Chocolate Indulgence Candy Bar Cake
For all the chocolate lovers out there, this one’s for you. Anybody remember the movie Matilda? Well this is basically Ms. Trunchbull’s cake, but with candy bars added to it. Like a lot of candy bars…
It’s a super moist and fudgy chocolate layer cake, with a chocolate buttercream frosting, wrapped in Kit Kat bars, and topped with various other types of candy.
Oh, and did I mention everybody at the checkout will think you are a legitimate glutton. Especially when the equivalent of 15-20 candy bars on the conveyor belt is paired with a bottle of wine and sticks of butter. I recommend buying the Kit Kats in the multi packs. It’s a little cheaper buying in bulk and they were even on sale when I bought mine.
Side note, if you haven’t tried out Target’s $5 wine you totally should. I’ve been loving the chardonnay. Okay, back to the cake..
To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9in round baking pans. You can grease and flour the pans or just take the easy way out like I do and use Pam baking spray. Combine all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, or large bowl if you don’t have one. Be sure to sift or use the spoon and sweep method (lightly adding the flour to the measuring cup with a spoon and then using the back edge of a butter knife to level the top off) when adding the flour. This helps ensure that the flour doesn’t pack down into the measuring cup and results in a lighter, less dense cake.
Add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs to the dry ingredients. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat over medium speed until everything is mixed and incorporated well. Reduce speed to low and carefully add the hot water. Stir/mix the batter just until the hot liquid is incorporated. Your batter will look runny, but it will bake normally and leave you with incredibly moist cake layers.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, and remove when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Line two cooling racks with parchment paper and flip the cakes upside down onto the paper. Immediately remove the pans and allow the cakes to cool completely.
I like to cool my cake layers upside down because it tends to help them level out some as they cool. If your cake still looks like it baked really unevenly, just use a serrated knife to level it out some. Also, if one cake layer is still more level looking than the other, make sure to use that one as your base level. Your cake will be more stable and it’s easy to cover up the less level cake with frosting and toppings. Nobody will ever know. 🙂
For the buttercream, cut the softened butter sticks into chunks and put into the bowl of your stand mixer, or other large bowl. Beat over medium speed for a couple minutes until it is smooth. Add the first half of the sugar and gradually increase the speed from low to medium. Beat until smooth and then repeat this process for the second half of the sugar. Once the sugar is well incorporated into the butter (smooth and no lumps from the butter), add the vanilla and milk/heavy cream. When adding the milk/cream, add one tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you are trying to achieve. 2 tbsp should be plenty, but feel free to slowly add a little more if you need to until you reach your desired consistency.
To decorate, begin by breaking the Kit Kats into the individual bars. You can stick them vertically straight to the buttercream on the side of the cake, or pipe a little extra buttercream onto the back of the Kit Kat and use it like glue to help it stick to the cake. This is especially helpful if you didn’t put a very thick layer of frosting on the sides; however, if you plan on tying a ribbon around it (like in my picture) you probably won’t need it. Place the Kit Kats, one at a time, onto the cake until you have them covering the entire side surface of the cake.
The rest of the work is pretty simple, just decorate the top of the cake with as much, or as little, candy and toppings as you want. I tend to use a mix of things like chocolate and candy bars, with M&Ms/Reese’s Pieces. Birthday candles look pretty cute too..
I added a ribbon on mine as well. Not only does it dress it up a bit, but it also gives the more stability and support.. and keeps those Kit Kats right where they should be. I liked the look of the burlap with this cake a lot. Paired with the Reese’s Pieces on top, it also gives it a cute rustic/Fall look. (A little tip for if you decide to add a ribbon, I found it easier to pin the ribbon on than try to tie it. I had some leftover hat pins from making this years Kentucky Derby hat, so I just used those.)
This cake is so rich, you’ll find that a little goes a long way. You’ll probably get several extra servings out of this than you would have with an average layer cake.
- For the Cake:
- 2 cups Cake or All-Purpose Flour
- 2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Large Eggs; beaten
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Boiling Water
- For the Buttercream Frosting:
- 2 sticks (1 cup) softened real butter; salted or unsalted is fine
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 tbsp whole milk or heavy cream; may need more as needed
- For the Toppings:
- Approximately 11 regular sized packages of Kit Kat bars
- Any combination of candy you want to put on top (Candy bars, chocolate bars, M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, Reese's Cups, Toffee, etc)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9in round baking pans, either by greasing and coating with flour or using Pam baking spray.
- Add all of the top six dry ingredients to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, using the spoon and sweep method (gently spooning flour into the measuring cup, then leveling it off with the back of a butter knife) when adding the flour. Mix dry ingredients to combine well.
- Add the next four ingredients (buttermilk, vegetable oil, beaten eggs, and 1 tbsp vanilla extract) to the dry ingredients. Combine thoroughly using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer over medium speed.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly and carefully pour the hot water into the mixture. Mix until the water is fully incorporated into the batter. **Note - The batter will be runny looking. This is normal and will bake fine.
- Pour half of the batter into each pan and bake 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and cool inside the pans for about 10 minutes. Line two cooling racks with parchment paper, place one cake on each upside down and immediately remove the pan. Let them sit upside down until fully cooled. After cooling, place right side up and using a serrated knife, carefully trim down any areas that might still be unlevel.
- For the frosting, cream the butter over medium speed until smooth (2-3 minutes). Add half of the sugar and beat until smooth, gradually going from low to medium mixer speed. Add second half of sugar and beat until smooth and well incorporated, with no lumps in the butter. Add the vanilla. Add the cream one tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you are looking for.
- To assemble and decorate, pipe a little buttercream (around 2 tbsp or so, onto the center of your cake board or whatever you are standing the cake on. This will act like a glue and help keep it from sliding. Place your first layer on the cake board. If one layer is more level than the other, use that one. Pipe a layer of buttercream onto the top of this layer and spread around with an icing spatula until even and smooth. Place the second layer of cake on top of this.
- Pipe a layer of buttercream on the top and side surface and smooth out with an icing spatula. If crumbs mix into the top layer, let it sit 5-10 minutes and pipe a second layer of frosting and smooth over the top.
- To decorate, begin by breaking the Kit Kats into the individual bars. Stick them vertically along the side surface of the cake, either directly into the buttercream or by piping a little buttercream on the back of the Kit Kat to help "glue" it on. If you are using a ribbon like in the picture, using extra buttercream might not be needed.
- Add ribbon if using and decorate the top with any other candy you would like to use. (Candy and chocolate bars, M&Ms, Reeses Pieces, Reeses Cups, Chocolate chips, etc)