A while ago someone asked me if I could make a snickers cake because they said they can never find a good one.
I was immediately down to make it, I love snickers so I knew a snickers cake would taste amazing. It did take me a while to make it though….I was procrastinating leave me alone.
This cake has 2 fudgy layers of chocolate cake, filled with a milk chocolate whipped ganache and a salted caramel that has been mixed with peanuts. It was so fudgy, crunchy and caramely, if you like snickers you will love this!
So this snickers cake has 3 different parts, the chocolate cake layers, the ganache and the salted caramel.
The first thing we are going to make is the ganache. This takes the longest to set, so it’s best to make it first.
To make it all you need is milk chocolate, double cream and butter. You just want to heat all this together until the chocolate has melted and you get a smooth mixture.
Leaving the ganache to set
Once you have made this, it will be very runny at first, you can’t do much with it at this point. So you need to leave it to set.
After it has set, it will be a lot thicker and firmer.
There are 2 ways to leave this to set, you can either leave it in your fridge for a few hours. Or you can make the ganache the day before and leave it to set at room temperature overnight.
I prefer leaving it to set at room temperature. It does take longer, but I feel like it sets better and also I feel like I’m not waiting for it….because I’m sleeping.
But it’s up to you, either way works fine. If you want to make this cake all in one day, you can let the ganache set in the fridge.
Whipping the ganache
The last step in making this, is to whip it. You want to whip it after it has become firm.
Whipping it will just make it fluffier. In my opinion it tastes much better after it has been whipped.
To whip it, if you have an electric hand or stand mixer, use it. It will make it a lot easier to whip. But you can also just use a hand whisk and whisk it aggressively
You don’t want to whip it for too long, just until it becomes lighter and fluffier. The colour will change a lot, that’s when you know it is done.
Ingredients for the cake layer
Here are the ingredients you are going to need to make the cake layers:
- Cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder is always best to use.
- Hot water mixed with coffee – the coffee is going to intensify the chocolate flavour.
- Oil – for moisture, I use vegetable oil but any flavourless oil works.
- Buttermilk – also for moisture.
- Plain flour – also known as all-purpose flour.
- Sugar – I used a mixture of both white and light brown sugar. The brown sugar is going to add extra flavour and moisture.
- Baking soda – to make the cake rise.
- Vinegar – this will react with the baking soda and give you a fluffy cake.
There are a few ingredients that I used in the chocolate cake batter that can be substituted if you wanted to. So let’s talk about them:
Coffee in chocolate cake does not make your cake taste like coffee. All it does is intensify the chocolate flavour, it makes the cake taste more chocolaty.
However, if you really wanted to leave it out, you could. Just make sure to still add the hot water.
I love using oil, instead of butter, in my chocolate cakes.
Oil adds moisture, whereas butter adds flavour. I don’t feel like chocolate cakes need the extra flavour, so I prefer using oil to get that moistness.
If you wanted to use butter though, you can. Use 200g of unsalted butter and melt this in your microwave.
Buttermilk in this cake does 2 things. It adds moisture, and also the acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda which helps the cake rise.
If you didn’t have buttermilk, the best substitute is plain yoghurt. Most of the time I use yoghurt, I never have buttermilk in my fridge.
Or you could also make a buttermilk substitute by mixing together 120ml of whole milk and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Leave this aside for 10 minutes, then it’s ready to use.
With that being said though, buttermilk or plain yoghurt are the best 2 ingredients to use.
The last thing I do when making this cake batter is mix together baking soda and vinegar, then I mix this into the batter.
This is something that is typically done when making red velvet cakes. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda which gives your cake an extra lift as it bakes, giving you a fluffy cake that has a nice velvety texture.
I like to use white vinegar but apple cider vinegar works too.
Personally, I think these 2 vinegars are the best to use, they give you the best results. But you could also just use lemon juice instead.
The salted caramel
The last part of this cake is the caramel. I decided to make a caramel sauce for this, I made a salted caramel one.
I know snickers doesn’t have salted caramel in it but I always prefer salted caramel over regular degular caramel, so I went with this. You don’t need to add the salt if you don’t want too.
I also wanted to mention, making this caramel sauce is pretty easy, but I know that caramel making can be a little scary. So if you wanted to just buy some caramel sauce, you could. No one has to know, it will save some time and make things a lot easier.
Here are the ingredients you are going to need to make this salted caramel sauce:
- Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
- Unsalted butter – I like to use salted butter and then add salt separately. This way I can control the amount of salt in the caramel. However, if you wanted to just use salted butter, you can. But if the caramel ends up too salty, that’s on you please don’t blame me.
- Double cream – also known as heavy cream.
- Salt – optional. If you are adding it though, I added 1/8 tsp but you can add as much or as little as you want.
- Peanuts – you can’t have snickers without peanuts. So for the filling for this cake, I mixed some of the caramel with some peanuts. Side note I used unsalted peanuts, but if you’re using salted ones, you probably don’t need to add any salt in the caramel.
A few tips when making the caramel
Don’t burn your sugar
The first step in making this caramel is to melt the sugar in a pot. You want to melt it until it turns into an amber colour.
In order to prevent this sugar from burning, there are two things you need to do. One, constantly stir the sugar, don’t walk away from it. And two, keep your heat on medium-low, don’t try increasing it to speed up the process.
Burning the sugar will leave you with a bitter tasting caramel, we don’t want this.
So just take your time with the sugar, don’t rush it and don’t stop stirring.
Use room temperature butter and warm cream
After the sugar has melted, you’re going to mix in the butter, and then the cream.
If you add cold butter or cream into the melted sugar, the sugar will set up straight away. This will leave you with a lumpy caramel.
So use room temperature butter. You don’t need to wait for it to come to room temp though. I just heat it in the microwave at 10 second intervals until the butter has softened.
And also use warm cream, just heat it for about 30 seconds – 1 minute in your microwave.
Be careful when mixing in the butter and cream
There will be a lot of steam once you start mixing these into the sugar, especially after you add the butter.
So just be a little careful, steam…is hot, please don’t burn you hands. Wearing oven gloves is a good idea.
Let it cool completely before using it
You don’t want to use this caramel in and on top of your cake straight away. It will be too runny and also too hot.
So make sure to let it cool down completely and thicken up in your fridge before using it.
- For the ganache:
500g milk chocolate
400ml double cream
50g unsalted butter
- For the cake layers:
50g cocoa powder
80ml hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon instant coffee
200ml vegetable oil
200g plain flour
125g brown sugar
125g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons white vinegar
- For the caramel:
300g granulated sugar
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
180ml double cream, warm
1/8 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
200g peanuts, slightly chopped
- Making the ganache:
- In a bowl, add the chocolate, cream and butter. Heat this in your microwave for 1 minute, then take it out and give it a stir.
- Place it back into the microwave and heat for 15 seconds this time, take it out and stir again. Keep repeating this until all the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache. If you feel like the ganache is lumpy (this typically happens when the chocolate has gotten too hot) just pour the ganache through a sieve to get out the lumps.
- Cover and leave this to set. You can either leave it to set in your fridge for a few hours, or you can leave it at room temperature overnight.
- Making the cake layers:
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
- In a large bowl, add the cocoa powder and hot water/coffee. Whisk until smooth. Then whisk in the oil, buttermilk and eggs.
- Add both sugars and flour into this and whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
- In a separate small bowl, add the baking soda and then pour the vinegar over it. This will start bubbling, just give it a quick mix then straight away pour it into your cake batter. Whisk until incorporated.
- Pour this batter into your cake tins and bake at 180c/350f for around 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked, leave to cool completely.
- Making the caramel:
- In a pot, add about 1/3 of the sugar. Place this pot onto medium heat.
- Heat this sugar, whiles constantly stirring, until the sugar starts to melts. Once it starts to melt, pour another 1/3 of the sugar into the pot. Again keep stirring until this starts to melt, then add the rest of the sugar. Make sure not to increase the heat during this process, you want to melt the sugar slowly, otherwise it can burn.
- Keep heating and stirring the sugar until it all has melted and turned an amber colour.
- Take it off the heat and whisk in the butter. Then slowly pour in the cream, whiles mixing. Now just add the salt.
- Measure 250g of this caramel and mix this with the peanuts. Save the rest of the caramel to decorate the cake.
- Put your caramel peanut mixture in the fridge just until it cools completely and sets up a little. You don't want to add it to the cake whiles the caramel is still hot.
- Putting the cake together:
- Once your ganache has set, the cake has cooled and the caramel has cooled, you can put the cake together.
- Start by whipping your ganache just until it lightens in colour and becomes fluffier.
- Place one of your cake layers down onto a plate or cake board, spread some of the ganache on top of this, then pipe a border of the ganache around the edge of the cake. Add your chilled caramel/peanut in the middle of this.
- Add the 2nd layer of cake on top and decorate however you want. I just used the rest of the ganache to ice the sides, then I added a drip with the leftover caramel and add some chopped snickers on top.
- Now just cut into it and enjoy!