layered cake with spiced chocolate and caramel frosting (Schichttorte)

Layered cake with caramel frosting

The January 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Francijn of “Koken in de Brouwerij“. She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

Baumkuchen (German for tree cake) is a layered cake that is cooked on a big spit. Even layers of the batter are brushed on the spit and then it is rotated next to a heat source. Each layer is allowed to brown before a new layer of batter is poured.When the cake is removed and sliced, each layer is divided from the next by a golden line, resembling the growth rings on a crosscut tree, hence the name “tree cake”.

Schichttorte (layered cake, Schicht means layer) is a simple version of Baumkuchen, with horizontal layers. The Schichttorte is baked in a pan and the layers are smeared on top of each other resulting in a flat multi-layered cake.

I chose to make a spin off the Schichttorte that is called Spekkoek or more popularly lapis legit.It is a (Dutch-Indonesian) version of Baumkuchen and contains a  mix of spices between the thin layers of cake. I found the recipe on lakii forum, it was posted by a wonderfully talented lady called Hind.

I changed the proportions of the chocolate spice mix and the topping. I topped my cake with homemade dulce de leche and crumbled toasted pecans. The combination of the caramel frosting, light cake layers, warm cinnamon and cocoa notes and the crunch of the pecans made this cake simply irresistible!

Layered cake with spiced chocolate and caramel frosting

Cinnamon layer cake with caramel frosting


For the cake

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil

2 cups milk

2 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Spice mix

2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee

Caramel frosting

1 can sweetened condensed milk


1. Preheat your oven to 180 C and place your rack in the middle.

2. Brush your pan with oil and sprinkle it with flour

3.Beat the eggs with the sugar, vanilla, and oil until pale

4. Add the milk and beat until combined

5. Add the baking powder to the flour and whisk to combine

6.Add the flour and baking powder to the liquid mixture and beat until the flour is incorporated

7. Pour 3/4 cup of the batter in the prepared pan

8. Bake the first layer until a cake tester comes out clean (8- 10 minutes)

step 1

9. Mix the spices and cocoa powder and sprinkle 1-2 table spoons of it on the first layer

step 2

10 Pour another 3/4 cup of the batter on top of the first layer. Tilt the pan to make sure the batter covers the first layer completely

step 3

11.Place the pan back in the oven but this time turn the broiler on instead of the lower flame

12. Bake the second layer until the top is golden brown

13.Repeat until all batter is used. If you need to flatten a bubble insert a tooth pick or similar to deflate the bubble.

14.Let the cake cool down completely

step 4

Layered cake with caramel sauce

To make the caramel frosting

Place the can of sweetened condensed milk after removing the paper label in a pot and add enough hot water to get the water level to 2 cm higher than the level of the can


Place the pot over medium heat for 2 hours. Make sure to check on the water level every 2o minutes or so. Add more water when needed.

After the two hours take the can out of the water and allow it to cool completely.

caramel frosting

The result is an amazing dulce de leche that will really test your self control :)

Top the cake with the caramel frosting and crumble some pecans or walnuts if you like


If you are not too fond of caramel, you can top the cake my amazing cinnamon roll topping or with chocolate ganache

The cake actually tastes better the second day (if there is any left that is :))

There are so many ways to get creative with this cake.You can substitute the spice mix with finely ground nuts. You can divide the batter in half and color them in different colors or you can make one half plain and the other with chocolate and then alternate the layers.

Layered cake with caramel frosting

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Leave a comment


  1. Louise

     /  January 28, 2014

    Completely gorgeous! I’m continually amazed by your wonderful, creative and beautiful posts!

  2. What an enterprise – and a gorgeous cake. Sweet, salty – soft, crunchy. :-)

  3. Wow this look fabulous I will give it a try ..thank you :)

  4. G’day! Looks terrific Sawsan and congrats on completing the challenge, true!
    In the heatwave (once again) cooking and baking is a tad difficult to do!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Great photos and thanks for always inspiring me too!

  5. Helene D’Souza from Masala Herb did a cake like this not too long ago and I thought it was brilliant. I haven’t made it yet but your cake and hers must be a sign that I need to give this a try. I love the idea of baking and then broiling the top. It does look like layers.

  6. Beautiful cake Shanna, great job on the execution of those layers!

  7. Oh my gosh, that looks SO GOOD with the dulce de leche on top! Beautiful layers, too. Great job Sawsan, as usual!

  8. Yum, your cake looks sooo good! I love both the cinnamon and the caramel frosting.

  9. Oh my goodness Sawson! What an awesome cake!!! I want to start poking at the computer in hopes and getting a taste!

  10. What an incredible dessert, so perfectly layered and coated with delicious caramel :D


  11. Truly spectacular. As always, you amaze me, Sawsan! :D

  12. Yummy! Looks absolutely scrumptious.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Sawsan what a nice take on Schichttorte.
    Love the idea of blending in coffee and spices, it seems all so perfectly balanced.
    Lovely presentation too.
    Have a lovely week :)

  14. Absolutely stunning – when are we all coming round for afternoon tea?!

  15. Your cake looks delicious!!!

  16. ummashraf

     /  January 28, 2014

    This cake looks absolutely amazing! I would love to make something like this when having guests. I can’t wait to give it a go inshallah.

  17. I’m storing this away for when I allow myself sugar again. Fabulous! I love all the photos you include.

  18. Well, now I have to make this cake for a third time! I love the idea of chocolate and spices in between the layers. Beautiful cake!

  19. Simply amazing looking cake!

  20. Sawsan, this looks fantastic! I love the addition of the caramel!!! I would join you in a second to have a slice of this!!!!

  21. You can almost taste this images!!! I will bake one and try it with diffrent fillings. I’ll let you know who it turned out. :-)

  22. Crumbs of Love

     /  January 29, 2014

    you win for the most delicious looking cake!

  23. I had no idea that the Indonesian cake originated from the German one, thank you for the insight. I’ve baked a couple of versions of the Indonesian Lapis Legit, the first being the traditional version with spices and the second was with hazelnut and chocolate alternating layers. What I really like about your version is that it doesn’t have as many eggs as the Indonesian one! In fact, you may recall I had a very hard time finding a recipe with as few as 6 large eggs! The Hungarians have Dobos Torte which is a seven-layer cake filled with a chocolate butter cream, topped with hard caramel and toasted hazelnuts. Even the Hungarian Cake takes several eggs!
    I am again tempted to make one of your recipes Sawsan! and Sweets are the last thing I need in the house right now!

  24. That cake looks like an awful lot of work but I love the finished product especially with all that caramel.

  25. Sawsan, you cake looks spectacular.

  26. What an incredible cake. I only had this cake at a bakery but never attempted to make. Well done, Sawsan.

  27. Looks wonderful! I participated in this challenge as well but I baked each layer and ended up carefully cutting off the bottom couple of layers because they overcooked. I decided that next time I will use the broiler for sure and I see that’s what you used. Wonderful! Delicious! Great challenge! I am on wordpress as well:

  28. Zina

     /  February 2, 2014

    Looks yummy I had a slightly different one , but I’ll try yours amazing work يعطيك العافية

  29. wow, what a beautifull layered cake!!!
    quite and effort to made it, but i guess it’s all worthed…
    the caramelized condensed milk topping looks really dellicious!!!

  30. They do look good…very good.

  31. I’d like to try making this cake but I have a question about baking the additional cake layers. Is it really necessary to bake them using the broiler rather than continuing to use the regular baking function of the oven. I seem to remember your saying (in your fatayer post?) that your oven doesn’t do a good job of top browning so that’s how you finished your baked goods.

    • Hello A-Boleyn, for this cake you do have to cook it under the broiler because if you cook it in the lower flame the bottom layers of the cake will be over cooked and dry

      • Thank you for the clarification. It’s such a gorgeous and ambitious undertaking that I’ve got to make sure I have a lot of time to do it justice. Maybe during March break.

  32. Hi Sawsan, this looks like a fairly easy and delicious recipe to try. I am a huge fan of dulce de leche so I had to go through the recipe as soon as I saw the pictures! I always read your recipes and look at the pictures of all the dishes you make and they look so professional and elaborate that I have never dared to try any of them. It seems like this could be a great opportunity to change that! Thank you for sharing your dedication and passion for cooking!

  33. ummashraf

     /  February 4, 2014

    I made this cake last weekend. Wow! It was so amazing. My husband loved it so much. It is a lengthy process but was definitely worth the effort. It’s not something I can make all the time but is a perfect choice for special guests or when I really want to treat my family to something different.

  34. You are too good at cooking!

  35. I finally got around to making the cake and even though I made a few errors in the execution, I think it was a pretty successful first attempt. The cake is tasty and very filling.

  36. Just looking at the pictures tested my self-control Sawsan! This looks amazing. Now I need to go find something to eat. ;-)

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