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Turn a much-loved candy bar into a cake! This Almond Joy Layer Cake starts with a boxed cake mix, but has homemade coconut buttercream and a silky chocolate ganache to make it a divine dessert.
Two weeks ago, my house was overflowing with desserts. Cakes…cookies…cupcakes…shortbread bars. You name it, we probably had baked it that week. That’s how it goes with food blogging. Some weeks are mostly computer work. Other weeks seem to be baking weeks where you hardly find time to step out of the kitchen.
Although we bake something nearly every day, this week we had a particularly scary amount of desserts in the house. Like a don’t-even-think-about-eating-healthy amount. Whether it is a baked good to sell, a promotional post or recipe testing, we go through more than our share of eggs, flour and sugar. And sometimes we just don’t know what to do with it all.
For this particular cake, I decided to post a picture on Facebook and see which of my friends would take this chocolate-dripping beauty off my hands. It didn’t take long before I had takers. I knew my friends would come through for me!
I did save a slice for Matt, whose favorite candy bar is Almond Joy. That’s the candy that I based this layer cake off of.
This recipe starts with a simple boxed cake mix. You can make your own homemade chocolate cake from scratch, but I think boxed cake mixes turn out pretty great on their own. And they’re easy!
Bake the cake in 2 9″ round cake pans. Have you ever tried Wilton’s Bake Even Strips? They are strips of fabric that you dampen, slip around the outside of a cake pan and bake the cake. When the cake is done it will be perfectly level on top. No uneven layers. It’s quite amazing!
While the cakes are cooling you can make the coconut buttercream. Now we like a lot of frosting on our Almond Joy Layer Cakes. A thick layer in the middle and the same on the outside. If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s running out of frosting. Nobody wants a cake with thin frosting. So this makes a lot of frosting. Because frosting is the best part of a cake. Plus, I wanted a little extra for making a sweet, creamy swirl on top.
The final step to making this coconut almond chocolate cake is to make the chocolate ganache. If you’ve never made ganache, it’s super easy. If you have a double boiler (which I highly recommend having in the kitchen), just add the chocolate and the cream to the top pan of the double boiler. Heat water in the bottom pan and as the water heats, it will melt the chocolate. Continue to stir it all together until it is silky, shiny and smooth. Need info on how to make chocolate ganache without a double boiler? There’s a great article here with all you need to know.
Make the ganache, allow it to cool and thicken for 25-30 minutes, then spoon it on the top of the cake, just barely to the edges. It will eventually spill gently over the sides, or you can help it along with a spoon if it is not making pretty drizzles. If you don’t the ganache cool a bit and thicken, it will all run off your cake, making a huge mess and leaving you with one sad, ganache-less cake.
Decorate the top of the Almond Joy Layer Cake as you’d like, with sliced almonds and an extra swirl or dab of frosting, or even chopped Almond Joy candy bars.
Wouldn’t this be a fabulous birthday cake for the loved one in your life who dreams of chocolate and coconut?
Q: What’s your favorite candy bar? This will give us ideas for a new cake. 🙂
Q: Have you ever made chocolate ganache?