Kit Kat Cake

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time...someone on Instagram asked if I had a Kit Kat Cake recipe. I’d never done one at the time, and when I get a those requests I often try to find a creator on Pinterest to refer them to.

Well….the top 20+ Pinterest results were basically ALLLL the same cake style – mostly M&M cakes with Kit Kat bars around the outside! So….a Kit Kat only cake went onto my mental ‘to-bake’ list – and here’s the result! Recipe below!

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What do I need to make a Kit Kat cake? 

Included below in the recipe card are my favorite chocolate cake, vanilla cream cheese buttercream, and chocolate ganache recipes! 

For the cake you'll need flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, unsalted butter, 4 eggs, vanilla extract, and my favorite chocolate cake add-in - buttermilk! This makes the cake rich and moist instead of dry and crumbly. I added in 3/4 cup of crushed Kit Kat bars before baking the layers. 

For the frosting you'll need cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, a bit of milk, vanilla extract, and a touch of salt. A stand mixer makes this process quick and easy, but a hand mixer will do as well! Mixing by hand *can* be done but your arm's likely to be sore. 

To decorate you'll need semisweet chocolate and whipping cream to make the cake drip. (Super easy; you can make it in the microwave!) For the top you'll need one bag (mine was 10.78oz) snack size Kit kat bars - I added on a few 'unwrapped minis' from a smaller (7.6oz) bag. The minis are optional but fun! 

Kit Kat Cake closeup (with Kit Kat minis bag in background)
Kit Kat Cake

FAQs: 

Do I have to make the cake / frosting from scratch? 

  • Absolutely not if you don't want to! You can substitute 2 of your favorite chocolate cake mixes plus the ingredients the mix calls for; keep the baking pans the same! 
    Store bought frosting is usually a little thinner than my recipe; add a 1/4 cup of extra powdered sugar at a time until you reach a consistency that spreads and stays in place on the cake well. 

Can I make the cake / frosting ahead of time? 

  • Definitely! Wrap the cake layers well and refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 4 months. Transfer the frosting to a zip-lock bag and squeeze out the extra air, and again - refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 4 months. 
    Once assembled, wrap the cake well to keep it from drying out - it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-5 days. 

Kit Kat Cake

A Kit Kat cake way more exciting than just a ring of Kit Kats around the outside - this cake is decked out in a chocolate ganache drip and a pile of Kit Kat bars!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Decorating time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Kit Kat Cake
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 775kcal
Author: Sarah H

Equipment

Ingredients

Cake

Frosting

  • 8 oz one package cream cheese, softened
  • 16 Tablespoons two sticks butter, softened
  • 6-7 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt if using unsalted butter

Drip & Decorations

  • 6 oz 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 oz ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bag mini-size Kit Kat bars I chopped about 16 to fill the cake, and used about as many to decorate the top!

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180C) or 325 F (160C) for a convection oven. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans with baker's floured spray (or line with parchment rounds).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in bits of softened butter until it’s no longer visible in the dry ingredients and the mixture looks crumbly.
  • Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and beat for another 20 seconds. Stir in crushed Kit Kat bars.
  • Fill the three pans evenly - I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part, and each of mine weighed out to about 550g. Bake for 30-35 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans, and cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt if needed and beat until well combined.

Assembly

  • Once your cakes are cool, level them - this can be done with a cake leveler  or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting. I piped a rim of frosting around the outer edge and filled the cake with chopped Kit Kats and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. Optional but recommended! Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers. 
  • Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like - a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer. Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and cake scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the freezer to set the frosting and to chill the cake in preparation for adding the ganache drip! 

Drip & Decorations

  • Okay - the fun part! Decorating! When your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm but still be fairly liquid – add a few ‘smears’ around your cake base, layering them a bit up the side for an ‘ombre’ effect.
  • Transfer your remaining ganache to a squeeze bottle or piping bag. A spoon will work if you don’t have either of those, I've  just found spoons to be a bit more difficult to work with. Slowly drizzle ganache around the upper edge of your cake, pausing every inch or so to let more ganache fall in a drip down the side of the cake. Return cake to the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to set the drips.
  • Now – add a few swirls of frosting, and start piling on Kit Kat bars! I used a few un-cut ones spaced around the top, then started layering on cut and crushed bars to create a Kit Kat rim around the top of the cake. Do whatever you think looks the best! More candy=more better in my book. :: wink::

Video

Notes

Make this Kit Kat Cake? Let me know how it went – or make my day and find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 775kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 39g

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