Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Coconut Caramel

Today is my youngest sister’s birthday!

Sadly she lives almost 1000 miles away and we can’t spend her special day together.

So I made her this virtual birthday cake.


Making birthday cakes is one of my fondest childhood memories, it’s one of the first types of cooking that I really got in to. I love making the cake, the frosting, and decorating the finished product even it it wasn’t as perfect a store bought cake. This was one of the first opportunities for my creativity to come out.

This cake was made with my sister in mind. She will be leaving this summer to spend several months studying abroad in Chile and I wanted to make something that would touch on her upcoming trip and place of residence (even though she can’t eat the cake and we had to eat it all for her!).

When doing some research on typical Chilean desserts I kept coming across sweets that incorporated caramels. Since I wanted to make up something new and special for my sister, I decided to create a cake that was covered in caramel.



As I was doing research to prepare for this recipe I met with some of the other Charlotte Food Bloggers and at specialty olive oil and vinegar shop in Charlotte called Olive This! During our visit we tasted all the delicious oils and vinegars, and learned a lot about quality extra virgin olive oil, seasonal varietals based on geographic location in which the olives grow, and how those fun infusions are created.

After much tasting and debating about what to buy to take home with me, I decided to pass on the flavored styles go with a bottle of a extra virgin olive oil from Chile called “Favalosa.”

I used the olive oil to create this Chilean inspired chocolate olive oil cake and topped it with some fresh and homemade caramel. The cake is moist and not overly sweet, a good compliment to the caramel. All I’ll say about the caramel is that I couldn’t stop eating spoonfuls, it’s that good!

This cake might be perfect for someone else’s birthday, especially if you let them eat it! Or a mother’s day treat to impress all the moms. If you make it for just yourself it keeps well in the fridge for a few days after.


Makes one two-tiered 8″ cake


  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 c good extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 c strongly brewed coffee, cooled


  1. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Mix sugar, olive oil and vanilla until well incorporated. Stir in the melted chocolate.
  3. Alternate mixing dry ingredients to the sugar and olive oil mixture with the cooled coffee.
  4. Mix until smooth and all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into two 8″ round cake pans (or one larger large baking pan if desired).
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before assembling.


  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 T water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t salt

Caramel Directions

  1. Place brown sugar and water in small sauce pan, heat on low stirring often until the sugar granolas break down and the mixture is smooth, about 7-8 minutes.
  2. Add the coconut milk, cook on low-medium heat, never above a gentle simmer, until the caramel has thickened, about 40 minutes. Stir often to prevent the caramel from sticking.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt. Allow to cool.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Place the first round cake on cake stand. Cover with 1/3 of the caramel. Spread evenly across the cake, allowing some to drip along the sides.
  2. Place the second cake atop the first. Cover with remaining caramel, pushing it to the edge and letting it cover many of the sides.
  3. Top with sprinkles, sea salt or whatever your heart desires. Enjoy!


Happy Birthday Natalie!


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