Rolo Cake

So Friday was my birthday.
It’s ok you didn’t get me anything, I mean…

I really don’t NEED anything, honestly.

So yeah, don’t feel bad at all that you didn’t get me a gift.

Really, I swear it’s fine.


Ok, now I feel bad that you feel bad.

So since you insist, I really want this, and these and maybe these?

Since you’re asking and all.


I totally know how embarrassing it is when you forget someone’s most special day.

My boys went to the mall all by themselves and picked out a present for me.  No coaching from my husband either.

Wanna know what they got me?

A cheese grater.


Sometimes I feel like no one really gets me.


And just to let you know, I had to make my own birthday cake.

Which I am almost positive is against the law.

And you know what I didn’t use when I was making my cake?

My new cheese grater.


But it’s all good.

Ok, eww, I just said, “it’s all good”.  Now you hate me.


What I mean is, it all turned out ok in the end.

Because I decided to get a little jazzy with my cake.  You know since I was MAKING IT MYSELF FOR MY MOST SPECIAL DAY.

I made Rolo Cake.  Which is my new invention.

It a butter cake, swirled with caramel, topped with milk chocolate, caramel frosting.



And I may or may not have sprinkled some flaked sea salt all up on my slice.

You know I did.

You should too.

PhotobucketSo let’s begin.


I used THIS recipe from my friend Amy’s site, She Wears Many Hats.  Do you know Amy?  I love and adore her.

Annnd her yellow cake is one of my most favorites.


So yeah,  I made her cake exactly like she says.

Except…right before I baked it I drizzled 1/4 cup of caramel sauce into each layer.
PhotobucketThen I swirled it around…
PhotobucketSo after they were baked, they looked like this:

Next, the frosting.

This is where I took matters into my own hands.
I wanted to mimic the flavors of a Rolo candy, so I decided on milk chocolate, caramel frosting.  Milk Chocolate Caramel.  MILK CHOCOLATE CARAMEL!

Get excited people!

First I boiled some sugar and water together. And get this…NO CANDY THERMOMETER NECESSARY!
Praise Jesus!
PhotobucketI just let it boil…
Just like that for about 10 minutes. It will get a nice amber color.
Here’s where it gets serious…I poured in some heavy cream and stirred that together until it was smooth.
Then pour that whole situation over a bowl of chocolate…
Photobucket*note ~ the photo above is deceiving…the color of the cream and caramel mixture was darker than the picture appears.  I had some weird lighting going on*

Ok, moving on…

Now just stir the chocolate mixture up.  The heat of the caramel will melt the chocolate and you will have a glorious bowl of this…
Now here’s the hard part.
You have to stick that in the fridge for at least an hour, until it’s cooled.
It’s a long hour.
I stirred it a few times when it was in there, so it cooled evenly.
When it’s finally cool, get some butter ready. Room temperature please…
PhotobucketAnd cut it into cubed pieces and mix it in the bowl of chocolate.
PhotobucketSigh, sigh.

Sorry to do this to you again, but it needs to chill some more…about an hour, but I left mine overnight.
*Just let it come up to room temperature before frosting your cake!

When you’re ready to frost your cake, give the frosting a good stir…
PhotobucketI spread the bottom layer with a generous helping of frosting and spread it evenly over cake.
Then, for good measure I spread about 2 tablespoons of jarred caramel sauce over the frosting, extending it about an inch away from the edge.
PhotobucketI placed the other layer on and frosted the entire cake.
PhotobucketI garnished the cake with some Rolo candies and then, since I had a little extra caramel, I decided to give it a drizzle.
Why not, right?
PhotobucketHappy Birthday to me!


Cake recipe HERE with the addition of 1/2 cup caramel, divided into each layer and swirled before baking.

I also used 2 Tbsp of jarred caramel sauce in the middle of the layer cake, as  per instructions above, as well as a little extra for drizzling.



Milk Chocolate Caramel Frosting


makes enough frosting to generously frost a 9″ layer cake.


  • 18 oz milk chocolate chips (about 3 cups)
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter, cut into cubes


  1. Pour your chocolate chips into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan combine water and granulated sugar on medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes until it turns an amber color.
  3. When mixture reaches amber color turn heat down to medium low and slowly pour in your heavy cream. Stir continuously until it incorporated and smooth.
  4. Pour caramel mixture over your chocolate in the bowl.
  5. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  6. Place bowl in refrigerator for an hour, until chocolate is cooled. I stirred mine a few times within the hour, to help it cool evenly.
  7. When chocolate is cooled, remove from fridge and mix with a hand mixer until the chocolate becomes a spreadable consistency. Don’t over-mix at this point.
  8. Add in you butter and beat until frosting is smooth. Place frosting back in refrigerator at least another hour, or overnight.
  9. Let frosting come back to room temperature when ready to frost cake.


I made the frosting the night before I made the cake, since there is some chilling time necessary.
recipe adapted from epicurious


104 Responses

  1. Melissa

    I’m not one to routinely comment, though I make goodies from your wonderful site on a regular basis. But OMG. That looks incredible and needs to be recreated in my kitchen post haste. Thanks in advance. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  2. tina kirslis

    My mom is turning 80 on Saturday and had hip surgery her favorite candies are rolos’ so I will be making this. On the caramel sauce you swirled into the cake is that jarred as well? Thank you for sharing this its going to make her day

  3. MelindaB

    Happy Belated Birthday…and that cake looks awesome! Now I need Rolo Cake. All I have are some S’mores Bars that my daughter and I made today in belated celebration of National S’mores Day.

  4. Marie B.

    Happy Birthday and I asked my daughter, ” isn’t it your birthday, too?”. Lol. Of course, I know it isn’t, but it should be! That cake looks sooo good, cause I love Chocolate!

    Anyway, I hope your day was great and I really need a new cheese grater if you don’t!

  5. Looks amazing! What a lucky birthday girl! For my birthday, I almost always make my own cake, which, I think you’re right, is against the law. But this year, I did me one better, and because I was out of town for the weekend, I bought my own birthday cupcakes! At least we both enjoyed our birthdays this weekend!
    I love your love of Rolos 🙂
    Oh…and no Coach here either

  6. melissa

    This cake looks great, I can’t wait to try it. As for making your own bday cake I have made my own cake for the past 3 years 🙂 I like making my own that way I get just what I wanted.

  7. First of all, happy belated birthday. A cheese grater? Oh dear! And I have to bake my own birthday cake too. I’m pretty sure that is against the law.

    The rolo cake looks amazing and oh so chocolatey. I’m wanting to lick the screen.

  8. Okay this post and the cake took you some TIME but it was 100% worth it – Love Rolo and a great yellow cake. And caramel sauce!!

    And of course, Happy Bday (on Smores Day, no less)! is forgotten. Not even kidding. One of these years, if it’s remembered, I’ll be in shock 🙂

  9. I don’t know how I am doing it but I’m giving up chocolate/baked desserts for at least 30 days… If this cake was around me I’d have to sneak in a slice or 2. That looks amazing!

  10. I somehow almost always end up making my own cake on my birthday. Okay, FINE it’s because I am a control freak and want what I want and think no one else will be able to make what I want. But whatever.

    This is now on the short-list for next year. Just saying.

  11. Eeeek. Happy Birthday to you indeed. This is one helluva cake and ALMOST makes up for the cheese grater present which I’m sure has a time and place in grating some AWESOME cheese at one point or another.

  12. Laurel

    We have the same birthday! How special, wish i had had this recipe. Had to make my own cake too and pick out my present. This cake would have made the day really special for me.

  13. I’m sad you had to make your own cake but the upside? You got to eat the best cake ever! The recipe sounds killer and the pictures are drool inducing. Side note: i don’t know if you were purposely going for nail polish that looks like sprinkles, but I LOVE IT!
    Oh, and I want those jeans too! Happy birthday!!

  14. Holy Cow that looks good!!!! I’ve made my own cake for my own birthday, there is no shame in it! In fact, I would almost guess they WANTED you to make your own cake so you could do something like this…. I know I would 🙂 Happy Birthday.

  15. Heather

    Maybe I’m alone, but I LOVE making my own birthday cake. Baking is so fun,and there are so many awesome recipes to try, that I’d feel ripped off if someone made some random cake for me. I love the process!
    Anyway, your cake looks incredible.

  16. beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL cake Shelly! Happy birthday to you, indeed!!!!!!! I’m saving this bad boy to make for my own birthday next year. I obviously won’t be able to wait until then soooo I may have to make it for my half birthday, which is every reason to eat a rolo cake. That frosting looks and sounds incredible, too. I’ve had chocolate frosting and salted caramel frosting but NEVER milk chocolate caramel frosting. So creative!

  17. Donna D.

    Happy Birthday!! You and I have the same birthday, awesome! I’m kinda thinking I need to celebrate again this weekend and make this cake 🙂

  18. Nancy

    Today is my birthday and nobody makes me a birthday cake either! Sure wish I had that one, it looks so delicious, I would love a piece right now. But, I will have to make do with the fact that I am not making my own cake this year!

  19. SWeetsugarbelle

    Did you know there is such thing as a chocolate orgasm? This could cause one, I think! Seriously though, happy birthday!

  20. Happy birthday Shelley! Don’t feel bad about having to make your own b-day cake. I had a “big” birthday last year and made my own cake: Sprinkle Bakes’ “Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Chocolate Cake Cheesecake” at I only made two layers instead of the four she did, I poured the ganache over the cake instead of whipping it into icing but I did make the peanut butter frosting to pipe on top and garnished with pb cups. My birthday is next month so I think I’ll follow that one with your Rolo Cake. There is nothing better than caramel and chocolate!

  21. You didn’t receive my gift???? Must be the ding dang postal service ~ 🙂

    Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday anyway. This cake looks like pure decadence! I’ve never had a rollo but I’ll bet the grandkids have and I know they would love this chocolate creation. My mother always made an Italian Cream Cake for my birthday ~ it’s been years and I still miss it terribly. Guess I should start making my own cake too.


  22. Hope your day was fantastic, the cake surely was. Sometimes only you can bake the best cake for your birthday. Mine is five months away but I may need this cake sooner. Love the fact that you didn’t use a thermometer for the caramel!

  23. Debra

    Just drooling as I look at that cake .. I’m diabetic so just can’t have it in my house.. it would call me .. until it was gone! Hope you had a wonderful birthday, and I can’t imagine you didn’t with that cake… you could use the cheese grater to grate chocolate …:)

  24. Aww. I think the cheese grater idea was nice! I’m sure they got it so that you could grate chocolate with it so you could have some pretty garnish on your birthday cake. 🙂

    Happy belated birthday! This cake looks insane. Love all the caramel and chocolate.

  25. Christine Shen

    Happy Birthday, Shelley!!! I’m totally going to make this for my birthday, too. Because, like you, no one else will bake for me. Sigh….

  26. Ashley P

    Happy birthday!

    I don’t know if I can wait for my own birthday in May to make this… Good thing hubby’s birthday is in November and he likes caramel! 🙂

  27. by making your own cake, at least you get a good cake! that looks amazing Shelly! For my birthday my husband gets me a DQ cake…….which I HATE……but he LOVES hehe.

    Hope you had a great day girl!

  28. Happy birthday, friend! Sorry you had to make your own cake but I’m assuming that means you got to eat it all too? 🙂 IT looks fantastic.
    Have fun with your cheese grater!

  29. Oh my word! I love this. It is officially the 1st contender for my bday cake this year. I recently made Salted Caramel Rolo cupcakes on my blog and to have a cake version is just written in the stars ;). Happy birthday! Hope it was awesome and your cheese grater gives you lots of joy. I definately would have preferred shoes…or some Le Creuset if it had to be kitchen related 😉

  30. Debra

    I am sorry I missed your birthday. Sorrier I didn’t get you a present and even sorrier still I can’t get you a decent present. I do send heartfelt thanks for the yummy recipe. Happy Belated Birthday.

  31. Marie M.C.

    Happy Belated Birthday! I got you a cheese grater too. Guess I’ll save and use it myself — since you already have one. I’ve been baking my own birthday cake since I was seven or eight. My mother was one of the Top Ten All Time World’s Worst Cooks. Seriously. I’m NOT joking. If not for PB&J sandwichs and milk — I wouldn’t be here. Out of a desire to have an ediible cake — I bought a box of Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix then whipped up some heavy cream with a little sugar and had the most delish tasting cake — EVER. So good I’ve had the same birthday cake for the past 60 years!!!!

  32. Mel

    Not going to lie, I’m a little annoyed that you didn’t publish my comment about how terrible and way-too-sweet and nasty the frosting was. Don’t you want other people to be informed before they make the recipe too?

    1. shelly

      Sorry you don’t agree with my choice, Your comment stated that the frosting tasted like a giant chocolate chip. In my world, that sounds pretty good. I made the frosting, obviously, and we quite enjoyed it.
      But the lovely thing about having your own website is you’re allowed to pick and choose the comments that are left. I do, in fact, publish comments that have issues with my recipes, or if something didn’t turn out right, to help others…but it seemed like yours was just a matter of personal preference and didn’t offer any productive commentary.

      1. Mel

        Chocolate chips 90% of the time have other ingredients to hold their shape in cookies and things. I don’t think sitting there with a bag of chocolate chips, eating one after another, would ever taste nearly as good as eating a real chocolate bar. So, frosting made with chocolate meant for eating on its own would likely be better than frosting made with chips meant for baking with. But I suppose that’s my preference. You do like sugary stuff, after all!

  33. Wow! I’ve just made the frosting tonight, in preparation for tomorrow, no words can explain.
    Looking forward to baking the cake tomorrow, the only difference I have is that I couldn’t get straight caramel sauce from the shop so i’m using salted caramel. Fingers crossed x thank you so much!

  34. Alicia B

    So, I’m having a problem with the frosting- I don’t think the caramel worked out quite right. I boiled the water and sugar, but it never turned amber, I even boiled it for about 5 extra minutes to see if it would turn color. I went ahead and did the rest of the steps, and now it’s chilling after I mixed the butter in and it seems really loose and way lighter than yours. Will it firm up a lot as it chills? Or is it all messed up now because my caramel didn’t turn out?

  35. Johanna

    just wondering whether there are any comments from people that actually made this cake. I see a lot of “it looks delicious” but i’m interested in some feedback from those who went on to make it themselves.

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