This recipe for a Kit Kat cake is a new family favorite. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
Birthdays are a Big Deal in my house, and yes, they get all caps. Every year, my kids get to choose whatever kind of cake they want, and I make it for them.
This year, my daughter started out asking me to make my s’mores cake. I can’t blame her, and I was looking forward to enjoying a slice.
Then we discovered the show Nailed It. I should have known better, right? As we watched the episodes, she was a Pinterest cake she decided she wanted.
She fell in love with the Kit Kat cake she saw people (try to) make. Of course she did!
She settled on that as her cake, and then we talked about how to make it happen. Fortunately, she decided she just wanted the “mud pit” piece of it and not any fondant animals we wouldn’t eat anyway.
While we debated adding candy fish to it or filling the top with chocolate candies or even truffles, in the end, we decided not to.
Why? Mostly because while that would look cool, that’s a lot of sugar and hard to eat. She wanted to enjoy eating her cake, not just looking at it.
That said, if you want to add those chocolate candies or any extras, go for it! Make your cake your own.
The best part of the cake came in serving. The Kit Kat bars provide the perfect guide for how large or small to make a piece for everyone. Small piece? Have two Kit Kats. Medium? Go with three. Large? Enjoy that four Kit Kat slice!
This was such a hit for my daughter’s birthday. I can’t wait to see what my son chooses in October.
Need more birthday cake ideas? Here are some of the other favorites we’ve made over the years:
- Molten chocolate cake
- Traditional ice cream cake
- Homemade strawberry cake
- Carrot cake
- S’mores cake
- Perfect white cake
- Marble cake
- Apple cake
- Milky way ice cream cake
- Double dark chocolate cake
- Peach cake
- Cherry cake with fudge filling and triple berry frosting
What size candy do you need for the Kit Kat cake?
Initially, I planned to purchase full size Kit Kat bars to line the cake. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find full size Kit Kat bars? If you do find them, man, they’re expensive.
I went with Plan B. While I purchased four snack size bags of Kit Kat, I only needed one 10.78 ounce bag to perfectly line the cake. I feel like there was some divine intervention happening!
The snack size bars come exactly to the top of a two layer Kit Kat cake. That means you can’t as easily use a ganache, but I feel like that’s somewhat overkill anyway. I could have added a layer of chocolate candies still, but I feel like this size worked perfectly.
If you have fun size Kit Kat bars, you would have to do a double layer, one higher than the other. In that case, I would use a wide ribbon to tie around the cake to make it prettier. Just go with the snack size.
How to Make a Homemade Kit Kat Cake
First, I love to bake. If you want to use a cake mix cake, go for it. A cake from scratch doesn’t take much longer and (in my opinion) tastes so much better, but I promise not to judge. The same holds true for frosting.
If you use a box cake mix and tubs of frosting, make the cakes in two round cake pans according to the box instructions. Then, just follow the how to below.
Beware that tubs of frosting tend to be slightly thinner than my recipe, so you may want to mix in a quarter or half cup of powdered sugar to ensure it doesn’t slide off the cake and holds the Kit Kat bars well.
How to Make a Yellow Cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Ensure you have your butter is room temperature and soft.
Prepare two 9 inch round cake pans. Spray with nonstick spray, then line the bottoms with parchment paper. Either buy the precut parchment paper (smartest invention ever!) or trace the bottom of your cake pan and cut it out.
Beat together the butter and sugar until they are fluffy and lightened in texture, just as you do with most recipes. If your butter is cold, add hot water to a tall glass and let it sit for a minute, then pour the water out and place the glass upside down over the butter so the residual heat can gently soften it.
Add your eggs one at a time. Beat well between each addition. You want the light texture from your eggs, too, but you don’t want to overbeat these, so don’t leave your mixer on for minutes at a time.
Add the salt and baking powder, mixing well. Add 1 cup of the flour and stir gently.
This is when I stop with the electric mixer and move to a large spatula to ensure I don’t overmix the batter, which results in bubbles in my cake and a too dense, crumby texture.
Add half the milk, as well as the vanilla and almond extract. Mix with your spatula until incorporated, stirring from the bottom to the top. Add another cup of flour, stirring again. Add the remaining milk, stir. Add the last of the flour and stir until just combined.
Pour your batter into your prepared round pans. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 24-26 minutes, testing to ensure the middle is baked before removing the cakes.
Let cool for ten minutes in the pan, then turn out to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
How to Make Chocolate Frosting
Again, you want to use softened butter to ensure your frosting comes together properly. Add it to your bowl with the cocoa powder and mix a bit, starting on a low speed.
Add milk, cold espresso, and salt. Mix again.
Add powdered sugar a cup at a time. Mix starting on low speed, then slowly increase as it incorporates. If you do it too high too fast, the powdered sugar will fly everywhere. No one wants to clean that mess.
Once all the powdered sugar gets mixed in, turn the speed up, and let it whip for a minute to incorporate more air.
If it’s too thick, add a milk a teaspoon at a time. If it’s too thick, add a quarter cup of powdered sugar. This recipe is really forgiving, so you can thicken or thin it as needed.
Cover it with plastic wrap until you’re ready to frost your cake.
How to Assemble Your Kit Kat Cake
Let your cakes cool thoroughly. While they’re cooling, unwrap and carefully break apart each Kit Kat in the bag you purchased.
Once cooled, use a serrated knife to slice off the very top each layer. This helps ensure they lay evenly and won’t break. You don’t have to cut off much, just the very top where it crests.
Dispose of the tops. I may eat them.
Take a piece of parchment paper and cut it into four strips at least three inches wide each. Place the strips to make a circle on the plate where you’ll serve the cake.
You want to be able to set the cake on the strips with at least an inch overhang so any frosting goes on the parchment paper and leaves your plate clean. Just make sure the parchment overlaps to make a complete circle. This is one of my favorite tips to ensure cakes look more professional!
Place the first cake on the plate upside down. Give your frosting a stir, and use an offset spatula to add a good size dollop onto the middle of the cake layer. Spread it in a circle from the middle to the edge of the layer.
Once you have an even layer maybe a half inch thick across the cake, pick up your second layer and place it right side up atop the first one. Crouch at eye level to ensure the cake itself is level. If not, gently rotate it to make it as flat as possible.
Once leveled, gently press down on the top layer.
Add more frosting, again starting in the center and working your way to the edge. Once you reach the edge, place a dollop on the side and smooth it by rotating the cake plate and holding the offset spatula in place.
Add more frosting as you go until you have a smooth layer of frosting across the entire cake side, add any extra frosting to the top and work outwards again.
One by one, add your Kit Kat bars to the side of the cake. You want to line them up right next to each other vertically. They should touch, but just barely.
You can serve immediately, or save it for the next day. If you save it for the next day, be sure to cover it tightly in plastic wrap.
Once you cut into the cake, this is best eaten within one to two days, and again cover the entire cake tightly in plastic wrap to keep it moist.
Have you ever tried a homemade Kit Kat cake?
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Add softened butter to bowl with cocoa powder and mix, starting on low speed. Add milk, cold espresso, and salt. Mix again. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time. Mix starting on low speed, then slowly increase as it incorporates. Once all powdered sugar incorporates, turn up speed, and let it whip for a minute to incorporate more air. Cover with plastic wrap until you're ready to frost a cake. This recipe is really forgiving, so you can thicken or thin it as needed. If it's too thick, add a milk a teaspoon at a time. If it's too thick, add a quarter cup of powdered sugar. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information: Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 217mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 5g
Nutrition Information: Yield: 14 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 0g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Add softened butter to bowl with cocoa powder and mix, starting on low speed.
Add milk, cold espresso, and salt. Mix again.
Add powdered sugar a cup at a time. Mix starting on low speed, then slowly increase as it incorporates.
Once all powdered sugar incorporates, turn up speed, and let it whip for a minute to incorporate more air.
Cover with plastic wrap until you're ready to frost a cake.
This recipe is really forgiving, so you can thicken or thin it as needed. If it's too thick, add a milk a teaspoon at a time. If it's too thick, add a quarter cup of powdered sugar.