Candy Bar Cake- A Doctored Cake Mix Recipe
This delicious Candy Bar Cake consists of moist chocolate cake layers frosted with a heavenly whipped cream cheese frosting speckled with Hershey Bar shavings.
We've used a doctored chocolate cake mix for this recipe, but you can easy switch things up with one of our scratch chocolate recipes if you'd like (such as our Classic Chocolate Cake, Milk Chocolate Cake, or Chocolate Sour Cream Cake)!
Whether you are using a doctored cake mix or one of our scratch chocolate cakes, you are going to fall in love with this recipe!
Table of Contents
How to Make Candy Bar Cake
*You can find our full, printable cake recipe further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps!
Splitting the Cake Layers
Candy Bar Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
This frosting is amazing! It is super light and fluffy and so flavorful!
Many refer to this type of frosting as a stabilized whipped cream, as it is a bit thicker than plain whipped cream. The light cream cheese flavor is really nice too- and the chocolate shavings take it to a whole new level of deliciousness!
- First, using a grater, create chocolate shavings from the 4 Hershey Bars and set aside
- Freeze your mixing bowl and beaters 15 minutes before whipping the cream. While your bowl and beaters are chilling, go ahead and grate four (1.55 oz each) Hershey bars into a small bowl and set aside for later.
- Using the whisk attachment for a stand mixer or beaters on your hand mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. You are at the stiff peak stage when you lift the beater and the cream stands straight up forming a peak. Keep in the refrigerator while completing the next step.
- In another bowl combine the softened cream cheese, sifted powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until very smooth. Gently fold this into the prepared whipped cream.
- Finally, fold in the chocolate shavings from the three grated Hershey bars. Cover and refrigerate until ready to decorate the cake.
Splitting Layers and Assembling the Cake
- We baked two thick chocolate cake layers (8 inch rounds) and used a knife to carefully split them into four thinner cake layers. This is an optional step but we like that it allows for more filling!
- To torte/split the cake layers, we gently sliced the cake layer horizontally while rotating it on the counter.
- To assemble, place the first cake layer on the pedestal or cake platter. Spread with frosting, follow with the next layer, and repeat for the next two cake layers.
- Frost with an even layer of frosting. I like to rotate the cake on a turntable while smoothing the frosting with a spatula or bench scraper.
Chocolate curls are a great way to add additional drama to your cakes! To create the chocolate curls for our candy bar cake, I ran a vegetable peeler down the side of a Hershey bar.
If the chocolate is too cold/firm, the the curls won't form. Room temperature chocolate, or chocolate that is slightly warm works best. If the chocolate is too soft, just refrigerate for a few minutes.
You may find it easier to create curls from a thicker bar of chocolate as it will be less likely to break as you are working.
I had a larger Hershey bar on hand which I used for these curls- but you can also use the smaller size or even chocolate/almond bark coating.
(We have a free cake video on chocolate curls if you'd like to see! You can find it here: How to Make Colorful Chocolate Curls)
Freeze the Chocolate Curls
I always like to freeze my chocolate curls for about 5 minutes or so before placing them on the cake - it makes them so much less fragile!
Even then, for your more delicate spiraled curls, you may even like to place them onto the cake using a small wooden skewer/toothpick ;0)
More Chocolate Cakes to Try
If you love chocolate, we have many more delicious cake recipes for you to try!
For the Cake Layers
- 1 (15.25oz) (432g) Devil's Food or Chocolate Cake Mix ( I used Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist Cake Mix)
- ⅓ cup (40g) all purpose flour (gently spoon into measuring cup and level off with a table knife)
- 1 small box (3.9oz) (110g) Jell-O brand Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix (not the cooked version) Use the dry pudding, do not follow the directions on the instant pudding box.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (242g) sour cream
- 1 cup (242g) water
- ½ cup (108g) vegetable oil ( I use Canola oil)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
For the Candy Bar Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 Hershey Bars (1.55 oz size), grated
- 2 (8 ounce) (226 g) packages cream cheese, softened. It must be full fat, not reduced fat or cream cheese in a tub, those are too soft.
- 2 cups (230g) powdered sugar, sift then measure
- 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
- 3 cups (696g heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 additional small Hershey Bars for creating chocolate curls on top (optional) or one of the thicker sized Hershey bars. (Thicker bars can be easier to work with when creating curls since they are less fragile).
For the Chocolate Cake
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, Grease and flour two (8x2 inch) round cake pans if you plan to split the layers as we did. You could also use three (8x2 inch) cake pans if not splitting the layers. Put a circle of parchment or waxed paper into the bottom of each pan.
In the mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: cake mix, flour, and pudding mix. Whisk to blend. Add the eggs, sour cream, water, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed to blend increasing to medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix another minute.
Divide the batter among the two prepared pans.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. It should also spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. If baking in three 8-inch pans, the time will be closer to 22-25 minutes.
For the Candy Bar Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Using a grater, create chocolate shavings from the 4 Hershey Bars and set aside
Freeze your mixing bowl and beaters 15 minutes before whipping the cream (30 minutes if chilling the bowl in the refrigerator.)
Use the whisk attachment for a stand mixer or beaters on your hand mixer. Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. This can happen very quickly so don't walk away from the mixer. You are at the stiff peak stage when you lift the beater and the cream stands straight up forming a peak, or folds slightly over. Keep the whipped cream in the refrigerator while completing the next step.
In another bowl combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until very smooth. Gently fold this into the bowl of whipped cream. Also, fold in the chocolate shavings. Cover and refrigerate. If you are piping this frosting and it becomes too soft, just refrigerate the filled piping bag for a short while.
Assembling the Candy Bar Cake
We baked two thick chocolate cake layers and used a knife to carefully split them into four thinner cake layers. This is an optional step but we like that it allows for more filling into each slice!
To assemble, place the first cake layer on the pedestal or cake platter. Spread with frosting, follow with the next layer, and repeat for the next two cake layers. Frost with an even layer of frosting.
For the Chocolate Curls
Using an additional 1-2 Hershey Bars, (or one thicker, larger Hershey bar) I created chocolate curls using a vegetable peeler. You may have to experiment a bit- the chocolate curls best when it is ever so slightly warm. I chilled the curls in the freezer for about 5 minutes to firm them up and then added them around the top edge of the cake. Use a toothpick to move and apply the chilled curls if you'd like -- they are fragile.
Because of the whipped cream and cream cheese frosting, this cake should be refrigerated until closer to the time of serving. It can be remove from the refrigerator an hour or so before serving.
1. This cake recipe makes approximately 5 ½ cups batter
2. The recipe can be baked in 2 (8x2) inch round pans, 2 (9x2)inch pans, or 3 (8x2) inch round pans. We baked in 2 (8x2) inch rounds and split those to have a 4 layer cake.
3. Recipe works well for cupcakes. For standard size cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness. Remove cupcakes from the pan immediately and cool on a cooling rack.