Well, Halloween has come and gone, and I found us with an abundance of leftover candy. Both Paul and I had to work on Halloween, so we were not able to hand out candy to any trick-or-treaters. However, we are definite candy fans, so we bought some to munch on ourselves. After initially picking through all the candy for our favourites, we were left with lots of Mars bars, Oh! Henry’s, and Snickers bars. We had the most Snickers bars, and this cake was born.
I debated for a couple of days on how to create a Snickers cake. I knew it needed chocolate, caramel, peanut, and nougat components, but I was unsure how to incorporate the nougat. Finally, after some thought (and a bit of internet searching!) I came up with a plan. A dark chocolate cake, filled with a peanut nougat frosting, slathered in a caramel buttercream. Mix all that with chopped up Snickers bars in the nougat frosting and on top, and voila! We have a Snickers cake.
I used my own personal favourite recipe for the cake, but I found another food blogger, the Brown Eyed Baker, who also made a Snickers cake, and I used her recipe for the peanut nougat frosting and for the caramel cream cheese buttercream icing. I made just a few changes as well. I didn’t add the peanuts to the nougat frosting, because I added chopped up Snickers bars, and I used regular caramel sauce instead of salted caramel sauce. While I appreciate the idea of elevating the Snickers bar to something a little more elegant, I really wanted to keep the spirit of the Snickers bar.
This cake, to me, was very reminiscent of a Snicker’s bar. The nougat frosting in the middle was sweet, but very good, and the chopped up Snickers bits made it so you knew exactly what you were eating. As I said before, this is my favourite chocolate cake recipe. I love it. It is moist, with a tender crumb and so delightfully chocolatey. To top it all off – that caramel cream cheese buttercream? Pure decadence. This cake is definitely for the sweet at heart – there is sugar in every component, but I’ll tell you, it is worth it.
Sorry I didn’t get a perfect slice, but you at least get the essence of the cake in this photo. I’m definitely not perfect, and some cakes can be difficult to cut and serve. Either way, if you have a sweet tooth, make sure you try out this recipe.
Yield: 1 9-inch cake
2 c. boiling water
1 c. cocoa
2¾ c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking bowder
½ tsp. salt
1 c. butter, at room temperature
2¼ c. sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla
4 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
¼ c. evaporated milk
1½ c. marshmallow fluff
¼ c. peanut butter (creamy for a smooth nougat, chunky for more peanuts)
1 tsp. vanilla
15 mini Snickers bars, chopped
½ c. butter, at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ c. caramel sauce (either homemade or store-bought)
2 c. icing sugar
15 mini Snickers bars, chopped in half for garnishes
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease or layer three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. I use parchment paper, because the cakes come out perfectly every time. In a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Let the mixture cool. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add in the vanilla and beat again. Add the flour mixture and the cocoa mixture alternately. Spread cake batter evenly in three pans, and bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cool in pans about 20 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
To make the nougat frosting: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the Snickers bars. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it. Either leave it at room temperature, or put into the refrigerator to cool the nougat faster. Stir occasionally as the nougat cools.
To make the caramel buttercream: In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Pour in the caramel sauce and beat until combined. Reduce speed to medium-low and add in the icing sugar slowly, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the mixer speed back to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
To assemble the cake, level off the layers if they have not baked up evenly. Place one cake on a cake platter, and cover with half of the nougat frosting, evenly spread across the cake. Drizzle a tablespoon of caramel sauce over the nougat, and place the second cake layer on top of the nougat.
Top the second cake with the rest of the nougat frosting, spread evenly, and another tablespoon of caramel sauce, and place the final cake layer on top of the other two. Frost the entire cake with the caramel buttercream, then put in the refrigerator to set for an hour.
**If desired, make a chocolate ganache to drizzle on the cake, using 8 oz. of chocolate, and 4 oz. of heavy cream. Heat the cream to a boil in a saucepan, pour over the chocolate, and let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let the ganache cool slightly to thicken it, but so that it is still pourable. Pour the ganache over the center of the cake, slowly, letting the ganache drip down the sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the ganache set up.**
Garnish with any remaining caramel buttercream, caramel sauce and the chopped Snickers bars.