Homemade Tandy Cake Bars is a recipe recommended to me by Louise, who grew up in Tastykake country and was lucky enough eat their products growing up. Tandy Kakes, which were later renamed Kandy Kakes, were one of their most popular. They are little cakes topped with icing and enrobed in chocolate. This recipe is modeled after Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes.
While the actual Tastykake Kandy Kakes have 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.
Homemade Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes Recipe
Tandy Cake Bars start with a thin layer of tight crumbed sponge cake.
You then top them 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.
The mock Tandy Cake Bars are 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 the first time. I probably wouldn't change a thing.
Tandy Cake and Kandy Kakes Update
About a year ago we moved to Tastykake country and I can now buy their products whenever I want. I recently purchased a box of Tastykake Kandy Kakes, and oh my goodness they are so good. With all apologies to Little Debbie, Kandy Kakes are pretty fabulous as far as snack cakes go.
Here's a picture of one I gutted. The peanut butter is so soft, the chocolate coating actually has some flavor to it and the cake is velvety soft and crumbly.
Now that I've tried the real thing, I may try making these as small rounds by cutting out rounds of sponge cake, layering on some creamy peanut butter and coating the whole thing in chocolate. Stay tuned!
Small Batch Tandy Cake Bars
I recently started making these in small batches using my trusty little ⅛ sheet pan. It's a great size for small batch desserts, and holds a quarter batch of these bars just perfectly. To make the small batch version, use the recipe as written, but quarter it. Instead of baking at 350 degrees F, bake at 325 degrees F. for about 23 minutes.
Homemade Tandy Cake Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (28 grams)
- 1 ¼ cups peanut butter
- 12 oz milk chocolate candy bar chopped**
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10x15 inch pan. If halving the recipe, use a 9 inch square metal pan. You can also quarter the recipe and use a ⅛ sheet pan.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Also, combine your milk and cut up pieces of butter in a microwave-safe cup so they'll be ready to go!
- In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, begin beating the eggs on medium speed. Gradually add the sugar, increasing speed of mixer a bit and beating until mixture is thick and lemon colored. Beat in the vanlila.
- Add the flour mixture and stir by hand or using lowest speed of mixer until fully blended. Don’t over-beat.
- Heat the milk and butter in the microwave just until it begins to boil. This won't take long, so watch carefully! Pour the hot milk into the batter and stir by hand or beat on very low speed until blended and smooth.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- 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.