Want to serve up a little “wow factor” to the birthday boy or girl this year? KitKat Cake will do the trick. Two moist layers of rich chocolate cake schmeared with fluffy chocolate frosting and surrounded by a crispy, crunchy ring of KitKat candy bars! It’s all topped off with oodles of colorful M&Ms, and the whole shebang even comes wrapped with a bow. Now, that is a dessert.
Needless to say, this sweet treat is a show-stopper, but what you might not expect is this is the perfect dessert for people who don’t love to decorate! Forget perfectly plastered frosting and fancy piped-on details. With KitKat Cake, the candy does the decorating for you!
It’s a delightfully festive recipe perfect for birthdays, holidays, and every celebration in between!
Feel free to get creative when it comes to making your own KitKat Cake creations! It doesn’t have to be chocolate on the inside, ya know? You can change out the flavor of both the cake, the icing, and the topping! Try out different candies or even berries to stack on top.
Looking for more fun candy-centric desserts to try? Bookmark this Reece’s Peanut Butter Pie for your next dessert extravaganza! And if you’re looking for a vanilla showstopper of a cake, bookmark this stacked Butter Pecan Cake as well!
HOW TO MAKE A KITKAT CAKE
- Make and bake a two-layered cake.
- Make the frosting.
- Frost the cake.
- Add a layer of KitKats around the edges.
- Tie a ribbon around the KitKats.
- Add M&M’s across the top.
Before we get into how to make this particular Chocolate KitKat Cake (and why), keep in mind you are more than welcome to use a box mix if you just can’t see a made-from-scratch rendition in your foreseeable future!
The cake used for this recipe is based on Hershey’s Classic Chocolate Cake, with just a few minor tweaks to improve upon flavor and texture. It is a two-layer cake, and you’ll find it comes together very easily. You might notice the batter is somewhat thin, but what is even more noticeable is its über moist crumb and big chocolate flavor!
You will need two 9″ round cake pans and parchment paper. Parchment paper ensures easy removal when taking the cake out of the pans.
HERE’S HOW YOU MAKE IT:
- First, whisk the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Combine cocoa powder and hot coffee (or water) in a large mixing bowl. Adding cocoa powder to hot liquid will help it to “bloom” and bring out the extra chocolatey notes!
- Whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the cocoa powder mix.
- Then, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
- Divide the batter between the pans and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
KITKAT CAKE FROSTING
The frosting is also chocolate, and it is rich, fluffy, and (best of all) easy to make. You’ll first whip the butter. Then, add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy. That’s all there is to that!
HOW TO FROST A LAYERED CAKE
If frosting a cake intimidates or even frustrates you, then this is the dessert for you! Why? No one sees the frosting. Fittingly, one of the beautiful things about a KitKat Cake is that it’s positively covered in candy.
If you’re a stickler for the rules, follow the guidelines below for frosting to perfection:
- Use a serrated knife to level off the tops of the cakes.
- Add a small dollop of icing to the cake dish or serving platter to keep the cake in place.
- Place one of the cake rounds over the icing, then add about 1/3 of the frosting to the center of that cake round and spread it to the edges.
- Top it off with the second cake round and add about 1 cup of frosting to the center.
- Spread the icing outward, pushing it down toward the edges, frosting as much of the cake as you can. Continue with this method until all of the frosting has been used.
ADD KITKATS, RIBBON, AND M&M’s
Now for the fun part — the candy! This KitKat Cake is every birthday kid (and adults) dream come true. It is surrounded by a single, standing layer of wafer candy bars, with a heaping (and I mean heaping) pile of M&M’s on top.
The frosting serves as glue for the ring of KitKats. Consider breaking these chocolate wafer candies apart using a sharp knife, rather than breaking them by hand to ensure there’s no waste or broken pieces left behind. Once they’ve been separated, add them in a single layer, side-by-side, all around the perimeter of the cake.
When you have the KitKats in place, you’ll secure them with a ribbon. For a nice, structured bow, you’ll want to purchase wired ribbon, about 1 1/2″ thick. The length of the ribbon depends on how long you want the tail of the bow to be.
Then, pour the M&M’s (you’ll need two, large “sharing size” bags) over the top, and you’re done!
HOW MANY KITKATS ARE IN A KITKAT CAKE?
To play it safe, you’ll want to have at about 40-45 KitKat sticks (not the minis) on hand.
HOW DO YOU CUT A KITKAT CAKE?
KitKat Cake can be divided into 12-16 slices, depending on how large you want the pieces to be. You’ll need to remove the ribbon before cutting into it, and you should fully expect an M&M landslide once you do! This is part of the fun and the kids absolutely love it! So do the grown-ups.
When slicing into it, don’t mind the M&M’s, but do your best to cut in between KitKat bars. You’ll begin by cutting the cake in half, then cut each half in half…and so on until you have the desired amount of slices.
5 MORE CAKE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
The best KitKat Cake Recipe is here! Moist, chocolate cake surrounded by KitKat candy bars and topped with M&M's.
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup hot coffee or water
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Generous pinch of fine sea salt
- 40-45 about 15 ounces total KitKat Candy Bars
- 2 10.7-ounce M&M's Milk Chocolate Candies (sharing size)
- 1 1/2"-thick wired ribbon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round baking pans and cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of each pan. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the hot coffee (or water) and cocoa powder. Then, add sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients in three rounds, alternating with the buttermilk.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back slightly when touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove the cakes from pans and onto a rack to cool completely.
- Add the butter to a large bowl and using a handheld mixer, mix on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. You could also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, milk, and vanilla and begin mixing on low. Slowly increase the speed and mix until smooth and well-combined.
- Use a long serrated knife to trim and level off the top of the cakes, if necessary. Place a small dollop of icing in the center of your serving platter or cake stand, and situate one of the cake rounds over it.
- Add about 1/3 of the remaining frosting to the cake round on the platter and use an offset icing spatula to spread it to the edges. Place the second cake round on top of the icing. Add a generous cup of frosting to the top of the cake and use the spatula to push the icing outward in all directions and down the sides. Repeat until all of the icing has been applied.
Once the cake is iced, Add individual KitKat sticks all along the sides. Wrap the ribbon around the cake, tie it into a bow, and trim any excess fabric from the ends. Once the ribbon is secured, pour the M&M's over the top, serve, and enjoy!