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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

September 9, 2008

Dark Chocolate Fudge Milky Way Cake

Michelle loves chocolate and I mean loves it. She's also one of my first fans, always eager to try whatever confection I had decided to share. I didn't want to let her down, but I was having a real problem trying to decide what to make.
Here was the list of top three birthday desserts I was considering:
  1. Ultimate Chocolate Trifle - I knew she would like this but I've made it about 20 times and selfishly wanted new blog fodder
  2. Home made Swiss Rolls, you know, Little Debbie Style - I thought I could pull this off but really didn't have the time to commit to experimenting. I'll have to save those for another day.
  3. Chocolate Truffles - I made these before too and they weren't the best. I've learned a a lot since I made them last but I thought these would be a bit boring, plus I'd have to make at least 50+ for everyone to get a few.
For some odd reason, none of these sounded like a winner. I wanted something chocolately, unexpected, and a little whimsical.

Sunday afternoon, two days before the big birthday, my family and I went on a hike that was a half hour drive away. As I headed out the door, I decided to bring my Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor cookbook with me, with the hopes that I would find something interesting. Within minutes of getting on the road, I found this little gem and decided to give it a try. To make it as chocolaty as possible, I decided to use a chocolate fudge cake mix instead of vanilla and to add a few chocolate chips. I wasn't entirely sure if she liked Milky Way candy bars though, but decided to take a chance and go for it.

It turned out really great! I have seen cakes and desserts where candy bars were cut up or used whole as decoration or where pieces were tucked inside as part of the confection, but I had never considered the possibility of melting a candy bar to flavor and add depth to an otherwise basic cake mix! Oh and get this: turns out that one of Michelle's favorite candy bars is Milky Way. I guess I just have a sixth sense for these things!

Dark Chocolate Fudge Milky Way Cake
Yield: 2-20 slices, depending on how you cut the cake
Adapted from an Ayne Brynn recipe

2 1/2 Milky Way bars (2.05 ounces each), sliced
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup water
1 package (18.25 ounces) Dark Chocolate Fudge (or any super chocolaty flavor),with pudding in the mix
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3-1/2 cup of chocolate chips, milk chocolate or bitter sweet (handful)

2 1/2 Milky Way bars (2.05 ounces each), sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
1/3 cup chocolate chips or chunks (you could use a Hersey's bar cut up into small pieces if you have one handy), chopped
Sprinkles, chocolate curls, cut up Milky Way to decorate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with Pam with Flour or use vegetable oil spray and dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the chopped Milky Way bars and 2 tablespoons water in a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring, until the candy bars melt and the mixture is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

Combine the cake mix, 1 cup of water, butter, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined.

Measure out 2/3 cup of the batter and pour it into the cooled candy bar mixture. Add the flour and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour it into the prepared pan, making sure not to touch the sides of the pan. Smooth out the top by shaking back and forth and side to side.

Pour half the cake batter on top of the first layer and sprinkle the chocolate chips, one chip at a time, on top. Try to get them evenly distributed. Then pour the rest of the batter on top and smooth it out the top by shaking back and forth and side to side.

Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more.

Place the Milky Way bars, chopped chocolate, butter and cream into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes (if it looks lumpy, keep stirring. If it doesn't resolve, try increasing the heat just a little at a time and eventually it will melt and all come together). Let the glaze cool slightly. If it sits too long it will start to solidify. If that happens just reheat it very slowly until it gets melty again.Slide the cake onto a serving platter. Spoon or pour the frosting over the cake so that it drips down the sides. While the frosting is still wet, sprinkle chocolate curls, sprinkles, or leave it plain. Let the cake rest uncovered, for at least 10 minutes, then slice and serve.


  1. yummo! looks good and the stars are so cute :)

  2. What a great looking cake! I love the Bundt cake shape - so easy to make, frost, and of course, EAT! I love the little star and Milky way addition. Super yum!

    Also, I just find your banner adorable!

  3. Hi, Julia!

    While I'm not terribly fond of chocolate, your icing dripping down the sides of that cake looks DELISH! That is a pretty cool idea to melt the candy bars down to impart their flavor into the batter. Thanks for the tip! I don't have that cookbook and I certainly never would have thought of it on my own! Think it would work well with brownies and blondies?

    ~ingrid :-)

  4. oh my god! i want those stars!!!!!

  5. Heather - Thank you! I couldn't resist using some my new sprinkles.
    the food librarian - I'm a big fan of the Bundt. I would like to find another pan as I'm growing a little bored of the shape. But yes, I agree that they are easy and there's something just really homey about them.

    Oh and thank you! I came up with the design and I hired Kelly of Modish Design to make it for me. She was just fabulous to work with. Plus she was insanely inexpensive!
    ingrid - you know, me either. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one! I love the Cake Mix Doctor books. I always feel like I'm cheating a little bit when I use one of the recipes, but they are really great. I sometimes find that people actually like them better than those I make from scratch! Oh and to answer your question from forever ago, yes I buy used books from Amazon all the time. I've never had a problem and I save a ton of moolah.
    noella - hey you! I picked them up at Cookies in Ballard. I can pick you up a bag the next time I'm out there. Hey, isn't your birthday soon?! This will be the first time in several years where I didn't make you something. :-(

  6. I've been debating about getting the Cake Doctor cookbook and now, after seeing your cake (drool...) I'm gonna go buy it! I love the changes you made to the recipe. I've never thought of the candy bar idea either. Very creative!

  7. That looks amazing. Sooo tasty. Lovely blog

    Thanks for stopping by Just Cook It.

  8. I love that Julia craves challenges, and she was kind enough to make this cake for my birthday. I loved it! It was delicious and decadent - just what a chocolate lover wants.

    If you love chocolate, this is the cake for you.

  9. Hello -- a friend sent me your blog address, and I'm totally loving your blog. I'm usually the baker in our house, but for my 30th my husband told me he'd make me any kind of cake wanted. Based on your pictures and description,I picked this one. He did a fabulous job! You can see pictures on our blog (and I hope you don't mind that we linked back to you).

  10. Hi Katem - out of all the cakes in on all the interweb, I am so honored that you'd pick my cake for your birthday! That's the best thing I've heard all day. I tried to look at your blog by clicking on your name but I wasn't able to see it. Please be sure to tell me the URL so I can check out your photos. Thanks for taking the time to tell me!!

  11. PriscîllaJune 03, 2011

    I've been making milkway cakes for years. This sounds really good. I've always used 5 milkyway bars. And I have only used powdered sugar on top. Can't wait to try this.

  12. This cake was fun to make and turned out very well! I love using bundt pans. I made this for a coworkers birthday a couple days ago and everyone liked it.

  13. Love the Yield statement! 2 sounds about right--this looks delish!


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