Everybody has heard of molten chocolate cake, so we thought we’d try to create a caramel version, with a toffee-ish tender cake encasing a runny dulce de leche center. Well, folks, it worked.


  • Filling
    • ¼ cup store-bought dulce de leche
    • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Cakes and Assembly
    • cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins, room temperature
    • cup sugar, plus more for ramekins
    • ¼ cup store-bought dulce de leche
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Filling: Stir dulce de leche and butter in a small bowl until well combined. Dollop in 4 equal-size blobs on a metal baking dish or baking sheet. Freeze at least 30 minutes or up to overnight until very firm (the sugar will keep it from freezing completely solid).
2. Cakes and Assembly: Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside.
3. Coat ramekins with butter in a thin, even layer, then coat with sugar, knocking out any excess.
4. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed (use the paddle attachment if you’re using a stand mixer), beat ⅓ cup sugar and 6 Tbsp. butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add dulce de leche and continue to beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined, followed by vanilla. Beat mixture on medium-high speed 1 minute (it might look slightly grainy and separated, and that’s okay!). Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in reserved dry ingredients until smooth.
5. Divide batter among prepared ramekins. Make a small divot with a spoon in the top of each mound of batter. Place frozen filling onto divots, but do not press down into batter; you want the filling cradled by the batter but still on the surface, as it will sink to the center during baking. Place ramekins on a small rimmed baking sheet. Bake cakes until tops are browned, firm to the touch (be careful when checking as the filling may ooze out and it is very hot), and a tester inserted into the cakes, avoiding the liquid centers, comes out clean, 23–25 minutes.
6. Invert cakes onto plates to serve. (If you invert the first cake and see slightly underdone batter—it will be tan against the filling’s dark brown color—keep remaining cakes in ramekins a couple minutes longer before unmolding. You can still eat the underdone one!)


Chris Morocco


4 servings