Homemade salted caramel sauce and Nutella buttercream frosting are sandwiched between four layers of moist dark chocolate cake. A thick coat of Nutella buttercream and a smattering of Ferrero Rocher candies complete the birthday cake of a Nutella lover’s dreams!
While today is my 23rd birthday, there are more important matters at hand. My work wife, Amanda, just turned 24!
Work Wife (n): That coworker who you can always turn to, in situations both professional and personal, who you know will listen to you and make things better by any means possible. THEY HAVE YO BACK.
Amanda has been my saving grace in all aspects of life since we first bonded at work training in July 2015. It was a Monday night, we had class the next morning, and no one was going out – except for myself, Amanda, and our friend Chris. The three of us piled into an Uber to the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, and drunkenly chatted our way to Big Sky… to find that there was almost no one else from our company there.
No matter! Amanda and I can always have fun together. And have fun we did, downing shots, stealing beers, and attempting to pick up a cute guy but accidentally becoming trapped in a deep conversation with his gay friend. Happens.
In the Uber ride home, she provided sage advice as I waffled between two guys I was dating at the time.
J: Well, one of them wants to make things serious, and I really don’t want to lead anyone on, and they’re both really cute and nice…
A: Which one makes the most money, thot? Men are just wallets.
From that point on, we were inseparable. Me and the guy, on the other hand… well, that’s a story for another time.
My friendship with Amanda only deepened once training came to a close. The following Friday we were driving to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory (NOMZ) when a man in a shiny new car cut off my trusty Elantra. Amanda and I immediately whipped around to face each other.
“He’s not even cute!” we shouted in unison. Realizing our telepathic connection, we both burst out laughing. A work wife relationship was born.
Amanda means the world to me. She’s my trusted ‘Thot Thursday’ buddy, someone I can always count on when I need a taco buddy, my partner in crime at our company’s (wild) holiday parties, and the person that I match outfits with on a regular basis to freak out people around us. Works every time.
As such, I needed to make sure that Amanda got everything she could ever dream of for her 24th birthday!
Her dreams became clear on a super weird Restaurant Week double date (to which Amanda brought her boyfriend and I brought a random Tinder match).
A – Jesse, you better make me a cake for my birthday!
J – Duh. What kind do you want?
A – Can you make Nutella into a cake?
At this point in time I wasn’t entirely sure how this was going to come together, but I knew I was willing to die trying to get her what she wanted. I sped off to Giant the day before her birthday brunch, tossing Nutella and a few other potential ingredients in my bag (reusable bag, of course – I’m a DC girl now, after all), and created the most beautiful, monstrous, delicious cake Amanda had ever laid eyes on.
Even after bottomless boozy brunch at Zengo, everyone was able to make room for a piece and deem it the best cake they had ever tasted.
Nutella Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
To make the cake, you will need:
Chocolate Cake (based on this Black Magic Cake)
– 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
– 3/4 cup cocoa powder
– 2 cups sugar
– 1 t baking powder
– 2 t baking soda
– pinch salt
– 1 cup low fat buttermilk
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
– 1 t vanilla extract
– 1 cup brewed coffee (STRONG)
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
– 1.5-2 cups powdered sugar
– 2/3 cup Nutella
– 1/2 T vanilla extract
– 1-2 T heavy cream
– pinch salt
Salted Caramel Sauce
– 1 cup sugar
– 6 T unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 1 t sea salt
First, preheat your oven to 350F and spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
To the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and coffee. Whisk the batter together until uniform – it will be thin! Pour this into your sprayed baking tins and pop into the oven for 30-35 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Let the cake cool in the pans while you prepare the…
In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream and beat until combined, starting at low speed and working your way up to high to avoid covering your kitchen and yourself in powdered sugar. Finally, beat in the Nutella. Add additional heavy cream and powdered sugar until you reach your desired texture and sweetness.Set frosting aside while you make the…
Salted Caramel Sauce
Making caramel is so much fun, and it’s so much better than store-bought! You’ll follow the same process I used for my Samoa Brownies: start by heating the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until it is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat, and add the butter. It will foam! It’s all good! Stir this in until the butter has fully melted. Put the butter and sugar mixture back on medium heat, and add the heavy cream. Stir until it reaches your desired texture, and then stir in your sea salt. Easy as that! Set this aside to cool, and then get to assembly.
Take your two cake rounds and slice them in half horizontally to create four pieces of cake.
Set one layer on the dish you’ll use to serve the cake, and drizzle about 1/4 of the salted caramel sauce over the top. Spread it around, making sure to cover most of the surface. Top this with a thick layer of Nutella buttercream, and then add the next layer of cake on top of that.
Repeat this process until you add the fourth and final layer of cake, and then coat the entire cake (top and sides) with the remaining Nutella buttercream. Pour the remaining salted caramel sauce over top of this, and then decorate as you wish! I used Ferrero Rocher candies for even more hazelnut-chocolate goodness, but they were a BITCH to cur in half. Pick your poison 🙂
All in all, MAJOR KEY. Amanda loved her cake, we all got hammered off passionfruit mimosas and sake sangria (God bless Zengo brunch), and I drunkenly carried cake remnants with me on the Metro ride home. Good times, good times.