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Candy Bar Layer Cake

Snickers is by far my favorite candy bar! So I don’t know why it took me so long to create a Snickers inspired Candy Bar Layer Cake. But as they say, ‘better late than never’. Get ready to devour three layers of homemade milk chocolate cake, filled with nougat filling that’s topped with homemade caramel sauce, frosted with peanut butter Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with chocolate drizzle. This cake is a real treat!

Candy Bar Layer Cake

Milk Chocolate Cake

I used Lindt milk chocolate for its rich chocolate flavor and buttermilk for its tenderizing effect. When buttermilk is added with baking powder or baking soda in a recipe, it helps produce a fluffy cake.

Candy Bar Layer Cake

Filling

On to the filling, which is one of my favorite components of this cake. The egg whites get cooked by the hot sugar syrup as they whip up in the mixer. Next comes the peanut butter and peanuts, plus a sprinkle of salt to bring out all the flavors! You’re going to love it!

Candy Bar Layer Cake

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Making your own caramel sauce is worth the extra effort. Plus, it’s not that difficult. So why not? Here are a few tips to help your homemade caramel sauce come out perfectly:

  • Don’t stir the sugar mixture while it’s cooking.
  • Keep your eyes on the sugar mixture. It should take about 8 minutes to come to golden in color. If your sugar burns you’ll have to start over. So don’t take your eyes off it!
  • Be prepared for the mixture to bubble rapidly when adding the cream. Keep stirring!
  • This caramel sauce can be made up to 10 days in advance. So plan ahead and get this step out of the way. Gently reheat when ready to use.
Candy Bar Layer Cake

Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream Tips

  • Before starting your mixer bowl should be squeaky clean.
  • Your egg whites should be free of any egg yolk. If even a little bit gets in your egg whites they will not whip up properly and you will need to start over.
  • Whisk the egg whites and sugar well by hand before cooking, otherwise the egg whites may start cooking on their own.
  • Make sure your butter is room temperature before adding it into the egg whites.
  • Make sure your whipped egg whites are at room temperature before adding the butter. This should take about 10 minutes if you’re using a stand mixer.
  • Your buttercream should be as smooth as possible before using. To help with this I reduce my mixer speed to low during the last minute to help reduce the air bubbles in my buttercream.
Candy Bar Layer Cake

Candy Bar Layer Cake Filling Process

  1. Pipe a buttercream dam around the outer edge of the cake.
  2. Spread about 2/3 cups filling in the center and spread in an even layer until filling meets the buttercream dam.
  3. Drizzle with caramel sauce. You may need to gently reheat your caramel sauce to drizzling consistency. You can reheat it in the microwave at 30 second intervals.

Crumb Coat and Chill

A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that traps in the crumbs so it won’t get into your final layer of frosting. But it also helps fill in any gaps and gives you a solid base to start the decorating process.

Candy Bar Layer Cake

Chocolate Drip Tips

  • Your cake should be chilled before adding chocolate drips.
  • Make sure the chocolate drip is the correct temperature. It should be fluid, but not warm or hot.
  • Let chocolate drip cool for about 20 minutes before using.
  • Use a spoon or a squeeze bottle for more controlled drips.
  • Gently reheat the drizzle as needed during the decorating process.
Candy Bar Layer Cake

Plan It Out

There are a few components to this cake which is why I am a firm believer in planning out the cake baking process. Especially for this Candy Bar Layer Cake.

  1. Day 1: Prepare the caramel sauce.
  2. Day 2: Bake cake layers and make the filling.
  3. Day 3: Make the buttercream and assemble the cake.
Candy Bar Layer Cake

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Candy Bar Layer Cake

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Candy Bar Layer Cake

Candy Bar Layer Cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes

Three layers of homemade milk chocolate cake, filled with nougat filling, drizzled with caramel sauce, frosted with peanut butter buttercream, and drizzled with chocolate drip.

Ingredients

SPECIAL TOOLS

  • 3 8-inch round cake pans
  • Nonstick baking spray
  • Stand mixer
  • Candy thermometer
  • 8 inch round cardboard
  • Piping bag
  • Round piping tip or coupler
  • Ateco piping tip #827

MILK CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) cake flour
  • 1/4 cup dried nonfat milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

NOUGAT FILLING

  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar, plus 6 tablespoons (2.6 ounces), divided
  • 6 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PEANUT BUTTER SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons egg whites (from about 4 large eggs)
  • 1 1/4 cups (8.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

CHOCOLATE DRIP

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

Instructions

MILK CHOCOLATE CAKE

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, oil and eggs on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, dried milk, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the flour mixture, melted chocolate, 1/2 cup buttermilk and extracts to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk and mix until combined. Divide the batter between prepared cake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  4. Let cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes on cooling racks, then invert them on to the cooling racks to cool completely.


NOUGAT FILLING

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 3 tablespoons water. In another small saucepan combined the remaining 6 tablespoons granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons water.
  2. Heat the first saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar over medium heat. And the second saucepan with 6 tablespoons sugar over medium-low heat. Heat the first saucepan to 239 degrees F.
  3. While the sugar mixtures are heating up, whip the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until the egg whites reach soft peaks. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the first saucepan of sugar-water, if it’s reaching 239 degrees F and the egg whites still need some time to form soft peaks, turn the heat down and wait for the egg whites to reach soft peaks. You want the first saucepan of sugar water to reach 239 degrees F about the same time your egg whites form soft peaks.
  4. Once the first saucepan of sugar-water reaches 239 degrees F, carefully pour it into the egg whites while the mixer speed is on low.
  5. Once the first saucepan of sugar-water has been added to the egg whites, turn the mixer speed back up. Meanwhile, increase the heat on the second saucepan of sugar-water to medium. Once the second saucepan of sugar water reaches 248 degrees F, carefully pour it into the egg white mixture and let the egg white mixture whip until room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  6. Once the egg white mixture has reached room temperature, turn off the mixer and fold in the peanut butter and chopped nuts. Use the nougat filling immediately or store in the refrigerator until needed.

CARAMEL SAUCE

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water.
  2. Heat mixture over high heat occasionally swirling the pan (do not stir), until it turns golden in color, about 8 minutes. The mixture will rapidly boil until slowing down, then darkening in color. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the bubbles subside.
  3. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will sputter and foam up but be sure to keep stirring.
  4. Add the butter and continue to stir until the butter has melted. Add the salt and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour caramel into a heat proof container and let cool for 20 minutes. The caramel will thicken as it cools.

PEANUT BUTTER SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites and sugar whisking to combine. Fill a medium-sized saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place the mixer bowl with the egg white mixture on top, creating a double boiler. Be sure the bottom of the mixer bowl does not touch the water.
  2. Attach a candy thermometer to the bowl and bring mixture to 160 degrees, whisking occasionally. Once the mixture reaches 160 degrees, carefully attach it to the stand mixer.
  3. With the whisk attachment attached, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 10 minutes until the mixture holds medium-stiff peaks. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and attach the paddle attachment to the mixer.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Add in the peanut butter and mix to combine. Once combined, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the buttercream is combined and smooth, about 4 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix for one minute to reduce air bubbles.

ASSEMBLE

  1. Place one cake layer on a cake pedestal or cake turntable. Fit a piping bag with a round piping tip or coupler and fill bag with about 1 1/2 cups buttercream. Pipe a dam around the edge of the cake. Spread about 2/3 cup Nougat Filling on top in an even layer, spreading until the filling meets the dam. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Place the second cake layer on top and repeat this process. Save any remaining caramel sauce for additional decorating and serving. Add the last cake layer on top (bottom side up) and add a thin layer of buttercream on top of the cake and on the sides, creating a crumb coat. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Apply the final layer of buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Save some buttercream for decorating and place the cake in the refrigerator while you prepare the Chocolate Drizzle.


CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the cream and butter to a simmer. Pour hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Cool on the counter for about 20 minutes before using. The Chocolate Drizzle should still be fluid but not warm or hot before using.
  2. With a spoon, strategically work around the cake edge to layer the chocolate drip, coaxing the drips to drip where you want, then place just enough chocolate over the top center of the cake and push out with a metal cake spatula to spread around, meeting the chocolate that has been spooned on to the edges. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes.
  3. With a spoon, strategically place a second layer of drips around the edge of the cake. Pour more chocolate in the center of cake and spread around the top of the cake meeting the chocolate at the edge of the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes.
  4. Place remaining buttercream in a piping bag fitted with piping tip #827. Pipe 8 swirls around the top edge of the cake. Place chocolate candies on top of each swirl and serve.

Notes

Caramel Storage: Caramel may be stored in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator for 10 days.
Store assembled cake in an airtight cake container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 660Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 732mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 5gSugar: 30gProtein: 16g

*Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary.*

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