Monday, October 21, 2013

Candy Bar Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing.

It's October. Now is the time to spend way too much money on fun-sized candy bars, smash them into chocolate chunks, and bake them into a candy bar bundt cake. Because you can... and you can get away with absolutely anything in October. Pumpkin spice cookies for breakfast, pumpkin lattes for dinner, candy bars and cinnamon in your popcorn (I can't even) , "just one more" pumpkin spice candle because I'm in love and obsessed/just try and stop me, and spending hours pinning all things pumpkin and then baking absolutely nothing because The Walking Dead is on. This is real life and we're living it!

Aren't you glad too? I'm in love with this Etsy print... and with October. It's the calm before the storm. You know... before we have to deal with candy canes and mistletoe and tangled-up Christmas tree lights.

And a month away from home, at training, where I'm expected to run three miles, study the law, and excel at ground-fighting. Do not major in criminal justice.

In the mean time, we're celebrating that calm by putting down the pumpkin spice and baking a cake. A soft, fluffy, tender, brown sugar-vanilla bundt cake filled with chunks of our favorite chocolate Halloween candy and then completely covered in the thickest, most pure fudge chocolate icing ever.  

And sprinkles. You should never miss an opportunity to use sprinkles. It's the best life advice I could ever give you.

My real life isn't always as sweet, styled, and covered in pumpkin-shaped sprinkles as you would think. Maybe I stress-bake bundt cakes sometimes... because it's who I am, they're a cake-walk to bake, and let me feel completely in control of things for at least 50 minutes.

P.S. Are cake walks even a thing anymore? They were my favorite part of my town's annual Halloween fair growing up. I mean, why try and win a Pixy Stix at the ring-toss when you could when a WHOLE CAKE for walking in a circle?

... this is probably why I run today.

  This bundt cake is the perfect place to start for Everything Ever Baking. As in... this batter smells like chocolate chip cookie dough... and anything can be baked into a chocolate chip cookie! What do you have hiding in your cabinets? Oreos? Chocolate-covered pretzels? Seventeen opened and forgotten bags of chocolate chips?

If you're reading this in November... the answer is probably leftover Halloween candy.

Into this cake went all of my favorite fun-sized chocolate things... 

 Reese's peanut butter cups


 Hershey's Cookies & Cream bars

 Almond Snickers 

I love a good suspenseful cake. With this bundt, each slice was different! The slice above was full of chopped almond Snickers and Rolo halves... making it taste like a rich, moist caramel-vanilla cake with unexpected chunks of chocolate.

My boyfriend ate this slice for breakfast full of nothing but peanut butter cups. He totally thought I'd baked him a peanut butter pound cake.

The secret to this cake's fluffy softness? I almost always swap out the light, golden brown sugar in any cookie or cake recipe for dark brown sugar. Besides adding a deeper and richer brown sugar/caramel taste, it leaves my baked goods so much more tender, soft, and moist.

P.S. This cake came THIS close to having a brown butter icing (my second best life advice tip? Follow that link to my buttermilk pumpkin cake & immediately make it a part of your life). This chocolate icing though? Pure fudge + a good decision. It was similar to the stovetop icing used to ice one of my favorite go-to chocolate cakes: Texas sheet cake.

There's just too many things going on here that I love.

It's fall. Let's smash chocolate and bake cakes!

Candy Bar Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

Printable Recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1 cup vegetable oil + more for greasing
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups assorted candy, roughly chopped & tossed in 2 tablespoons of flour (I used Rolos, Reeses peanut butter cups, and fun-sized almond Snickers and cookies & cream Hershey bars)- 

Chocolate Icing
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-3 tablespoons evaporated milk or heavy whipping cream, if needed

Prep. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan generously with oil and dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.

Mix. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the oil and brown sugar. Add the eggs and mix well. Next, mix in the vanilla extract and vanilla Greek yogurt until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the chopped candy bars (tossed in 2 tablespoons of flour).  Pour cake batter into prepared bundt pan and spread evenly.

Bake. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake tests clean. Remove cake and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make icing. In a medium saucepan, bring butter, cocoa powder, and evaporated milk to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and whisk continuously until smooth, about 30 seconds. If icing is still to thick, add extra evaporated milk or heavy whipping creaming one tablespoon at at a time until icing is a pouring consistency. Immediately remove from heat and pour icing over the top of your cake. Work fast- the icing will harden quickly once it's removed from heat!

Source: Candy Bar Bundt Cake inspired and adapted from Scarletta Bakes. Chocolate icing from Brown Eyed Baker.