Our contributor, Tessa Huff, is back with a new cake recipe just in time for Halloween….
Second to pumpkin spice coffees and baked goods, who else is guilty of downing handfuls of candy this time of year? I will even admit to finishing off the Halloween stash before the trick-or-treaters pick out their costumes. However, with my perpetual diet and life-long quest to eat a little healthier and a bit less-processed, it’s always a constant battle: to have or not to have Candy Corn in the house. I am sure many of you can relate.
This week, I solved about half the problem. I snagged what was left of some candy bars that “mysteriously” found their way into the house and decided to put them in a cake. Now, I know what your thinking, “How in the heck is a candy-filled cake at all healthy?” Well, it’s probably not, but it sure helps eliminate the temptation of munching on all the chocolate all at once. Plus, paired with a bit of silky caramel and fluffy fudge, hopefully one small slice will suffice and the rest can be shared and enjoyed. Or at least that is how I will justify the amazingness that is this Candy Bar Cake.
For this recipe, I chose to fill loaf-shaped layers of cake with candy bars. I picked simple KitKats, but I’m sure almost any favorite would do. To continue along with the candy bar theme, I made a layer of almond cream and caramel, before finishing off the entire cake with chocolate fudge. The shape resembles that of a candy bar as well. This cake is truly one to celebrate with. It’s a bit rich but will certainly kill any craving for sugary “fun sized” treats. Plus, it’s cute and your guests will get a kick out of a cake filled with candy bars, for sure.
CANDY BAR CAKE
a recipe by Tessa Huff
For the Vanilla Butter Cake:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 1/4 sheet pan- set side. Sift dry ingredients- set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter with the paddle attachment until soft.
- Add in sugar, and continue to cream with the butter until pale and fluffy.
- With the mixer on medium-low, add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Once combined, stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom of the bowl.
- Starting and ending the the dry ingredients, alternate the dry and milk with the mixer of medium-low. Be sure to scrape the bowl between additions and be careful not to over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until done (about 20-24 minutes)
NOTE: the batter may yield to more than a 1/4 sheet pan. You may cut the recipe in half, or bake off a half dozen cupcakes on the side.
For the Almond Butter Cream:
3 egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer
- Create a double boiler, and place the bowl with the egg whites over a medium saucepan with water.
- Heat over medium-high until the egg mixture is hot to the touch.
- When hot (about 6-9 minutes), place the mixing bowl back on the electric mixer.
- Beat on high with the whisk attachment until the meringue is room temperature.
- Exchange the whisk for the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low.
- While mixing, gradually add in the extracts and butter.
- Turn the mixer back up to medium-high until buttercream is smooth.
For the Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
- Carefully add in the remaining ingredients and mix until fluffy.
For the Assembly You’ll Need
1/2 recipe Vanilla Butter Cake
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Store-bought Caramel sauce
KitKat bars (about 3 original packages)
- Once cool, carefully invert the cake. Trim the 1/4 sheet cake into three 8″ X 4″ pieces.
- Place 1 layer of cake on a cake board or cake stand. Spread a layer of buttercream onto the cake.
- Create a buttercream “dam” with a a piping bag. Fill in with caramel sauce. (*jarred Dolce de Leche recommended)
- Top the caramel layer with another layer of cake. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top.
- Place KitKat bars on top of the buttercream- being sure to break the sticks apart for easier cutting later on.
- Top KitKats with another thin layer of buttercream and secure with third piece of cake.
- Ice cake with fudge frosting and sprinkle with any remaining KitKat bits.