie butter stuff before, but I think I’m gonna take a midnight run to Trader Joe’s to pick some up! I think you really hit it out of the park with this cake! Box cake always makes me think of high school too, I think it is all the cupcakes I made for bakes sales back in the day!

    Reeni Sep 16, 2014

    This is a beauty! The flavors sound outrageously good! Like I want to hide in a closet with the entire thing and eat until I can’t move good!

    Joanna @Makingmine Sep 16, 2014

    This cake looks like everything delicious combined into one! You are a baking master! 🙂

    Julia Sep 16, 2014

    Shoot. Me. Dead. !!! #whiskeycaramelfordays

    Rachel Cooks Sep 15, 2014

    SO many good things going on here!

    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) Sep 15, 2014

    SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!! omigosh….the chocolate cake….+ cookie butter (!!!!) frosting….and whiskey caramel sauce…!???!!

    completely drooling myself to death over here!

      Kelly Sep 15, 2014

      Cookie butter frosting is definitely a game changer! And everything needs caramel sauce, that’s pretty much a given 😉

    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl Sep 14, 2014

    Oh stop it! And by stop it I mean keep going and give me a big piece of this! My mouth is watering. MY OH MY!

    marcie Sep 12, 2014

    Holy moly — this cake looks incredible! I love the sound of the cookie butter frosting and that caramel whisky sauce. Amazing cake, Kelly!

    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl Sep 12, 2014

    Every single thing about this looks and sounds SO delicious! I think you need to make my next birthday cake.. just saying 😉

    cheri Sep 12, 2014

    Great cake Kelly, Happy Birthday to your husband!