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Decadent Chocolate Cake

by Lorena

OMG THIS CAKE! Seriously though, could it BE any more decadent? This chocolate cake is filled with “manjar blanco“, the Peruvian version of the dulce de leche plus its chocolate brother. I mean, if this is not a celebration-worthy cake I don’t know which one is.

And what we’re celebrating today is that this blog is turning 4 years old today! I cannot believe how fast time flies by! I feel like it was yesterday that I started to do this as a hobby. I never expected at the beginning that I would fall in love with it so much that I would pursue it as a full time job. On the video above I did a bit of a story time on how the blog came to be and just telling that story filled my eyes with tears.

This blog started when I decided to leave my old career in business and applied to culinary school. If you want to know how that process came to be you can check out my career change post. Was it hard? Yes. Is it still hard? Yup. Is it SO worth it? Oh hell yes. Would I do it again? I would do it all again TOMORROW (I feel I need a night’s sleep before going at it again).

I’m also excited because I managed to block this upcoming week just for my blog. No appointments, photo shoots for brands, nothing. Just me, a piece of paper and hopefully inspiration as well. I want to assess what other food-related content I should make and how and that has me really excited. It’s amazing to reinvent yourself and keep it fresh.

So, let’s talk about this cake! As you might have noticed I’m not much of a cake person. It’s not that I don’t like them but rather I feel I much rather have a fudgy brownie or chewy chocolate chip cookies. However, if I’m going to have chocolate cake LET IT BE THIS ONE. This is a type of birthday cake that’s really common in Peru and is so so so good. It takes a bit of work to cook the filling but I promise it’s completely worth it.

Decadent Chocolate Cake

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Medium
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 people in a 16cm diameter mould. For a large mould double the recipe.
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the cake

  • 420 g sugar
  • 325 g all purpose flour
  • 60 g cocoa powder 100% cacao, non-sweetened
  • tsp baking powder
  • tsp salt
  • 420 ml water (you can weigh it, too)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 ml vegetable oil (you can weigh it, too)

For the manjar blanco

  • 400 g evaporated milk
  • 400 g condensed milk

For the chocolate fudge

  • 400 g evaporated milk
  • 400 g condensed milk
  • 100 g chocolate I used 60% cacao but you can go darker or sweeter
  • 50 g cocoa powder 100% cacao, non-sweetened


For the cake

  • Mix all the ingredients together using a stand mixer or a whisk.
  • Prepare two 16cm moulds by spreading vegetable oil on the base and sides using a piece of kitchen paper. Place a disc of baking paper at the base that has been cut to size. Spread some oil on that as well.
  • Flour the whole mould and tap it to remove the excess.
  • Fill both moulds with cake batter and bake in a preheated at 180°C or 350°F for 40-50min or until you can insert a thin knife at the center and it comes out clean. While they're cooking you can make the fillings.
  • When they come out of the oven let them cool down completely before unmoulding.
  • Remove the very top of the cake (you can munch on it or make cake pops) and then slice the other in half. You can check my video for the technique on how to cut it straight :).

For the manjar blanco

  • Put the milks in a large pot* on low heat and move with a spatula until it thickens. Don't stop moving or the milk will stick to the bottom and burn.
  • It must look thick in the pot: if you run the spatula across the mix it should take a lot of time (about 5 seconds) before the base of the pot gets covered again. Then out of the pot it will thicken even more as it cools.
  • Let it cool down completely. It happens faster if you spread it out on a tray or large baking dish.

For the chocolate fudge

  • Mix the cocoa powder into the condensed milk using a whisk until it's smooth and lump-less.
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave in 30 second intervals and mixing in between. Alternatively you can do it on a bain-marie.
  • Add both to a large pot* along with the evaporated milk and turn on the heat on low. Stir constantly until it thickens.
  • Just like the manjar blanco you want to be able to clearly see the bottom of the pot as you pass your spatula through it. You can see the video for further reference.
  • Let it cool down completely. It happens faster if you spread it out on a tray or large baking dish.


  • The first layer of the cake is the top layer of one of the cakes we baked. Pipe chocolate fudge around the edge and then manjar blanco at the center. The edge is just so that the manjar blanco doesn't seep through to the outside of the cake.
  • On top of this goes the bottom of the first cake and upside down. Remove the paper at this point because it's easier to handle with the paper on. On top of this one goes the same filling.
  • Repeat this for all the layers. On the very top you only pipe chocolate fudge and spread it.
  • Pipe chocolate fudge up and down the sides of the cake and then use a small spatula to smooth it out. It's really important to use a piping bag or you could break the cake if you go straight in with a spatula.
  • To finish it I piped rosettes on the top of the cake. If you want to do this as well do 4 in a cross first and then fill with more ini between so that you know they are equidistant.
  • Chill for 4 hours ideally so it firms up before cutting.


*The largest the pot, the less time it will take to cook the fillings. This is because the surface area in contact with the heat is larger, so don’t use a tiny one!
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!

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