Kit-Kat cakes have become really popular in the last couple of years. They look beautiful without the painstaking effort of hard-to-grasp frosting techniques, they’re adored by kids, and they can fix or hide pretty much any failed baking attempt.
I initially thought the Kit-Kat cake might be hard to achieve. I worried the candy would fall off avalanche-style, making an even bigger mess than the one I was aspiring to cover. (Cupcakes I can frost. Layer cakes? Not so much. I’ve got some work to do in that area.)
Believe it or not, though, I found the Kit-Kat cake to be as easy as it looks! A few years ago, I took a shot at making one for my birthday, and it turned out great! I messily slathered frosting over and between two fragile, uneven cake layers, and magically made the whole thing look presentable by pressing Kit-Kat bars around the whole thing, then dumping pastel M&Ms on top. I tied a ribbon around it until I was ready to serve, just to soothe my aforementioned avalanche worries, but the whole thing looked terrific!
A handful of mini Kit-Kats have been sitting in my pantry for weeks, and I decided it was high time to use them up, but this time I went smaller.
Mini Kit-Kat cakes!
Naturally, I used cupcakes to achieve this: vanilla cupcakes with some leftover vanilla frosting (both adapted from my favorite cookbook, The Cupcake Diaries). You can use basically anything with this recipe–that’s the beauty of it! There’s not much that doesn’t pair well with Kit-Kats and M&Ms.
If you only have one cupcake to work with, it’s a little trickier and you’ll probably need to add extra frosting on the sides to keep the sides flat and allow for the Kit-Kats to stand straight up against them. I found it easier to simply slice two cupcakes in half, pairing the two top halves together and the two bottom halves together, creating mini layer cakes with equally-sized layers.
Just like a normal layer cake, I spread frosting in between the two cupcake layers for each mini cake, then frosted the sides and top of each one.
You really don’t need to use much frosting for these. It might be painful for frosting-lovers like me, but resist the urge to pile it on. Since these cakes are so tiny, you’ll need the extra space on top for the toppings!
If you simply must use extra frosting (I understand. Old habits die hard.), smear it vertically on the sides of the cake, rather than on top.
Then comes the best part! No matter what your frosting skills look like–professional, amateur, or severely lacking like mine–you line the sides of your little cakes with Kit-Kats, sprinkle M&Ms on top, and you’re done! Pretty cake perfection without all the decorating frustration.
I used 12 mini Kit-Kats and about 1/4 cup M&Ms for each cake.
First, I made some cakes with plain red M&Ms…
And then I made a colorful cake with the traditional M&Ms mix.
If you buy a seasonal package of M&Ms (or take the time to separate out a regular package by color like I’ve been known to do!), it’s easy to customize these little cakes to the current season or holiday. The red M&Ms look nice for Valentine’s Day or Christmas, the pastels are perfect for Easter, and you can get creative with the different flavors of M&Ms, too, if you’re feeling adventurous.
Have fun with it! These cakes aren’t meant to be perfect; they’re meant to be cute and whimsical.
And, in my case, to disguise less-than-adept layer-cake-frosting skills.
Maybe someday I’ll post a layer cake that demonstrates my buttercream-smoothing impairment.
Then again, maybe I’ll just keep practicing, and let’s stick to cupcakes and these little gems for now!
- 2 cupcakes, baked and cooled
- 6 Tbsp. frosting
- 24 mini Kit-Kat bars
- 1/2 cup plain M&Ms
- Slice each cupcake in half horizontally.
- Match up the two top halves for one cake and the two bottom halves for the other so that the cakes are equally-sized.
- Spread about 2 teaspoons of frosting between the two layers of each miniature cake. For the cake made from the top cupcake halves, you may need to position them so that the domed edges face inward, making for a level cake.
- Continue to coat the top and sides of each mini cake with frosting. You don't need to use a lot; there will be more room for toppings if the frosting isn't too thick on top! As long as the cakes are sticky enough to attach the candy on the sides, the frosting is sufficient.
- For each mini cake, firmly press 12 mini Kit-Kat bars around the sides of the frosted cake. Make sure they are positioned vertically all the way around the cake so that they don't topple over!
- To finish each Kit-Kat cake, pour about 1/4 cup M&Ms on top, within the edges of the Kit-Kats.
Total Fat: 20.6 g
Cholesterol: 41.2 mg
Sodium: 71.5 mg
Total Carbs: 66.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Sugars: 54.9 g
Protein: 5.4 g