This recipe was recommended to me by Louise, who grew up in Tastykake country and had the opportunity to try its namesake, the Kandy Cake, a thick sponge cake topped with peanut butter and enrobed in milk chocolate.
While the actual Tastykake Kandy Kake has quite a different shape, this homemade knock-off is supposed to taste similar to the real thing. Not that I’d know. I grew up in Little Debbie country! Or Hostess….or Lance. I don’t remember seeing Tastykakes as a kid and by the time I did, I’d grown out of the snack cake market. Anyhow, now I need to try one to compare with this.
It starts with a thin layer of tight crumbed sponge cake….
…topped with a layer of peanut butter. Aesthetically speaking, creamy. Crunchy was okay, though.
Then you pour on a final layer of your favorite type of milk chocolate.
These were really fun to make and I enjoyed the different textures of the cake, peanut butter and milk chocolate. Thanks again to Louise for telling me about the recipe. If you Google it, you’ll see different versions, but this is how I made it for my first go-round. I probably wouldn’t change a thing.
Homemade Tandy Cake Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour (9 oz)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
12 oz milk chocolate candy bar, chopped**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10×15 inch pan. If halving the recipe, use a 9 inch square metal pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat on high speed of an electric mixer until light, thick and lemon-colored. Beat in the flour mixture – don’t over-beat, but just beat it until it’s mixed in. Microwave milk and butter just until it begins to boil. Stir the hot milk/butter mixture into the batter.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake on center rack for 20 to 25 minutes (20 if halving), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Drop dollops of peanut butter all over the still-warm cake and spread evenly to the edges. Let cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate to set the peanut butter (about 1 hour).
In a microwave-safe dish, melt chocolate (for milk chocolate, I use a lower setting) and spread evenly over peanut butter layer. Refrigerate to allow chocolate to harden, but be careful because if the chocolate hardens too much it will crack when you slice the cake. Refrigerate it just until firm or you could even let it set at room temperature, which of course takes longer and which I very seldom do since I am so impatient!
Slice into bars.
**Bars of chocolate melt and spread more easily than chips, however you can use chips. If using chocolate chips, stir a few teaspoons of oil into the chips before melting them.
**If you are making a half version, you might want to linethe pan with foil so you can lift the cake out and cut it neatly on a cutting board. I’m not a good cutter and always feel like I get better results when I don’t have to cut directly in the pan.