Snickers Cake

Snickers Cake

Tomorrow would have been – should have been – my dad’s 60th birthday. You may remember that last year on his birthday, I shared with you his very favorite cake, the one he would always request for his birthday. It’s a fabulous cake – a moist, chocolate cake with a river of cheesecake running through the middle and topped with sugared walnuts. It’s a very worthy birthday cake. However, if he were still here, I would have insisted on making something different and more elaborate than the cake he requested every year since it would be the big 6-0. I have no doubt that he would have been completely smitten with this cake and found every excuse in the world to eat piece after piece.

Snickers Cake

When we were kids, my dad apparently got some routine blood work done that showed his cholesterol as borderline high. My mom banished sweets from the house (my dad was an ice cream fanatic) and started whipping up homemade banana-nut oat bran muffins. The only problem? He went to work for eight hours a day. My dad worked for a small company not far from where we lived, so sometimes if we were out, my mom would stop by for a visit. One day we walked into his office and my sister and I saw tons of candy bar wrappers in his garbage can. Apparently, my dad was a big Snickers fan. You know little kids love to tattle… especially if they get to tattle on their parents. It took all of two seconds for my sister and I to let my mom in on our discovery. We totally busted my dad for sneaking candy at work while my mom was making batch-after-batch of bran muffins. Sorry Dad!

Snickers Cake

I’ve had the idea for this cake bouncing around in my head since last summer, but remembering that moment of finding those candy bar wrappers, I knew I wanted to save the recipe to commemorate my dad’s birthday. I’m so glad that I did – it’s definitely a special occasion cake that he would have absolutely appreciated.

Snickers Cake

I started with the chocolate cake that I used for the six-layer chocolate cake with toasted marshmallow filling and malted chocolate frosting, only left it at three layers instead of dividing it into six. For the filling, I used the peanut nougat from the homemade Snickers bar recipe, along with a smear of salted caramel sauce. I then frosted the whole cake with a thin layer of salted caramel buttercream and topped it with a milk chocolate ganache and chopped peanuts. That’s a mouthful!

Like I said, I totally delved into “special occasion” cake territory here, and it might be one of the best cakes that I’ve ever made. It truly tastes just like a Snickers bar. If I had to guess, it’s the nougat filling that totally makes it.

Snickers Cake

As is always the case, commemorating the birthday of someone who is no longer with us is bittersweet. I love to think about the time we shared, but of course wish that he were still here. It’s been a little over 14 years since he passed away and I was only a week past my 18th birthday when it happened. As I get closer to having spent just as much of my life without him as I did with him, it’s a strange feeling, but I continue to relish all of the wonderful memories of the time I did get to share with him. This cake is a celebration of that time, and of him.

Happy Birthday, Dad! I know you would love this cake… I’ll have a slice for you :) xoxo

Snickers Cake

One year ago: Orange Cookies with Sweet Orange Glaze
Two years ago: My Top 15 Favorite Indulgences
Three years ago: Honey-Vanilla Sour Cream Pound Cake

Snickers Cake

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Cook Time: 32 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

A cake reminiscent of a Snickers bar - chocolate cake with a peanut nougat filling, covered in a salted caramel buttercream and topped with a milk chocolate ganache and chopped peanuts.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup salted caramel sauce
2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:
Additional salted caramel sauce
Chopped peanuts

Directions:

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you're using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it's not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

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296 Responses to “Snickers Cake”

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  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on April 11, 2013 at 1:09 am

    One incredible cake, and what a sweet tribute to your father!

    Reply

  2. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on April 11, 2013 at 1:26 am

    My mouth was watering from the moment I saw this post title, and my cake lust only grew as I read on. I must try this cake. Gorgeous! Maybe I’ll make it to commemorate my mom’s birthday. It’s what our parents would want.

    Reply

  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 11, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Michelle this is an amazing cake and I loved the story telling and Snickers discovery in his office :) And about your memories and I know your dad would be so happy to enjoy this cake if he could. You said it’s possibly the best cake you’ve ever made and I would agree, 100% ! The chocolate cake itself looks so moist, decadent, fudgy and rich. And then there’s the nougat…I have always dreamed of just recreating Snickers or Milky Way nougat…and you did it. And the salted caramel. So many amazing things. Pinning, of course!

    Reply

  4. Jo on April 11, 2013 at 2:47 am

    This cake looks totally decadent! Step 5 states, “Fold in the peanuts, then pour over the bottom chocolate layer. Again, refrigerate until completely cool, about 30 minutes.” I am confused. Later Step 7 divides the nougat. Also, do you cool the nougat in the fridge prior to assembly? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 11th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Jo, Sorry about that! I have fixed the instructions in step 5.

      Reply

  5. All That's Left Are The Crumbs on April 11, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Such a beautiful post and tribute to your dad. I am sure that since he loved the candy he would have loved the cake, and he would have loved it even more because you made it for him.

    Reply

  6. Emma on April 11, 2013 at 4:08 am

    I’m sorry you lost your dad. :( Mine died when I was not even four. I have no doubt he would have LOVED this, especially since he loved Snickers so much. I’m going to make this for my husband’s birthday this August!

    Reply

  7. teresa on April 11, 2013 at 4:43 am

    I’m really sorry your dad is no longer with you, I can imagine it gets harder around this time, but he will live forever in your hearts, and I’m sure he would have loved this cake! Who wouldn’t? It looks so DELICIOUS! I am definitely going to make it, I just hope it turns out as good as yours!

    Reply

  8. foodnerd4life on April 11, 2013 at 4:57 am

    What a great tribute, and I’m sure he would of loved it. I make my grandma’s favourite cake on the anniversary of her birthday as a thank you for passing on her cooking skills and passion for baking to me.

    FoodNerd x

    http://www.foodnerd4life.com

    Reply

  9. Radhika on April 11, 2013 at 5:44 am

    What a loving tribute! Your dad would have loved this!
    Radhika

    Reply

  10. Andrea Jones on April 11, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Wow! This looks decadent and dangerous! Love the tribute to your Dad.

    Reply

  11. buttercream bakehouse on April 11, 2013 at 6:02 am

    My favorite candy bar. This looks amazing. Will have to wait though…I’m training for a marathon and still trying to loose HOliday weight! LOL

    Reply

  12. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen on April 11, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Michelle, saw Averie’s pin at Pinterest and just HAD to stop by and give you kudos for a job well done! Such a fabulous Snickers concept cake and so well executed down to the nougat filling. Loved reading about you being a young tattletale. (Poor dad! Caught darn near red-handed!) Since I was up early today (5:30 a.m. to make hubby breakfast), I meandered over to Twitter and checked your feed. I’m a diehard NHL hockey fan, too. Love. The. Game. Coolest on Earth. So happy to meet you online and to share our love of baking and hockey! xo P.S. Go Wings! ;)

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 11th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Stacy, It’s always great to meet another baking hockey fan! :)

      Reply

  13. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on April 11, 2013 at 6:32 am

    What a loving tribute to your dad. I’m sure he would have loved every single bite of this cake :) This cake looks absolutely delicious, and is definitely on my list!

    Reply

  14. Lesley on April 11, 2013 at 6:49 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your dad. Mine has been gone nearly 20 years, I miss him every day. I’m going to give this cake a whirl on the weekend. Snickers is my favourite bar too.

    Reply

  15. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on April 11, 2013 at 7:45 am

    OMG this cake… I am saving this recipe because it needs to be my birthday cake. I bet your dad would have LOVED it. How could he not?

    Reply

  16. Tracey on April 11, 2013 at 7:57 am

    What a sweet post, such a great tribute to your dad! If he loved Snickers I have no doubt he would have gone wild over this cake. A perfectly decadent birthday treat for sure :)

    Reply

  17. Dana on April 11, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Oh, my. This looks amazing. The layer of ganache I think puts it over the top. Maybe my hubby will want THIS for his birthday cake next month. Your dad would have savored this, I’m sure!

    Reply

  18. Taylor @ greens & chocolate on April 11, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Love the story behind this cake. And this cake – oh my!! Wish I had seen this last month when it was my birthday!!

    Reply

  19. Liz on April 11, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Snickers is my favorite chocolate bar so I can’t wait to make this! What a great tribute to your dad, he would be so proud of you, I’m sure! :)

    Reply

  20. Tieghan on April 11, 2013 at 8:48 am

    This is an amazing cake. Seriously, you are to unbelievably talented!! I need alice of this cake!! Wow, I still can not stop drooling over your pictures. Just wow. Thats is all I have to say!

    Reply

  21. Paula on April 11, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Sweet post and recollections of your Dad. Having loved snickers bars as much as he did he would have most certainly enjoyed this fabulous cake!

    Reply

  22. Michele on April 11, 2013 at 8:54 am

    What a beautiful way to remember your dad.

    Reply

  23. Mercedes on April 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Everything about this cake looks absolutely to-die-for! And I was so happy to read our recipe for the nougat and see that there was no candy thermometer involved!

    Reply

  24. Eva @ Eva Bakes on April 11, 2013 at 9:20 am

    What a beautiful story, and a gorgeous cake!

    Reply

  25. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on April 11, 2013 at 9:30 am

    This is such a sweet post. Your Dad would have gone bonkers for this cake! So thoughtful of you!

    Reply

  26. Diane W. on April 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

    This cake is everything a special celebration cake should be…downright SINFUL! I’m sure your dad would’ve loved it, hidden pieces everywhere for himself, snuck into the kitchen late at night (with you hot on his heels with forks), and savored every bite! May your dad’s birthday always be filled with more happy than sad memories. He’s always with you.

    Reply

  27. Marla on April 11, 2013 at 9:39 am

    oh Michelle – Your tribute is beautiful. I’m sad you lost your dad so young. I lost mine almost 2 years ago at 98 3/4 (hey, I figure we count the months at the beginning of life, why not at the end!) and that STILL wasn’t enough time with him. All of you out there who still have your fathers, take the time today to call and say “I love you,” “thanks for being my dad,” whatever works to convey your feelings for him. Don’t wait ’til Father’s Day… do it today. Same goes for your mom.

    Reply

    • tracy on April 11th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      I lost my Dad in October. He was 72. Marla, you’re absolutely right about taking the time to call your parents….I feel the same way. I miss him so much and wish I could call him just once more.

      Reply

  28. T on April 11, 2013 at 9:56 am

    What a wonderful and touching post. The cake looks absolutely yummy.

    Reply

  29. Vicki on April 11, 2013 at 9:59 am

    What a loving tribute, it touched my heart. I am celebrating a birthday on April 12th also, I am moved to make the cake, have a glass of milk with my LARGE piece, and I will throw some snicker wrappers in the trash and think of your dad with a smile and a tear. I am sure he is so proud of you!!

    Reply

  30. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on April 11, 2013 at 10:14 am

    That is one delicious looking cake! Though I think I’d be tempted to eat most of it once I’d made it.

    Reply

  31. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on April 11, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Losing a parent is always hard, but at such a young age, even harder! Those are things we never really get over. Love the story about tattling on your dad — I totally relate! This cake seems like the perfect tribute being that it was Snickers bar wrappers! This is one beautiful cake.

    Reply

  32. marie @ little kitchie on April 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

    This is pure decadence at its finest! I’m sure your dad would adore this cake!

    Reply

  33. Courtney on April 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Truth is, I don’t even like snickers bars (i’m really more of a milky way gal) but THIS is making me drool. You did an amazing job! I have a snickers obsessed husband who is totally getting this for his birthday. Thank you thank you. Here’s to your dad. :)

    Reply

  34. jamie g on April 11, 2013 at 11:05 am

    How over the top! I think birthday cakes should be like that. What a lovely memory and tribute to your dad. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  35. Elisa on April 11, 2013 at 11:24 am

    What a gorgeous cake! I too, often celebrate/commemorate with food … I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said “Love people, make them tasty food” = ) Can’t wait to gather the ingredients and try this one out!

    Reply

  36. Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion on April 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

    This cake is insane!!!

    Reply

  37. Joy Noll on April 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I too celebrate my sister with cake. :) She was the best baker! I made her favorite Starbucks drink in cake form on the second anniversary of her passing this year. It is a fun and tender way to celebrate her life…and what better way to celebrate life than with cake!:)
    The link below is a story I think you’d treasure…bless you as you celebrate your father today.
    http://jonesdesigncompany.com/thoughts/hold-on-to-your-fork/
    Joy

    Reply

  38. Emily on April 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    This looks amazing!! I know I’ve commented about the whole coffee in chocolate cake thing before, but I think I will give it a try. Since I am not a coffee drinker/maker, do you have any tips on how to make the “strong” coffee called for?? Coffee is the one item related to cooking I don’t make and won’t do a taste test haha.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 12th, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Hi Emily, I’m not a coffee drinker either, but this is the formula my sister gave me for making good coffee – take however many cups you’re making, divide by two and add 1 and that’s how many scoops you should use. For instance, if you’re making 6 cups, you should use 4 scoops (6/2=3 + 1 = 4).

      Reply

  39. Ruth on April 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    1This cake looks RIDICULOUSLY good. I just sat and stared at it with my mouth open for ten minutes this morning. I showed my boyfriend and he had a similar reaction and put in an instant request for me to try making it (if I ever have the stamina)… This is an absolute masterpiece!

    Reply

  40. Jack on April 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Do you think this chocolate cake recipe would be good to convert to cupcakes?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 12th, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Hi Jack, I have not trying converting these to cupcakes yet; if you give it a go I’d love to hear your feedback!

      Reply

  41. tracy on April 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Your story is so sweet and it’s ironic I read this post today. My dad died in October and tomorrow we leave on a family trip to pay tribute to him. My dad always requested lemon meringue pie for both birthdays and Father’s Day (and any other day if you felt like making him one). This Snickers cake looks absolutely delicious. I love Snickers. Thankyou for the post!

    Reply

  42. Jodi Pavlik on April 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    This looks so awesome! I am sure your dad would have loved that cake! Man, I wish we were neighbors so I could snag a piece of this.

    Reply

  43. Obsessive Compulsive Baking Disorder on April 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Oh my sweet jesus this looks absolutely delicious! I could eat the pictures off my laptop screen it looks so good! I bet your Dad would have loved it. How could he not have?

    Thanks for an AMAZING recipe and a lovely post.

    Leah x x x

    Reply

    • Marcia Drake on April 11th, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Your comments made me chuckle out loud. Thanks :)

      Reply

  44. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    This post was so sweet (in more ways than one) haha. What a great way to honor your dad’s memory!!! This cake looks perfect!

    Reply

  45. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on April 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Oh my word, this looks amazing!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  46. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist on April 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I love this cake, and especially what inspired it. It warms my heart. I’m sure he would have absolutely loved it, 100%! And I’m sure that every ounce of work and love you put into it made it just that much more sweet. Totally perfect.

    Reply

  47. Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes on April 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Just died a little inside. Lovely cake and post!

    Reply

  48. Pennie D on April 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    What a great way to remember your dad. My dad’s birthday is Sunday and he loves snickers, so I will be making this cake to celebrate the day with. This cake will be perfect pick-me-up to his day.

    Reply

  49. megan on April 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I’m literally drooling right now!! This looks delicious, but your story is even sweeter. I’m sorry your Dad isn’t here to celebrate, but I’m sure he’s here in spirit eating slice after slice with you.

    Reply

  50. Monica on April 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    What an amazing cake and beautiful story about your dad. I will have to make this soon! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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