Thursday, June 6, 2013

Milky Way Cake

The best birthday cake.
       Strangely, I don't like candy bars that much.  They're good once in a while I guess, but I would much rather eat a chewy oatmeal raisin cookie or a soft, fluffy muffin than a Hershey's bar.  

       This wasn't always the case.  Before I became accustomed to freshly baked goods and foods made from scratch, I loved candy, and Milky Way bars were my favorite.  Milky Ways, as I remember, were basically just a nougat and caramel dipped in chocolate.  After seeing other desserts based off of candy bars, I was inspired to elevate this candy bar into a chocolate layer cake with salted caramel buttercream, covered in milk chocolate ganache and homemade caramel sauce.  Since it was my birthday when I made this, it was justified that I indulge in this rich, sweet, and just scrumptious cake. 

       Food can symbolize a lot.  I should know because I just finished baking my English final project (more details to come).   In this case, the cake symbolizes how I got older.  Similar to how I grew into a highschooler,  the Milky Way bar grew into a gorgeous five-layer cake.  

        For the basic cake, I used my favorite one-bowl chocolate cake recipe, which is quick and easy to make.  I made 3 8" layer and then split 2 of the layer in half (the third layer was thinner than the others). 

        Then I modified a nougat recipe according to the things I had.  All you need is marshmallow fluff (found in the peanut butter isle), chocolate malted milk powder (found where the dehydrated milk is), milk, butter, and vanilla extract.  The result was just what I wanted, and it was exactly like the filling in Milky Way bars.  

         I made some caramel sauce (which is basically almost-burnt sugar mixed with heavy cream and butter) and incorporated it into a buttercream.  Then I filled and frosted the cake and poured ganache and more caramel sauce on top.  I was kind of lazy and I didn't feel like making the cake pretty.  Also, everyone in my house was pressuring me to finish the cake so that they could eat it.  If you want it to look pretty, let the ganache cool and thicken more before you pour it.  

         I really liked this cake, and so did my family.  They said that it was the best cake I ever made.  They always say that, but I agree that it was pretty awesome.  The cake was moist and chocolatey, the filling was fluffy and nougaty, the frosting was creamy and so delicious, and...need I say more?

         Please do yourself and those around you a favor and make this.  Enjoy!

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Recipe in this post

*Spread batter evenly into 3 8" or 2 9" cake pans and bake.
*When the cakes are cool, or, preferably, chilled in the refrigerator, cut each cake in half vertically so you get 4-6 cake layers.

Nougat Cake Filling

makes about 2-1/2 cups


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chocolate malted milk powder
7.5oz (1 small jar) Marshmallow Fluff

1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the sugar, milk, and malted milk powder.  When the mixture is smooth, remove it from the heat.  Stir in marshmallow fluff and vanilla until well combined.  Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every so often.  Yo can also refrigerate the filling and then microwave it to get it back to room temperature.

Caramel Sauce

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
makes one cup


1 cup granulated sugar
6 tbs butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 tsp fleur de sel or flaky sea salt (optional)


  1. In a medium pot, add the sugar and melt over medium heat, stirring constantly until it is all melted.  Once it's smooth, stop stirring and just swirl the pot around instead.  When the caramel is golden and reaches 350*F, remove it from the heat.  Be careful or it will burn. 
  2. Add the butter pieces, carefully because the mixture will start bubbling.  Stir until smooth.  
  3. Slowly add the heavy cream and whisk to incorporate. Stir in salt if using.
  4. Let sauce cool for ten minutes, then transfer into a glass jar.  Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
  5. This can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.  Microwave until liquid before using.  

Caramel Buttercream

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
enough to frost one cake


1 stick (1/2cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 caramel sauce (recipe above)
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted


  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Then beat in the caramel sauce.  Add the sugar bit by bit and beat to incorporate.  Beat the frosting for a couple of minutes until fluffy.

Milk Chocolate Ganache


8oz milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and then pour over the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Let cool a bit before pouring over the frosted cake.

Assembly of Milky Way Cake

  1. Spread nougat filling onto one cake layer and then place another cake on top.  Repeat with the rest of the cake layers.
  2. Frost the cake with the caramel buttercream
  3. Pour the ganache over the cake, then drizzle on some more caramel sauce.
  4. Refrigerate until serving. 

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