I have been wanting to make this cake for the longest time. And I finally had the perfect occasion.
I was asked to donate a cake for a charity golf tournament over the weekend. The cake would be auctioned off to raise money for a young man named Trent Jones who was in an automobile accident and is now a quadriplegic. (Click here to learn more about his story and donate to his injury fund.)
I wanted to make a cake that was extra special. Kit Kat Cake is a chocolate frosted chocolate layer cake, surrounded by over 40 Kit Kat bars, topped with 2 large bags of M&M’s and wrapped with a beautiful ribbon that’s tied in a bow. Not only is it completely delicious, it also traveled well. Since the frosting was covered by the candy, it was easy to wrap it up in clear plastic (gift basket style) and display on the auction table.
If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for M&M’s. I love baking with them! They’re so colorful. And not to mention, super yummy!
Needless to say, the cake was a hit! I will definitely be making a Kit Kat Cake again when I need to bake something festive. It would be perfect for any holiday. In fact, it would be so cute using limited edition M&M’s for various holidays and adding coordinating ribbon colors. I’m already thinking Halloween, what do you think?
So let’s get on with the tutorial…
The first thing I always do when baking a cake is cut parchment paper to line the bottom. I simply place the pan on top of the paper, trace the shape of the pan onto the paper with a permanent marker and cut it out. I cut about an 1/8″ inside the line to make it fit perfectly. Then spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spray on the bottom and sides of pan. Place the paper liner, then spray more on top of the liner. That baby will not be sticking to your pan. No way, no how!
Since this cake is sort of umm… EPIC, I thought it would be a good idea to just use a cake mix. You know, to save some time. Feel free to use your favorite chocolate cake recipe, if you’re feeling ambitious. I used two 9-inch round cake pans and divided the batter from one cake mix equally between the two pans. Then baked them according to the package instructions.
After the cakes are baked and cooled, cover and freeze for about an hour. They’re easier to work with that way. Then they need to be leveled. Using a large bread knife, slice horizontally across the top of each cake, just so you can remove the dome like shape.
For the frosting, I used a little short cut. Let’s call it semi-homemade chocolate frosting. Start by adding one can of chocolate fudge frosting (I used Pillsbury) to a large mixing bowl. Then add 1 stick of softened butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium for about a minute. With the mixer on low, gradually add half a bag of powdered sugar and 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Once all is combined, turn up to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
Place one cake on a 12-inch cake board or large round plate. Frost the first layer, then add the second layer and spread frosting all over the cake. After you unwrap all of the Kit Kat bars (it takes a little bit of time, be patient), then you can start pressing them into the side of the cake. If the icing has formed a crust, then you will need to take a butter knife and rough up the edges a bit to get the candy bar to stick. Place the Kit Kat Bars side by side, all the way around the cake. I used about 11 Kit Kat bars or 42 sections.
And voila! Your candy bar cake fence is complete. You should be left with about an inch and a half of vertical space to add your M&M’s.
Before adding the M&M’s, carefully wrap a ribbon around the cake and tie in a bow. To measure the ribbon, I used a very technical method. I eyeballed it!
Then I used almost two entire large bags of M&M’s to fill the cake. Each bag was 19.20 ounces. If you wanted to get fancy, you could color coordinate your ribbon and your M&M’s by going to the candy store and picking out your own custom colors. Like for a baby girl shower, you could use pink ribbon and several shades of pink and white M&M’s. Of course, the M&M’s are more expensive that way.
What Kit Kat Cake color combination would you like best? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you! 🙂
Kit Kat Cake
- For the cake
- 1 18.25 ounce box of chocolate cake mix, prepared according to package instructions (I used Pillsbury)
- For the frosting
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 16 ounce can of chocolate fudge frosting (I used Pillsbury)
- 3 3/4 cup 1 pound powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream (more if needed)
- For the decorations
- 11 1.5 ounce Kit Kat candy bars (you'll need 42 sticks total)
- Two 19.20 ounce bags of M&M's
- 12- inch cake board
- Ribbon of your choice I found mine at the dollar store
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line with pre-cut parchment paper (trace shape of pan onto paper and trim to fit in pan). Spray more cooking spray. Set aside.
Prepare cake mix according to package instructions. Fill prepared pans equally with cake batter. Bake according to package instructions. (I used Pillsbury and baked the cakes for 28-30 minutes.) Let them cool. Then cover and put in freezer for 1 hour. You can skip this step, but the cake is much easier to handle when it is chilled and firm.
Meanwhile, scoop the chocolate fudge frosting into a large bowl. Add the butter. With an electric mixer, beat on medium for a minute. Turn mixer to low and gradually add the sugar and cream. Beat for 2 minutes on medium. If it's too thick, add a little more cream. Stir to combine.
Place chilled cake on cake board or large plate. Using a large bread knife, slice horizontally to remove the dome shape of cake. You have a nice flat surface. Frost top of cake. Level second cake and place on top. Frost all over top and sides of cakes.
After unwrapping all of the candy bars, stick Kit Kat's to the sides of the cake, lining them up vertically, side-by-side. If the frosting has formed a crust, just use a butter knife to spread it again, making it sticky. Wrap a bow around the cake, securing the Kit Kat's. Fill the top of the cake with M&M's. You should have about 1 1/2 inches of vertical space above the cake to add the M&M's. You might have a few extra left over. I had about 1/2 cup left over.
I think it's best to keep the cake at room temperature because when the candy gets cold, it will sweat when you take it out of the refrigerator. Store covered for up to 3 days. Or if you must refrigerate, it will last a few days longer. Remove bow before cutting the cake.