Cooking Light
16 servings

One of our most popular cakes, this light chocolate cake has two layers of tender chocolate cake with a low-fat caramel frosting and an easy topping made with store-bought caramel-apple dip and chopped pecans.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, coat bottoms of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Step 3

Combine boiling water and cocoa, stirring well with a whisk. Cool completely.

Step 4

Place granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon 1 2/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 2/3 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Step 5

Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Step 6

To prepare frosting, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons milk; cook 1 minute or until sugar melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Combine butter mixture and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until spreading consistency.

Step 7

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread top with half of frosting. Place caramel dip in a small zip-top plastic bag. Snip a small hole in 1 corner of bag; drizzle half of caramel dip over frosting. Top with other cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top of cake; drizzle with remaining caramel dip. Sprinkle with pecans.

Ratings & Reviews

VaDragonlady's Review

February 11, 2011
I have been making this cake since it first appeared in CL a few years ago and it is a favorite among family and friends. It is a standing order from my best friend's husband for his birthday every year!


March 11, 2016
I made this cake twice, because the first one turned out so dry! I was sure I must have done something wrong, so I threw it away and made it again! To the second one I added 1/2 cup sour cream hoping it would help. It didn't make much difference. After making it a second time I know I didn't mess up on the first either.

sunshyne's Review

February 08, 2013
This cake is very moist. I use dark chocolate cocoa and skip the frosting. Top with powdered sugar, whipped cream or chocolate sauce. Yummy!

Thitaree's Review

November 03, 2012

MargaretPybas1's Review

September 13, 2012
I made the cake for coworkers birthday. It got rave reviews. I used dark chocolate cocoa. It was rich and moist.

barbarafeltch08's Review

March 14, 2012
This recipe is terrific! Made it with my mom yesterday and it was perfect! It turned out what we expect. If you are looking for more tasty and delicious cake recipes -- Now is the right time to make one just watch the videos and follow list of cake recipes at, and for more exciting and delectable recipes. Have fun!!

DoctorT's Review

December 27, 2011
Delicious. We had this for Christmas Day desert with some cream. However, delicious on its own or with ice cream as well. Be sure to add sufficient milk when beating the frosting. I didn't add enough and it started to set quite solid -very yummy regardless of my error! Reminds me of the pralines in New Orleans.

CMLucas's Review

January 25, 2011
This has to be the best cake I ever made - it was sooo good. I served it at a birthday party and got rave reviews. I used a boxed Devil's Food cake, I made a homemade caramel drizzle, I toasted the pecans in the same pan that I used to prepare the frosting which just put a very light candied coating on them and I added about 2 Tbs Bailey's Caramel Irish Cream to the frosting. That made the frosting smoother, less sweet and really amped up the flavor. I will make this again - no question.

Melioh's Review

September 30, 2010
I must have tried five different ways to ruin this recipe and it still turned out delicious. I used light butter, I thought the extremely soupy batter would never turn into cake, I baked it in dark cake pans in my lop-sided oven at 325,and my caramel was a month and a half past its expiration date. And no, I don't have low expectations. It was very good.

trish31's Review

August 19, 2010
If I make this in the morning to serve at night, should I refrigerate it?