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Twix Cake

This Twix cake tastes and looks just like our favorite candy bar! Its tender vanilla cake layers have a shortbread crust and are filled with thick, buttery caramel and decadent chocolate buttercream!!

image of a slice of a Twix cake on a plate, showing its shortbread crust, vanilla cake layers, thick caramel filling, and chocolate buttercream

How to Make This Twix 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.

Step 1: Make the Thick Caramel Cake Filling

Make the caramel cake filling first so that it can cool before being added to the cake.

This can be made up to a month in advance and stored in the fridge.

Add the unsalted butter, light brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk into the saucepan. Heat over a medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble.

image of sweetened condensed milk being poured into a pot to make a thick caramel filling

Slowly stir in 1 Tbsp of heavy cream. Place a digital thermometer in the pan at this point.

Continue to stir until the caramel reaches 238 F / 114 C (soft ball stage).

image of thick caramel filling being cooked until it reaches 230 degrees Fahrenheit

Remove from heat and add the vanilla and salt.

Pour into a separate container to let the caramel cool. Cover the bowl once the caramel has reached room temperature.

image of thick caramel filling being poured into a separate container to cool

Step 2: Make the Shortbread Crust

Next make the shortbread crusted vanilla cake layers!

Use a food processor or Ziplock bag and a rolling pin to crush the shortbread cookies into a fine crumb. Some brands have enough butter in the cookies to moisten the mixture and help it stick together.

image of shortbread cookies being crushed to make a shortbread crust for a twix cake

If your cookie crumbs look dry and don’t stick together when you squeeze them in the palm of your hand (see picture below), add 1/4 cup of melted butter and mix until combined.

image of shortbread cookies that have been crushed and mixed with butter and are now ready to be used to make a cake crust

Place 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture in a separate bowl and set aside.

We use this later to decorate the sides and top of the cake.

image of shortbread that's been added to a cake pan to make a shortbread crusted cake layer

Divide the remaining cookie mixture evenly between the prepared pans.

Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass to press down firmly and create a compact, even crust.

image of a shortbread crust being compressed to make shortbread crusted cake layers

Bake for 6 minutes then remove from the oven and place the pans on a wire rack to cool. Be sure to keep your oven on!!

Step 3: Make the Vanilla Cake Batter

Next, make the vanilla cake batter. Pour the batter on top of the baked shortbread crusts, dividing the batter evenly between the pans.

image of vanilla cake batter being poured on top of a shortbread crust

Bake for 34-46 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Rotate the pans halfway through to help them bake evenly.

Remove the cake layers from the oven and let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes.

Gently run an offset spatula around the rim of the cake pans to loosen them. Be careful as you do this so that you don’t break up the shortbread crust at the bottom!

Then flip them onto wire racks to finish cooling. Once the cake layers have cooled to room temperature, use a serrated knife to level the top of each cake layer.

It makes the cake so much easier to stack and assemble!! If you’re making these in advance, you can wrap and freeze them at this point.

Step 4: Make the Chocolate Buttercream

While the cake layers bake and cool, make the chocolate buttercream.

Mix the frosting on the lowest speed with a paddle attachment once it’s made to push out any excess air.

image of chocolate buttercream that's been mixed in a mint colored kitchenaid

I also like to stir it by hand with a rubber spatula once it’s fully made. This makes the frosting silky smooth, and easier to smooth onto your cake.

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

Step 5: Stack and Fill the Cake Layers

Stack and frost the cake layers on a greaseproof cake board. Use a dab of chocolate buttercream to help stick the first cake layer to the board (crust side down).

image of thick caramel filling being added into a cake to make a Twix flavored cake

As you assemble the cake, pipe a ring of chocolate buttercream around the cake layer. Then spread an even layer of caramel inside the buttercream ring.

image of cake layers being filled and stacked to make a Twix cake

Cover the caramel with a layer of chocolate buttercream. Repeat with the remaining cake layers.

Once you’ve stacked the cake layers, smooth a thin coat of chocolate buttercream around the cake with a large offset spatula and bench scraper.

image of a twix cake being crumb coated with a thin layer of semi-sweet chocolate buttercream

Freeze the cake for about 10 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the fridge, until the frosting is firm to the touch.

Step 6: Spread on a Thick, Second Layer of Frosting & Decorate

Cover the cake with a second, thicker layer of chocolate buttercream and smooth using a bench scraper. If desired, use an icing comb to add a fun pattern to the sides of the cake.

image of a twix cake being decorated with an icing comb

Decorate the top of the cake with a ring of chopped up candy bars, frosting dollops, and a sprinkle of cookie crumbs.

Heat up the remaining caramel in the microwave in 10 second intervals until its consistency is thinner, then drizzle it over the top of the cake and enjoy!

image of a twix cake that's been decorated with caramel, shortbread crumbs and chopped up twix

Substitutions & Swaps – Twix Cake

Some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe include:

  • Shortbread Cookies – You can use crushed graham crackers in place of the shortbread cookies if needed. You can also skip the shortbread crust and just make regular vanilla cake layers.
  • 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 recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Cake Flour – This recipe turns out best with cake flour. If you can’t find cake flour, you can make your own makeshift cake flour using this method. You can also swap in a good gluten free flour blend (like this) 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.
  • Egg whites – I like to use the type that come in a carton so that I don’t have to separate my eggs, but you can also use fresh egg whites. If you have an egg allergy you can try using a vegan egg replacer in the cake batter.
  • Sour Cream – You can also use full fat yogurt, buttermilk, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat).
  • Vegetable Oil – Use any flavorless oil in this recipe.
image of a twix cake that's been cut open to show its fluffy vanilla cake layers, thick caramel filling and shortbread crust

Substitutions & Swaps: Milk Chocolate 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!
  • Heavy Cream – You can use whole milk or alternative milk (soy, almond, oat) instead of heavy cream or whipping cream. This will thin the frosting out more though, so I recommend using about half the amount the recipe calls for.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – I used chocolate chips but you can use baking chocolate, or good-quality chocolate bars to melt and add into the frosting. Alternatively, you can also use milk or dark chocolate if you have a strong preference.

Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Twix Cake

  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! 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.
  • Use a scale to weigh your cake pans as you fill them. It 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!
image of a Twix cake that's been cut open to show its fluffy vanilla cake layers, thick caramel filling and shortbread crust

Making This Twix Cake in Advance and Storage Tips

Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.

Make the chocolate frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. Just be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to make it nice and smooth again. This cake can last in the fridge for up to a week.

Make the caramel filling up to a month is advance! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer up to a month. If you freeze the cake, transfer it to the fridge the night before you plan to eat it.

This will help it gradually thaw and minimize any temperature shock. Remove the cake from the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to cut into it.

Let Me Know What You Think

If you try this cake recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a rating below and comment below.

Don’t forget to tag me @chelsweets and use #chelsweets on social media so I can see your amazing creations!

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Yield: 24 servings

Twix Cake

image of a twix cake that's been cut open to show its fluffy vanilla cake layers, thick caramel filling and shortbread crust

This Twix cake tastes and looks just like our favorite candy! Its tender vanilla cake layers are filled with buttery homemade caramel and decadent chocolate buttercream!!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 4 minutes

Ingredients

Thick Caramel Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (200g)
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup (120ml)
  • 7 oz or 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (198g)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream or whipping cream, room temperature (15ml)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4ml)
  • 1 tsp salt (6g)

Shortbread Base

  • 24 oz or about 48 butter shortbread cookies, crushed (681g)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (56g)

Vanilla Cake Recipe

  • 1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (226g)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600g)
  • 1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton or 7 large egg whites (240ml)
  • 3 cups cake flour (360g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10g)
  • 1 tsp fine salt (6g)
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat sour cream, room temperature (360g)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (60ml)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4ml)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups or 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (452g)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (40g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4ml)
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt (3g)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (750g)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, room temperature (180ml)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled (180g)

Recommended Tools

Instructions

Caramel Filling

  1. Make the caramel filling first so that it can thicken up before being added to the cake. This can be made up to a month in advance and stored in the fridge.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 1 cup of light brown sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, and 7 oz. of sweetened condensed milk into a large saucepan.
  3. Heat over a medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble.
  4. Slowly stir in 1 Tbsp of heavy cream. Place a digital thermometer in the pan at this point. Continue to stir until the caramel reaches 238 F / 114 C (soft ball stage).
  5. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of salt. Pour into a separate container to let the caramel cool. Cover the bowl once the caramel has reached room temperature. This can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or a month in the fridge.

Shortbread Crust

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 F / 175 C. Line three, 8-inch pans with parchment rounds and spray the sides of the pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Use a food processor or Ziplock bag and a rolling pin to crush the shortbread cookies into a fine crumb. Some brands have enough butter in the cookies to moisten the mixture and help it stick together. If your cookie crumbs look dry and don't stick together when you squeeze them in the palm of your hand (see picture above), add 1/4 cup of melted butter and mix until combined.
  3. Place 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture in a separate bowl and set aside. This will be used later to decorate the sides and top of the cake.
  4. Divide the remaining cookie mixture evenly between the prepared pans. Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass to press down firmly and create a compact, even crust.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes then remove the pans from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. Be sure to keep your oven on!

Vanilla Cake Layers

  1. Add 1 cup of unsalted butter into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and beat on a medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add 3 cups of granulated sugar and cream together on a high speed for 2-3 minutes with a whisk attachment or hand mixer. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. The mixture should become lighter in color.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of egg whites and mix at a medium speed until incorporated.
  4. Whisk together 3 cups of cake flour, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt in a medium-sized bowl, then mix half of the dry ingredients into the butter/egg mixture on a medium speed until combined.
  5. Add 1 1/2 cups of sour cream, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix at a medium speed until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  6. Mix in the remaining half of the dry ingredients on a medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  7. Pour the batter on top of the baked shortbread crusts, dividing the batter evenly between the pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans to make sure my layers will be the same height.
  8. Bake for 34-36 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Rotate the pans halfway through to help them bake evenly.
  9. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Be careful as you do this so that you don't break up the shortbread crust at the bottom!
  10. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
  11. Use a serrated knife to level the top of each cake layer. Set the cake layers aside or wrap them and freeze them at this point if you're making them in advance.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. Melt 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips first so that it has time to cool off before being added into the frosting. Otherwise, it can melt the butter! Melt the chocolate chips by heating them in 15 second intervals in the microwave (stirring between) or with a double boiler.
  2. Beat 2 cups of butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. 
  3. Add in 1/2 cup of baking cocoa, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1/2 tsp fine salt. Mix on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  4. Slowly mix in 6 cups of powdered sugar. Halfway through, add in 2/3 cup of heavy cream to make the frosting easier to mix.
  5. Once all the powdered sugar has been incorporated, add in the melted and cooled chocolate.
  6. Mix on a low speed until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached. I also like to stir it by hand with a rubber spatula once it's fully made. This will help make the frosting silky smooth, and easier to smooth onto your cake.
  7. Place the frosting in 2 large piping bags and set aside.

Assembling This Twix Cake

  1. Stack and frost the cake layers on a greaseproof cake board or flat plate, using a dab of chocolate buttercream to help stick the first cake layer to the board (crust side down).
  2. As you assemble the cake, pipe a ring of chocolate buttercream around the cake layer. Heat up the caramel filling for 15-30 seconds, until it's just fluid enough to spread. Spread about 1 cup of the caramel in an even layer inside the buttercream ring. Be careful not to overheat the caramel or else the layers can slide around as you assemble the cake. If you run into this, chill the cake after adding each layer of caramel.
  3. Cover the caramel with a layer of chocolate buttercream. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, and reserve about 1/4 cup of caramel filling to decorate the cake later.
  4. Once you've stacked the cake layers, smooth a thin coat of chocolate buttercream around the cake with a large offset spatula and bench scraper. Freeze the cake for about 10 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the fridge, or until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  5. Cover the cake with a second, thicker layer of chocolate buttercream and smooth using a bench scraper. If desired, use an icing comb to add a fun pattern to the sides of the cake.
  6. Decorate the top of the cake with a ring of chopped up Twix, frosting dollops, and a sprinkle of cookie crumbs. Heat up the remaining caramel in the microwave in 10 second intervals until its consistency is thinner, then drizzle it over the top of the cake and enjoy!

Notes

My Tips for Making the Best Twix Cake

  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! 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.
  • Once you add in the flour, 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. It helps the cake layers bake to the same height and bake more evenly.
  • Bang your cake pans on the counter before putting it in the oven. This brings any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface.
  • 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 frost them!

Making This Twix Cake in Advance & Storage Tips

  • Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.
  • Make your chocolate 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. This frosting can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to make it nice and smooth again.
  • The caramel can be made up to a month is advance if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer up to a month. If you freeze the cake, transfer it to the fridge the night before you plan to eat it. This will help it gradually thaw and minimize any temperature shock. Remove the cake from the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to cut into it.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 794Total Fat 37gSaturated Fat 19gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 82mgSodium 443mgCarbohydrates 113gFiber 1gSugar 90gProtein 6g

Caitlin

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

The cake recipe didn’t work great for me. Think there was too much sugar and/or the layers were too thick. They browned too much prior to being done.

Allison

Saturday 9th of April 2022

Hey, I love this cake! But I had a lot of trouble with the caramel. Had to make it 3 times. :D. But when I reheated it in the microwave the butter separated out & made it extremely difficult to use. Any tips for next time?

Pati :)

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

@Allison, I had the same issue and am not new to caramel. I debated taking it to that temp. I think next time, perhaps taking it from 5-10° cooler on the candy thermometer should work. Hope this helps! :)

Vicki

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

This looks AMAZING! What kind of shortbread cookies do you recommend using? Also, how long do you recommend baking three 6" pans? Will half of the recipe be enough to fill three 6" pans? Thank you for your help!

Sarah Bush

Monday 4th of April 2022

Can you make this recipe into cupcakes?? Similar idea. crust, cake, icing?

Sandra

Monday 4th of April 2022

Hi Chel.. is there a substitute for corn syrup??

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