The Astonishing Chocolate Bar Cake

  • Chocolate Orgy of Excess Cake

    This cake doesn’t even need an introduction, because:
    a) it’s entirely obvious it’s the most colossally incredible cake you will ever come across, and
    b) by making you read silly things like words I am wasting the precious time you could be using to START BAKING THIS MASTERPIECE.  (Yes, I do mean to be yelling at you in caps to start chopping up the 14 chocolate bars you will need to make this cake.  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!)

    (I know I said this cake needed no intro, and that I didn’t want to waste your time, but does it count if I just show you a few more pictures of this orgy of excess?  Pictures can be fast, and it’s worth it.  This cake is a food-porn lover’s dream, after all.  Look at the slice below- hurry!  It’s horrifyingly and fantastically large.  The Husband couldn’t even finish it.  [But he did finish it the next morning, and then had a second full, massive slice after lunch.])

    Chocolate Orgy of Excess Cake Slice

    In case  it’s not obvious from the photo above or below, the cake has five layers going on.

    ChocolateOrgyofExcessCakeandSlice(I would have made 6 but it wouldn’t have fit in our fridge.)  That’s a lot of layers.  And a lot of frosting.

    Oh, and in case it’s also not obvious from the photos above or below, the calorie count in the 14 chocolate bars alone came to 3,430.  But that’s a stupid stat because it’s not as though you’re going to eat the cake all on your own.  Half or two-thirds, for sure, but the whole thing?

    Believe me- this cake is astonishing.  It’s astonishing to make, because the act of cutting up the chocolate bars (did I mention that there are 14 of them?) seems so excessively and decidedly sinful.  The piling of the bar pieces on the cake is an astonishing, mesmerizing step of its own.  And the taste- you guessed it.  It’s astonishing, in the way that you already know how the commingling of your favorite chocolate bars will blow your taste buds’ minds.

    Enough already- I need to stop typing and get to the recipe, so you can just make the damned cake and astonish yourself.

    Adapted from my Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe…

    CAKE (you will need to DOUBLE this recipe for 5 – 6 layers!):

    3 cups all-purpose flour (6 cups)

    2 cups sugar (4 cups)

    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (1 cup)

    2 teaspoons baking soda (4 tsp)

    1 teaspoons salt (2 tsp)

    2 cups hot water (4 cups)

    3/4 cups vegetable oil (1 1/2 cups)

    1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar (2 Tbsp)

    1 tablespoon instant coffee granules (or 2 teaspoons instant espresso granules) (2 Tbsp or 4 tsp)

    1 tablespoon vanilla extract (2 Tbsp)

    CHOCOLATE FROSTING (you will need to DOUBLE this recipe for 5 – 6 layers!):

    3 cups confectioners’ sugar

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), at room temperature

    3 – 4 tablespoons heavy cream

    1 teaspoon vanilla


    14 chocolate bars, chopped into small pieces

    1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray four 8″ cake pans with non-stick spray*.  (* = read the Tips section below, okay?)
    2. In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients (flour through salt) together.
    3. In a measuring cup, stir hot water with oil, vinegar, instant coffee/espresso and vanilla together.  Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
    4. Pour batter into pans and bake for 30 – 35 minutes (until cake tester/wooden skewer comes out clean).   Cool cakes on a rack for 15 minutes then remove cakes from pans to finish cooling.  Slice three of the layers into halves on the horizontal, so you end up with six thinner layers.
    5. FROSTING: in a large bowl, sift confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder together.   In a separate large bowl, cream butter with 1 cup of sugar-cocoa mixture until well combined.  Add another cup of sugar-cocoa and a tablespoon of cream, beating until well combined.  Add remaining sugar-cocoa and cream, beating until smooth.  Beat in vanilla until fluffy.  (Add more cream or confectioners’ sugar until proper spreading consistency is achieved.)  Spread between layers, on top of cake, and around sides.
    6. TOPPING: chop chocolate bars up into small pieces, and press gently into top and sides of cake.  Mound extra pieces on top of cake.


    • Don’t have four 8″ cake pans?  Neither do I.  I actually suggest you make one batch of cake at a time, which will pour into two 8″ pans per batch.  You can then bake the first two cakes, and make the batter for the next round while you cool the first batch.  You can use the same pans for your next batch.
    • Step 4 above refers to the slicing of 6 layers from 3 of the cake pans.  This means that you’ll have a leftover layer of cake, which is amazing because you can freeze it and use it on a rainy day (maybe pair it with the fudgy frosting in this recipe, or serve chunks of it with the Brownie Scrap Pile.  BY ALL MEANS- use all 4 cake layers, cutting them in half to make an even more astonishing 8-layer cake.  Just chop up a few more chocolate bars to help cover the extra height, and use a bit more frosting.
    • I used little scraps of wax paper under the edges of the cake before I frosted it and pressed the chocolate bar pieces into the frosting, so when I was done I was able to pull them out and still have a clean, crumb-free cake plate.  If I was really smart I’d have decorated the cake on one of those cardboard things that you can use to dress the cake up and move it anywhere, from plate to plate, but I didn’t have one.  No matter.
    • Chopped Chocolate BarsWhat kind of chocolate bars to use?  You really can’t go wrong.  I used plain Hershey, Hershey Cookies and Cream, Snickers, Twix, Butterfinger, Mr. Goodbar, Milky Way, Heath, KitKat (which got really melty and hard to work with, so next time I’ll keep in the fridge before I chop and put on the cake…).  I was going to use M&Ms but in the end decided I didn’t want the extra color.  If you’re making this cake for a kid (or a big kid), using all M&Ms would be pretty cool too.  Or just Smarties.  Or both.  Or all of the above.  I think you get the point- use whatever you’d like, as long as you use it to the point of excess.
    • Chopping up the chocolate bars is easier with a long serrated knife, I find.  And I tried to keep the crumbly bars (like Twix, KitKat and Butterfingers) somewhat separate from the others, so the crumbs wouldn’t get all over the place and look messy.
    • Want more excess?  Ooh- I like your style.  How about sprinkling chocolate bar pieces in some of the layers, after frosting them?  So you could add between layers 3 and 4… or all, or every other… oh dear.  I need to make this cake again, but with 30 chocolate bars.
    • For the record, the cake part is vegan.  The frosting is totally not vegan, but if you care about that sort of thing, refer to my original recipe and as for the chocolate bars- well, I’m sure you’ve found some sort of sinful candy you can pile on.
    • Yes, it will actually freeze well.  I am keeping two huge hunks in the freezer for my sister who will be visiting me this week, and I fully intend to astonish her.  So exciting!


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    August 17th, 2013 | More Sweets Please | 2 Comments | Tags: , ,

2 Responses and Counting...

  • Mary Beth 08.17.2013

    you were an overachiever in high school, weren’t you? ;)

    this looks sinfully delicious! it’s really a masterpiece…

  • I think there is a strong correlation between browners in school and people who make sinful brownies… and over the top desserts. You’re astute, MB!

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