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Milky Way Cake with Caramel Swirl Frosting

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Rich and decadent, Milky Way Cake recipe bakes up moist and tender, with an easy chocolate caramel frosting that will have you making this easy cake recipe for holidays and of course, with leftover Halloween candy!

Quiz time…What’s better than a chocolate cake?

Answer: it’s this Milky Way swirl cake!

See this photo right here? The cake looks great, right?

milky way cake

Look in the background and you can see there are a few (okay, a lot of) pieces missing. 

All because I forgot to do what any good food blogger would do. I didn’t put my usual “do not eat” post it note on the milky way cake, and it became fair game in our household.

I guess you could say my family takes the cake – literally.

On the bright side, it received rave reviews…and I can always make it again to get the “perfect” uneaten, shot. My birthday is in November…Maybe I’ll make myself a Milky Way birthday cake and try again!

Why I love Milky Way Cake

I found this cake in a family cookbook and knew I had to adapt it to use up the bag of Halloween candy we’ll soon have in our pantry. All that’s left in our 4th of July pantry stash are tootsie rolls so it’s definitely time for the next holiday to roll around.

What better way to repurpose Milky Way candy bars than to bake them in a cake?

I love that this cake tastes different than any bakery cake. It’s rich, our kids love it, and it’s actually fun to make!

The melted candy bars filled with chocolate and caramel in cake is like a match made in heaven!

Some cakes call for quite a few candy bars but I actually reduced the amount for my recipe because I couldn’t justify four digit calorie counts. I feel like the chocolate caramel Milky Way frosting was enough to push it over the top without them.

milky way cake frosting

Ingredients in Milky Way Cake

Grab your Milky Way bars and let’s get started! We’ll be melting our candy down to incorporate into our cake.

  • butter
  • Milky Way candy bars, roughly chopped
  • butter, softened
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract 
  • all purpose flour
  • buttermilk
  • baking soda

Farm Girl Tip

Don’t skip on the buttermilk – it provides just a little tang and the acid needed to help the cake rise to be light and fluffy.

Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk (and I hardly ever do!) you can use the following substitution:

Measure one tablespoon of distilled vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup and add enough milk to complete the one cup. Let sit for 5 minutes before using.

For the frosting:

I kept the frosting super easy because some days baking a homemade cake alone is as much time as I have. So for the frosting we’re using:

  • Prepared chocolate frosting: just pick your favorite from the store. I used a whipped chocolate frosting because that’s what appealed to me cruising the aisles of Wal-Mart.
  • Dulce de Leche: I found this in the Mexican food section at our store but I wouldn’t consider it a “specialty” item. Most stores will have a can of this, or you can substitute any caramel topping or caramel ice cream topping.
milky way cake

How to Make Milky Way Cake

To make the cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. and grease an 11 x 7 cake pan, or you can use a medium sized bundt pan.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the candy bars and heat until melted, stirring constantly. Be sure to keep the heat low and slow during this process!
  3. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat remaining butter and sugar until light and fluffy. The recipe card below outlines this step.
    Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, flour, buttermilk and baking soda and mix well.
  4. Stir in the melted candy mixture.
  5. Pour into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted in the center.
  6. Cool before frosting.

To frost the cake:

Spread the chocolate frosting over the cooled cake. Don’t be shy now, we’ve made it this far so be generous!

Microwave the dulce de leche for 15-20 seconds until loosened up. Drizzle it over the chocolate and then use a knife to swirl the caramel sauce into the chocolate frosting, without mixing it completely.

How to Store Milky Way Cake

Store at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap.

Variations:

If you’d like to mix things up, you can try these ideas.

  • Bake in a bundt pan instead of a cake pan
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips into the batter

Other cake dessert recipes you’ll enjoy:

If you love Milky Way candy bars, you’ll love this cake!  When you make this Milky Way Chocolate Cake, leave a comment below!

made with love, Deanne
Yield: 18 slices

Milky Way Cake

milky way cake

Rich and decadent, Milky Way Cake recipe bakes up moist and tender, with an easy chocolate caramel frosting that will have you making this easy cake recipe for holidays and of course, with leftover Halloween candy!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 12 ounces Milky Way candy bars, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • For the frosting:
  • 16 ounces prepared chocolate frosting
  • 5 ounces canned dulce de leche, or caramel sundae topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 11 x 7 cake pan.
  2. Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the candy bars and heat until melted, stirring constantly. Set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, flour, buttermilk and baking soda and mix well.
  4. Stir in the melted candy mixture.
  5. Pour into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted in the center.
  6. Cool before frosting.


To frost the cake:

Spread the chocolate frosting over the cooled cake. Microwave the dulce de leche for 15-20 seconds until loosened up. Drizzle over the chocolate. Use a knife to swirl the caramel sauce into the chocolate frosting.

Notes

Buttermilk Substitute: If you don't have buttermilk (and I hardly ever do!) you can use the following substitution:

Measure one tablespoon of distilled vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup and add enough milk to complete the one cup. Let sit for 5 minutes before using.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 494Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 276mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 1gSugar: 53gProtein: 6g

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