So Easter came and I had plans to bake adorable Easter cupcakes with green frosting grass and Cadbury mini eggs and candy bunnies on top. It was a good plan.
And then one of my coworkers passed away, very unexpectedly. Bunny cupcakes didn’t see so important or appropriate after that.
Instead, over the last couple of weeks I’ve been baking, sharing and consuming some of my favorite comfort foods. I started with my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread because it has the perfect mix of sweetness, heartiness and childhood nostalgia that I want in a comfort food. Then I found myself craving something that my grandmother used to make but that I hadn’t had in years: Milky Way Cake. Yes, made with actual Milky Way candy bars.
I’m not sure where the recipe originally came from. I stole it from my mom, who had it taped to an index card in her recipe drawer. It’s actually called Milky Wonder Cake, and it looks like it might have been cut out of a magazine, or maybe from the back of a bag of flour.
The official Milky Way site has a recipe for cupcakes that uses a box mix, but I’ll bet this made-from-scratch cake is better.
Milky Wonder Cake
6 Milky Way bars (or 13 Fun Size)
TIP: This is what the original recipe calls for, but as candy bars have shrunk over the years, and this recipe is at least 40 years old, I usually compensate with an extra full-size bar
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but delicious)
1. Chop up the candy bars and 1/2 cup butter and melt them in a saucepan over low heat. This will make your kitchen smell delicious and will also begin to heal whatever sadness or heartbreak ails you. Once melted, set aside to cool a bit while you prepare the rest of the cake batter.
2. Beat remaining butter (softened, of course) and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well.
4. Add flour and baking soda to the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until smooth.
5. Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan. TIP: Flour is the standard here, but I prefer to sugar the pan for a nice, sweet, crunchy outside. Cocoa powder can work, too.
6. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, or until a testing toothpick comes out clean.
7. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Serve as-is or dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with caramel.
The finished cake is moist with subtle chocolate and caramel flavors. I upped the chocolate flavor on this one by adding a couple of heaping tablespoons of Scharffen Berger cocoa powder to the mix, and I think next time I might also try replacing all or part of the sugar with brown sugar, for a deeper caramel flavor.
Milky Way Cake can’t fix everything, but it certainly helps.
Comfort in every bar,