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Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake

Caramel cake layers baked on a shortbread crust, with a triple chocolate pecan filling, drizzled dark, milk and white chocolate, and covered in a caramel buttercream. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Keyword Thanksgiving Cake, Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 18
Author cakebycourtney

Ingredients

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 1/3 cup (66.6 g) granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (169.5 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) Kosher salt

For the Caramel Cake

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp (4.2 g) vanilla
  • 3 cups (360 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5.6 g) salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) whole milk at room temperature
  • 13.4 can (380 g) dulce de leche

For the Triple Chocolate Pecan Filling

  • 3 tablespoons (42.4 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (150 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (150 g) pecans 4 oz, toasted and broken into small pieces
  • 2 oz each of dark semi sweet and white chocolate

For the Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (118.3 g) water
  • 4 teaspoons (75 g) light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup (173.25 g) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon (8.4 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon (11.2 g) kosher salt
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.

Chocolate Drizzle

  • 2 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 oz. milk chocolate
  • 2 oz. white chocolate

Instructions

For the Shortbread Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line each pan with parchment and spray again. Set aside.

  2. Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. Stir in the flour. If the mixture is too crumbly, you can add another tablespoon of butter.
  3. Evenly divide the shortbread cookie crumbs into each cake pan. Using the back of a spoon, press the shortbread cookie crumbs into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top.

For the Caramel Cake

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and then set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the sugar. Mix on medium-high speed for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.

  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the butter and sugar are mixed well with the eggs. Add the vanilla.

  4. With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the dulce de leche and mix for a couple minutes. The mixture will get a little lighter in color.

  5. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.

  6. Pour the batter into your three 8-inch pans (or four 6-inch pans) with the cooled shortbread crust and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, about 20 to 22 minutes.

  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan on wire racks for about 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto wire racks (TIP: spray the racks with non stick spray) and allow to cool completely.

  8. Cakes can be made ahead of time and wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen until ready to use. Be sure to give the cakes about 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature before stacking and decorating.

For the Triple Chocolate Pecan Filling

  1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Spray a 9x9 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat.
  3. Add in the sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until butter is absorbed. With a hand mixer, beat in the eggs.
  4. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and mix for another 20 seconds or so.
  5. Return the pan to medium heat and stir the mixture until it is shiny and reaches 130 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the pecans.
  6. Pour mixture into the pan and then scatter the chocolate pieces over the pecan mixture. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely before using in the cake.

  7. Can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

For the Salted Caramel Frosting

  1. Mix sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan
  2. Bring the water and sugar mixture to boil over medium heat, but DO NOT STIR. (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it caramelizes into a golden brown color (as seen in the photo above). It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  3. Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Pour in just a tiny bit at a time, especially at the beginning, and mix to combine. You can start adding more and more as you go along.
  4. Mix in salt and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Set the caramel sauce to the side and let cool completely before making the frosting.
  6. Once the caramel sauce is cooled completely, divide it in half and reserve one half of the caramel for the drip. Use the other half for the frosting.
  7. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the softened butter, powdered sugar and half of the caramel together in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.

Assembly

  1. Spread a small dollop of frosting on your cake board. Place the first cake layer on the board, with the shortbread cookie crust on the bottom.
  2. Spread about 3/4 cup caramel frosting on the cake layer. Make sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure it is level.
  3. Break up the chocolate pecan filling into pieces and cover the frosting with the filling. Drizzle half of each of the chocolate drizzles over the pecan filling.
  4. Place the second cake layer, shortbread cookie crust on the bottom, on top of the pecan filling and chocolate drizzle. Repeat step 3.
  5. Place the final cake layer, shortbread cookie crust on the bottom, on top of the second layer of frosting and filling.
  6. You'll then spread a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to lock in any crumbs. This is called the crumb coat. Freeze the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure the crumbs get locked into this coat of frosting. After the frosting is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining caramel frosting.