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Chocolate Snickers Cake

This chocolate Snickers cake tastes just like our favorite candy bar!

Its moist chocolate cake layers are filled with fluffy peanut butter frosting and homemade peanut caramel, and then the cake is covered in milk chocolate ganache.

image of a slice of chocolate snickers cake on a plate

How to Make This Chocolate Snickers Cake

To make sure this cake turns out as amazing as possible, let’s walk through each step together! I’ve also included a video tutorial of the process below.

I figured it might be helpful to know what tools I use too, so I’ve shared a list below.

Not all of these are mandatory, but they make the process a lot easier. If you don’t have all these things on hand, feel free to improvise and work with what you have.

Step 1: Bake the Chocolate Cake Layers

The first step is to make the chocolate cake batter following the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

image of dark chocolate cake batter being poured into cake pans

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake the layers for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Let the pans cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.

Place the cake layers into the freezer for 30 minutes to accelerate the cooling process. This helps lock in the steam and makes the layers extra moist. If you don’t have room in the freezer, place the cake pans on a wire rack and let them cool fully before removing them.

Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans, and remove the layers. These cake layers bake up pretty flat so leveling them is optional, but I like to level them with a serrated to make the cake easier to fill and frost.

image of a moist chocolate cake layer that's been leveled with a serrated knife

If you make these cake layers in advance and freeze them, let them thaw for about 15 minutes before making the cake. The cake layers should still be slightly cold to the touch, which will make it easier to assemble the cake.

If you’re making these in advance, you can wrap and freeze them at this point.

Step 2: Make the Peanut Caramel

Then it’s time to work on the peanut caramel. Making caramel from scratch might seem a little intimidating, but I promise it’s easier than you’d think!

Turn the stove to a medium heat and place a saucepan over the element. Once the saucepan has warmed up, gradually pour in the sugar, adding 1/4 cup at a time.

Wait until the sugar is mostly liquified, then add in the next bit of sugar. Stir as needed with a rubber spatula. As the sugar melts it will slowly deepen in color.

image of granulated sugar gradually being added into a pot to make homemade caramel sauce

If you feel like the sugar might be burning or getting too dark, remove the pan from heat and turn down the temperature a bit.

Stir as needed until the sugar is fully dissolved and is an amber color. Turn off the heat.

Slowly mix in the butter, then stir in the heavy cream and salt. The mixture will be very thin at this point but will thicken as it cools.

Pour the caramel into a separate container and set aside to cool.

image of caramel sauce that's been made and is cooling in a glass bowl

Once the caramel has reached room temperature, whip it with a hand mixer or stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment for 1-2 minutes, until it becomes lighter in color and looks thicker.

image of caramel being whipped up with a hand mixer in a glass bowl

Place 1/3 cup of caramel into a small piping bag, seal the top with a rubber band, and set aside.

Then fold in the salted, chopped peanuts into the remaining caramel. Set aside.

image of chopped peanuts being folded into whipped caramel to make the filling for a snickers cake

Step 3: Make the Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

As the cake layers cool, make the peanut butter buttercream.

I like to use my American buttercream (ABC) as a base because it is super easy to make and the sweetness of the frosting pairs so nicely with the salty peanut butter.

image of peanut butter buttercream frosting that's been made in a glass mixing bowl

If you aren’t a fan of ABC, I’d recommend adding 1 cup of peanut butter to a batch of my Swiss meringue buttercream or 1.5 batches of my hybrid buttercream.

This frosting can also be made in advance if needed and kept in the fridge for up to a month.

Step 4: Stack and Fill the Cake Layers

Then it’s time to assemble this cake! Stack and frost the cake layers on a greaseproof cake board or flat plate. Use a dab of buttercream to help stick the first cake layer to the board.

Spread an even layer of buttercream on top of the cake layer. Then pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake layer and fill the center with 1/3 of the peanut caramel.

image of a chocolate snickers cake being filled with peanut buttercream and a thick peanut caramel

Repeat with the remaining cake layers. Flip the top cake layer upside down to make the cake easier to frost and minimize crumbing.

Step 5: Chill and Frost the Cake

Once the layers are stacked, chill the cake in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to prevent the layers from sliding. Then use the remaining frosting to cover the cake.

Smooth the frosting using a bench scraper or large offset spatula, then chill the cake again in the fridge (30 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.

image of a chocolate snickers cake being frosted with peanut buttercream frosting

Step 6: Make the Chocolate Ganache Drip & Decorate This Snickers Cake

The last component is the chocolate ganache.

Heat the heavy cream in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until it’s just beginning to bubble.

Gently pour the milk chocolate chips into the heavy cream, making sure they are fully covered with cream. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute.

Stir until the cream and chocolate are combined and smooth. If the mixture seems too thin or thick, you can add a touch more chocolate chips or heavy cream.

The type of cream and chocolate that you use can affect the consistency, along with the temperature of the ganache. Feel free to adjust as needed.

image of chocolate ganache ready to be swirled into marble cake layers

Step 7: Decorate the Chocolate Snickers Cake

Drizzle the remaining caramel that was placed in a piping bag over the edge of the chilled cake.

The caramel will seem really thick and the drips may seem short, but they should lengthen / thin out after a few minutes (see how thick mine were at first in the video!).

If the caramel has cooled off too much and is challenging to squeeze out of the bag, heat it in the microwave in 5-second intervals until it is at room temperature again.

image of caramel drips being added around a snickers

Then pour the chocolate ganache on top of the cake and gently push it over the edge of the cake using a small offset spatula.

image of chocolate drips being added around a snickers cake

Press chopped peanuts around the base of the cake, then add a ring of chopped-up Snickers around the top of the cake. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt and enjoy!

image of a chocolate snickers cake that's decorated with chocolate and caramel drips

Substitutions and Swaps – Chocolate Cake Layers

This chocolate Snickers cake recipe uses quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have them all on hand. Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this cake recipe.

  • All-Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with all-purpose flour. However, you can swap in a good gluten-free baking flour blend if needed. Just be sure to stir the batter longer than normal to help give the cake proper structure, and let the batter sit for about 20 minutes before baking it if you opt to make a gluten-free version.
  • Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar, as it will change the texture of the cake layers.
  • Baking Cocoa – I like to use the Ghirardelli or Hershey’s brand of unsweetened baking cocoa, but you can use any brand! You can also use dark or black cocoa powder.
  • Buttermilk – You can also use full-fat yogurt, sour cream, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat).
  • Vegetable Oil – Any flavorless oil can be used in this recipe. Canola, vegetable, or even sunflower oil would all work great. I don’t recommend olive oil though, as it has a strong flavor and will change the taste of the cake.
  • Eggs – If you have an egg allergy you can try using a vegan egg replacer in place of the eggs, but this recipe turns out best with large eggs.
image of a slice of chocolate snickers cake on a plate

Substitutions and Swaps – Peanut Butter Buttercream

  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. Just be sure to omit the salt that this frosting recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place.
  • Peanut Butter – I recommend making this frosting with creamy peanut butter that is shelf-stable. I usually use JIF or Skippy. Natural peanut butter that separates easily can cause the frosting to break.
  • Heavy Cream – Whipping cream, coconut cream or alternative milk (soy, almond, oat, coconut) will work fine in this frosting recipe if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Vanilla Extract – Other extracts can also be used in place of the vanilla extract if needed, or it can be omitted.
image of peanut butter buttercream frosting that's been made in a glass mixing bowl

Making This Snickers Layer Cake in Different Sizes

One batch of batter is about 1800g or 10 cups, so I add roughly 450g to each of my cake pans when using 4, 8-inch cake pans.

You can also use one batch of batter to make 2, 9-inch cake layers or 4, 6-inch cake layers. Bake time will be a few minutes longer at 350 F / 175 C.

If you want to make Snickers cupcakes this recipe can be used to make about 3 dozen cupcakes. Fill the liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-21 minutes at 350 F / 175 C.

If you want to make a tiered cake with this recipe, check out my cake batter calculator to see how many batches of batter you’ll need.

Can This Chocolate Snickers Cake Be Made in Advance?

Short answer – yes! I highly recommend making the components of this cake in stages. It breaks the process up and makes it so much more approachable!

The cake layers can be made in advance and frozen. They taste just as great when they’re frozen as when they’re fresh, I promise!

You can also make the frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

A frosted cake can be stored for up to a week in the fridge. The buttercream will lock all the moisture in and keep it fresh.

If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

image of a snickers cake that's been cut into to show it's peanut caramel filling and peanut butter buttercream

Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Snickers Cake

  • Properly measure the flour. Either spoon it into the cup measure, then level with a knife, or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better, so be sure to set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Use a scale to weigh your cake pans as you fill them. It helps the cake layers bake to the same height and bake more evenly.
  • Level the room temperature or thawed cake layers with a serrated knife to make them easier to stack and fill.
  • Chill the cake layers in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. This makes them easier to stack and frost.
  • If your cake layers turn out less than perfect, check out my cake troubleshooting guide to try to figure out what happened.
  • Chill the cake before adding on the crumb coat. This will help lock the filling in place and prevent the cake layers from sliding.
image of a slice of chocolate snickers cake on a plate

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you make this chocolate Snickers cake recipe, I’d love to hear what you think of it! Let me know by leaving a rating and comment below.

And don’t forget to tag me @chelsweets and use #chelsweets if you share on social media so that I can see your amazing creations.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 24

Chocolate Snickers Cake

image of a slice of chocolate snickers cake on a plate

This chocolate Snickers cake tastes just like our favorite candy bar! Its moist chocolate cake layers are filled with fluffy peanut butter frosting and homemade peanut caramel and then the cake is covered in milk chocolate ganache.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 54 minutes

Ingredients

Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (310g)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (500g)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (100g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10g)
  • 2 tsp baking soda (12g)
  • 1 tsp fine salt (6g)
  • 1 1/4 cups water, warm (300g)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature (300g)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (150g)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (168g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8g)

Peanut Caramel

  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (170g)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature (120g)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)
  • 3/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped (110g)

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (339g)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (250g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)
  • 7 cups powdered sugar (904g or 2 lb. bag)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature (160g)

Milk Chocolate Ganache

Additional Cake Filling and Decoration

  • 8 Mini Snickers bars
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped (75g) - for the base of the cake

Recommended Tools

Instructions

Chocolate Cake Layers

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Line four, eight-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds and spray the sides of the pans with non-stick cooking spray or baking spray. If you don't have 4 cake pans, the batter can sit at room temperature for a few hours. Bake as many layers at a time as you can.
  2. Sift or whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup cocoa powder, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate, large bowl, add 1 1/4 cups warm water, 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, 2/3 cup oil, 3 eggs, and 2 tsp vanilla and whisk together until fully incorporated.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they're just combined, and the batter is smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  6. Let the pans cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  7. Place the cake pans into the freezer for 30 minutes to accelerate the cooling process. This helps lock in the steam and makes the layers extra moist. If you don't have room in the freezer, place the cake pans on a wire rack and let them cool fully before removing them.
  8. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans, and remove the layers.
  9. These cake layers bake up pretty flat so leveling them is optional, but I like to level them with a serrated to make the cake easier to fill and frost.
  10. If you make these cake layers in advance and freeze them, let them thaw for about 15 minutes before making the cake. The cake layers should still be slightly cold to the touch, which will make it easier to assemble the cake.

Peanut Caramel

  1. Make the caramel while the cake layers bake and cool. This can be made up to 2 weeks in advance.
  2. Place a medium saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Once the pan has warmed up, pour in 2 cups of sugar gradually, adding 1/4 cup at a time. Stir as needed with a rubber spatula. Wait until the sugar is mostly dissolved, then add in the next bit of sugar. As the sugar melts it will gradually deepen in color.
  3. Stir occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved and has become an amber color, then turn off the heat.
  4. Slowly mix in 3/4 cup of butter (2 Tbsp at a time), then stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 tsp salt. The mixture will be thin but will thicken as it cools. Pour into a separate container, then place in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
  5. Once the caramel has reached room temperature, whip it with a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes, until it becomes lighter in color and looks thicker. Place 1/3 cup of caramel into a small piping bag, seal the top with a rubber band, and set aside. Then fold in 3/4 cup of salted, chopped peanuts into the remaining caramel. Set aside.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

  1. While the cake layers and caramel cool, make the buttercream frosting. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups of butter and 1 cup of creamy peanut butter on a medium-high speed for 1 minute with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Mix in 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp salt on a low speed until the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Gradually mix in 7 cups of powdered sugar and 2/3 cup of heavy cream on a low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  4. Mix on low until the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting seems too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tbsp at a time). If the frosting seems too thin, add in more powdered sugar (1/4 cup at a time).
  5. Place a third of the frosting into a large piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip or cut an opening about 3/4-inch at the base of the bag. Cover the remaining frosting with plastic wrap to prevent crusting and set aside.

Assembling this Snickers Cake

  1. Then it's time to assemble the cake. Stack and frost the cake layers on a greaseproof cake board or flat plate using a dab of buttercream to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
  2. Spread an even layer of buttercream on top of the cake layer. Then pipe a buttercream ring around the cake layer's edge and fill the center with a third of the peanut caramel.
  3. Repeat with the remaining cake layers. Flip the top cake layer upside down to make the cake easier to frost and minimize crumbing.
  4. Once the layers are stacked, chill the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes or in the fridge for 20 minutes to prevent the layers from sliding. Then use the remaining frosting to cover the cake. Smooth the frosting using a bench scraper or large offset spatula.
  5. Gently press chopped peanuts around the base of the cake. Then chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.

Chocolate Ganache Drips

  1. While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache.
  2. Heat 1/3 cup of heavy cream in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until it's just beginning to bubble. Gently pour 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips into the heavy cream, making sure they are fully covered with cream. If you want to use dark chocolate, use 2/3 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup dark chocolate.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute, then stir until the cream and chocolate are combined and smooth. If the mixture seems too thin or thick, you can add a touch more chocolate chips or heavy cream. The type of cream and chocolate that you use can affect the consistency, along with the temperature of the ganache. Feel free to adjust as needed.

Decorating This Snickers Cake

  1. Drizzle the remaining caramel that was placed in a piping bag over the edge of the chilled cake. If the caramel has cooled off too much and is challenging to squeeze out of the bag, heat it in the microwave in 5-second intervals until it's at room temperature again. It will seem really thick and the drips may seem short, but they should lengthen / thin out after a few minutes (see how thick mine were at the start of the video!)
  2. Then pour the chocolate ganache on top of the cake and gently push it over the edge of the cake using a small offset spatula.
  3. Add a ring of chopped-up Snickers around the top of the cake, then top with a sprinkle of sea salt and enjoy!

Notes

Substitutions and Swaps

If you need to make any substitutions or swaps in this recipe, please check out the section on ingredient substitutions in the post above.

Making this Snickers Layer Cake in Different Sizes

One batch of batter is about 1800g or 10 cups, so I add roughly 450g to each of my cake pans when using 4, 8-inch cake pans.

You can also use one batch of batter to make 2, 9-inch cake layers or 4, 6-inch cake layers. Bake time will be a few minutes longer at 350 F / 175 C.

If you want to make a tiered cake with this recipe, check out my cake batter calculator to see how many batches of batter you'll need.

If you want to make Snickers cupcakes, this recipe can be used to make about 3 dozen cupcakes. Fill the liners 3/4 full and bake at 350 F / 175 C and bake for 20-22 minutes.

My Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Snickers Cake

  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Be sure you set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure, then level). Or better yet, use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Mix your cake batter just until the ingredients are incorporated. This will ensure your cake layers are tender and fluffy.
  • Use a scale to weigh your cake pans as you fill them. This makes sure each pan has the same amount of batter and will make your cake layers bake to the same height and bake more evenly.
  • Level your room temperature or thawed cake layers with a serrated knife to make them easier to stack.
  • Chill your cake layers in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. It makes it so much easier to stack and frost them!

Making This Snickers Chocolate Cake in Advance & Storage Tips

I highly recommend making the components of this cake in stages. It breaks the process up and makes it so much more approachable!

The cake layers can be made in advance and frozen. They taste just as great when they're frozen as when they're fresh, I promise!

You can make the frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for 3 months.

Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

The ganache can also be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

A frosted cake can last in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month. The buttercream locks in the moisture and keeps the cake fresh and delicious!

If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 657Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 55mgSodium 527mgCarbohydrates 104gFiber 3gSugar 85gProtein 10g

Nava

Monday 8th of July 2024

In the notes it says “this cake only uses 2 eggs” but in the recipe it calls for three eggs. I’ve just made the cake batter with 3 eggs. I hope that’s right amount!

Chelsweets

Sunday 14th of July 2024

So sorry for the confusion Nava! That was a typo, which I've updated. Thank you so much for letting me know, 3 eggs/the amount in the recipe card is the right amount :)

Octavie

Friday 28th of June 2024

Hello Chelsweet, thank you very much for this recipe. The cake is so good and moist I had to do 1 layer twice because I ate the whole stuff! I added 1tsp of instant coffee in the water to enhance the chocolate flavor. For the caramel it was a little hard but just heat it 15sec and good to go! It's a shame I can't share the photo, the cake is so beautiful!

Chelsweets

Saturday 29th of June 2024

Ugh I so wish we could share photos on here, I'd love to see!! So happy to hear you loved this recipe tough :)

Camille

Thursday 20th of June 2024

I'm making this cake in three 4 inch pans. Any recommendations for how to change the recipe to fit so that I do not have too much left-over batter and frosting?

Chelsweets

Monday 24th of June 2024

Hi Camille,

Those are some tiny layers! I'd think that if you quarter the recipe, that should be about right?! You can use the egg white of one large egg for the egg portion. Let me know how it turns out!

Nichole

Friday 24th of May 2024

I used the filling and buttercream recipes. They are absolutely perfect!!

Michelle

Tuesday 14th of May 2024

The carmel seized when I started putting the butter in. The butter was never absorbed. I had to put it back on low heat and add the cream while constantly stirring to get it to thin out. It had a good flavor but was chewier than what I had expected.

Chelsweets

Sunday 19th of May 2024

I'm so sorry to hear that Michelle! Sometimes that can happen if the sugar is cooked down at too high of a temperature or for too long. It reaches a stage where it's super challenging to incorporate the butter (I've had that happen to me before too)! That would also make it chewier/thicker than you were probably expecting it to be! Next time I'd recommend cooking the sugar at a slightly lower temperature.

Your stovetop and the type of pan you use can have a big impact on how the sugar melts, and may be the reason why you need to decrease the temp a bit. Hope that helps for next time, happy baking!

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