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RECIPE – Riptide Cake


This cake came about because my 13-year old daughter wanted something special for her birthday. When I asked what type of cake she wanted, she said, “Anything with lots of chocolate and lots of stuff all over it.” Voila. The Riptide Cake was born!


Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 large eggs at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 c. hot coffee


Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped

  • 6 cups powdered sugar 

  • ½ pound unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature

  • Approx. 6 Tablespoons milk

  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


The Goodies to Decorate It:

  • ¾ cup caramel sauce or dulce de leche

  • 1-1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

  • One 12 ounce good-quality chocolate bar, chopped. You can also use a vegetable peeler to make it into curls.

  • 2 cups miniature (or chopped) marshmallows




To Make the Chocolate Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 9″ round cake pans. Cover each bottom with a disk of parchment paper. Set aside.

Add all dry ingredients to a large mixer bowl and mix/stir.

In a small bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.

Gradually add wet ingredients to dry until thoroughly mixed.

Add hot coffee slowly and mix until just combined.

Divide batter into thirds and pour into prepared pans.

Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a wooden toothpick to be sure that the center is baked. Let cakes rest in the pans for ten minutes, then turn out onto wire racks so they can cool completely.


To Make the Chocolate Frosting:

Place the chopped unsweetened chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir, then heat for another 30 seconds and stir enough times that chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

Place the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are moistened, then raise the speed to medium for 1-2 minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Return the mixer speed back to low and add the melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly.


To Put it All Together:

Make sure cake layers are cooled to room temperature. Spread a thick layer of chocolate frosting on the top of the first cake. Drizzle with some caramel sauce and sprinkle about a quarter of the chopped chopped nuts on top. Stack the second cake on top and spread frosting on top, drizzle a bit more sauce and add nuts. Place third layer on top and frost tops and sides of cake.

Decorate tops and sides with marshmallows, nuts, chocolate bits, and remaining nuts and caramel sauce.

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