Burnt Sugar Candy Bar Cake


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Cooking the sugar until it’s caramelized (“burnt”) gives the cake a rich flavor. For the topping, use the candy bar or several kinds of the candy bars that you love most.

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  • 3/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C. hot water
  • 3 C. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
  • 2/3 C. butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 C. finely chopped assorted candy bars
  • Browned Butter Frosting:
  • 1/2 C. butter (see note)
  • 2 3 oz. pkg. of softened cream cheese
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 6 1/2 C. powdered sugar, sifted, divided
  • 2-3 tsp. milk
  • Coarsely chopped assorted candy bars, such as Hershey’s Mars, Nestle, or other (Optional)

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Grease and lightly flour 3 8 x 1 1/2 inch round baking pans or 2 9x2 inch pans. In a large skillet cook the 3/4 C. sugar over medium high heat until the sugar just begins to melt. Do not stir. Reduce heat; cook until sugar is golden brown, about 1-3 minutes more, stirring mixture constantly.

Carefully stir in hot water (syrup will form lumps). Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Continue stirring until mixture is free of lumps. Remove from heat. Pour syrup into a large glass measuring cup. Add additional water to equal 1 3/4 C. liquid. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat together the 1 1/2 C. sugar, the 2/3 C. butter, egg yolks, and the vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minutes or until mixture is smooth. Alternately add flour mixture and sugar syrup to egg yolk mixture, berating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Clean beaters thoroughly. In a medium mixing bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold into batter. Divide batter into baking pans; spread evenly.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; transfer to wire racks; cool completely.

To assemble, spread 1/2 C. Browned Butter Frosting over bottoms of 2 of the cake layers. Sprinkle each frosted layer with half of the finely chopped candy. Stack these layers on cake plate, frosted sides up. Place the third (unfrosted) layer on top, rounded side up. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Garnish with the coarsely chopped candy bar pieces, if desired.

To make frosting, in a small saucepan heat and stir butter over low heat until melted.

Continue heating until butter turns a nut brown color. Remove from heat: cool for 5 minutes. In large mixing bowl beat together cream cheese with butter until combined. Beat in 2 C. powdered sugar. Beat in the browned butter and gradually beat in other 4 1/2 sifted powdered sugar and milk until frosting is of spreading consistency.

Note: For frosting, use butter only. Margarine or other spreads will not yield same results and could keep the frosting mixture from setting properly.

Yield: 16 servings

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