The hours of practice paid off for Kaleigh Weber, Ellis County 4-H member, when she was named senior champion in the 4-H Foods Division at the 2019 Ellis County Fair. It has been tradition to share the champion recipe for the public to see that this recipe would be a very difficult project to complete. Many times with a foods project the member has to make the project the day before and sometimes even the weather can play havoc with the best laid plans. Congratulations to Kaleigh for a job well done!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Cake


For the Cheesecake:

2 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla


For the Chocolate Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

4 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

1 cup water

¾ cup sour cream

¼ cup shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


For the Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup caramel sauce

4 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

½ teaspoon kosher salt


For the Ganache:

4 oz dark chocolate

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 Tablespoons caramel sauce

Pinch of kosher salt




For the Cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a large roasting pan on the lower 2/3 of the oven, preheat the pan too!

Prepare springform pan by wrapping bottom of pan (outside) with double layer of foil. Spray pan with nonstick baking spray and line bottom (inside) with a circle of parchment paper. Meanwhile, boil a kettle of water to use later.

Beat cream cheese with granulate sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add in salt and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in sour cream, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour into prepared 9inch springform pan. Place pan in center of preheated roasting pan in the oven. Pour boiling water slowly into the roasting pan, until there is about an inch of water coming up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on counter.

When cooled, transfer entire springform pan into the freezer for several hours or overnight. I put it in freezer for about 2 hours. **If using within 24 hours, feel free to just refrigerate cheesecake!


For the Chocolate Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9x 2-inch round cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine unsweetened chocolate, water, sour cream, shortening, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until smooth.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add gradually to chocolate mixture, beating on low speed just until moistened. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.

Pour batter into pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pans before turning out onto wire racks. Cool completely.


For the Frosting:

Beat butter in a large mixing bowl for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy. Add caramel sauce, powdered sugar, milk and kosher salt.

Beat for 4-5 minutes until soft and creamy.


To assemble:

On a cake platter, lay one layer of chocolate cake, top with the cheesecake. Then add the other layer of chocolate cake. Spread frosting over entire cake, sides and top.

Refrigerate frosted cake while you prepare the chocolate ganache.


For the Ganache:

In a microwave safe bowl, combine dark chocolate with heavy cream. Heat 30 seconds. Stir and heat an additional 30 seconds. Whisk for several minutes until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

Once cooled. Spread over top of chilled cake. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp of caramel sauce and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve!


Berny Unruh is the Family and Community Wellness Agent for the Cottonwood Extension District. She can be reached at 785-628-9430 or at