This chocolatey Kit Kat Cake holds two yellow cake layers covered with chocolate ganache frosting. Rows of Kit Kat bars lined around the edge of the cake makes for the easiest cake decorating!
I recently found myself with a big stack of king-size Kit Kat candy bars and a pound of fresh strawberries that needed to be used ASAP. Friends and family often bestow these kinds of gifts upon me because they know I’ll make good use of them. And I’m more than happy to be the recipient! I’ve always known that someday I’d get around to making a Kit Kat Cake. Fate stepped in with the ingredients so, here’s my take on it!
My version starts with two yellow cake layers. Kit Kats have two crunchy yellow wafers inside each piece, so I felt this was a fitting choice. The sponge gets its yellow color from butter and lots of egg yolks. It’s an easy batter to put together and divides easily between two 8-inch cake pans.
Two ingredient chocolate frosting.
If you have a favorite chocolate buttercream made with cocoa powder or another beloved chocolate frosting recipe, it can be used in place of the provided ganache recipe. But this chocolate ganache takes only two ingredients to make: chocolate and heavy cream. And it’s absolutely divine on this cake. Even better? You can make it in the microwave using chocolate chips. Bar chocolate is usually best for ganache. But as long as the chips have actual cocoa butter in the ingredients list, you can use them for this recipe.
Let the ganache thicken to spreading consistency. This will take some time in the refrigerator with a little babysitting. Which means, you’ll need to check on it and intermittently stir the ganache while gauging its firmness.
Spread the ganache around the cake’s edges. This doesn’t even require neatness. Because the chocolate is covered by the Kit Kat candy bars, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Line up the Kit Kat bars standing upright around the sides of the cake. Break them apart beforehand. Doing so helps them to form better to the round edge of the cake. It also makes for easier cake slicing.
After frosting the cake’s edges, you’ll have leftover ganache. Microwave the remaining ganache for a few seconds to make it thin and pourable. But try not to get it too hot. It doesn’t take much time to turn spreadable ganache to pourable chocolate in the microwave. Just 20-30 seconds, usually. Ganache is extremely meltable.
Pour the ganache inside the top of the cake. Spread it around evenly. The chocolate bars create a reservoir to hold the melted ganache. Next, chill the cake in the refrigerator until everything is nice and firm.
Add a little shine.
Meanwhile, melt some strawberry jam in the microwave. Add a drop of liquid red food color. This gives the berries a boost of sweetness and makes their hue more intense. If you’re averse to using the food color, leave it out. But don’t skip the glazing altogether! It makes the berries shiny and the cake looks bakery-worthy. I’ve used this technique before on my favorite Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake. It really makes a dessert look ‘finished’.
A cake for all occasions.
The tied-on ribbon is optional, but I love the effect! And the toppings can be endlessly varied. Some people opt for M&M candies inside the top edge of the cake. You could use red and green M&Ms for Christmas. Or pastel colors for Easter. And it would be so easy to coordinate them with seasonal ribbons and bows.
The strawberries offer a fresh bite that I just love with the chocolate. As pictured, it would make a lovely Valentine’s Day sweet. But it’s also a terrific year-round birthday cake!
This is not a difficult cake to put together, and I love the architectural look the candy bars give it. I keep thinking of all the occasions I can make it for. Birthdays, holidays, even July Fourth with whipped cream, red and blueberries on top. The options are endless!
Kit Kat Cake
Yellow cake layers
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Ganache frosting and décor
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or bar chocolate finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 9 Kit Kat Milk Chocolate Candy Bars 1.5 oz. each
- 15 fresh whole strawberries about 1 lb.
- 1/2 cup prepared strawberry preserves
- 1 drop liquid red food color optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat two 8-inch cake pans with flour-based baking spray, or grease and flour and set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and mix on medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds after the last streaks of the dry ingredients are combined.
Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack for 7-10 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans. The cakes will be tender, so remove them with care.
When the cakes are completely cool, level the tops with a large serrated knife or cake leveler.
Combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 100% power in the microwave for 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds. The cream should be hot but not boiling. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute, then whisk the mixture together until a shiny, thin ganache forms.
Place the ganache in the refrigerator to chill. Stir intermittently over the course of about an hour, until the ganache thickens and comes to spreading consistency. To speed this process, place the ganache in the freezer and stir intermittently over the course of about 30 minutes.
Unwrap candy bars and have them ready to hand.
Place a dot of ganache in the center of a cake plate or cake board. Place a yellow cake layer on top. Fill the cake with about 1/2-inch layer of the ganache; top with the second yellow cake layer. Frost the sides of the cake with the chocolate ganache. Immediately break a candy bar into its individual pieces and line them up around the sides of the cake standing upright. Repeat the process until the entire outside of the cake is covered with the candy bar pieces. Tie the ribbon around the cake, if using.
Heat the leftover ganache in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, or just until it turns liquid and pourable. It should not be very hot to the touch. If it is, let it cool slightly before using. Pour the ganache onto the top center of the cake and spread gently with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate the cake until the ganache is set, about 30 minutes.
Wash and thoroughly dry the strawberries. Stir the preserves and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds or until loosened. Stir in the food color, if using. Using a pastry brush, coat each strawberry with the preserves and place on the top of the cake, stacking them slightly off center.
To serve, slice cake between the Kit Kat bars and add a strawberry or two on top of each slice. Store the cake, covered, in the refrigerator. Bring slices to room temperature before serving for best flavor and texture.
This cake reminds me of a classic yellow birthday cake with chocolate frosting. The yellow cake is enriched with egg yolks and has a wonderfully buttery flavor. The chocolate ganache frosting is a simple yet rich addition. The glazed strawberries add a nice fresh bite and fruity foil to all that chocolate.
In my instructions, I frost the sides of the cake with the spreadable ganache, then microwave the leftover ganache for a pourable topping that creates a shiny finish. If you’d like to skip this step, just frost the entire cake with the spreadable ganache.
The cake layers can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. If you do this, be sure to bring the cake to room temperature before you begin frosting it with the ganache. Ganache sets quickly on a cold surface, and the Kit Kat bars will not stick to the cold ganache frosting.