As a habit, I do not eat candy bars. I find most of them to be very unsatisfying and cloying. And that’s even before reading the scary labels or considering the health ramifications. There is one exception to the “very unsatisfying and cloying” rule though: Heath bars. Those could be a serious vice for me if I allowed myself to eat them. So I don’t.
I did, however, allow myself to make this awesome Heath-bar-topped cake and take it to an awesome pool party. And over the course of several hours, seven people (cough*myself included*cough) managed to demolish it. The calories don’t count if you’re out in the sun? Right? Yeah, we’ll go with that.
This cake is ridiculously easy to throw together and it’s unbelievably delicious. It’s not overly sweet and the texture is perfectly moist and cakey without being the least bit dense. And that’s just the cake part. There’s also the toffee bar and pecan streusel on top, and that just makes it food-gasmic. Try it. You’ll see. 😉
Recipe notes: definitely chill the Heath bars before attempting to chop them; this way your knife and fingers won’t be a gooey mess (and it means that more of the candy bar will make it onto the cake!). Also, chopping even a chilled candy bar is not a pretty sight. The Heath bars will fall apart on you – it’s fine. Don’t worry about it. They aren’t there to look pretty, they are there to blend into a streusel topping and taste amazing. And they do. Oh, they do.
Oh, and apologies for the pictures not being up to usual par. That’s kind of what happens when I take food to a gathering. (sheepish shrug)
Source: The Bon Appetit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp kosher salt
4 (1.4 oz.) chocolate-covered English toffee candy bars (I used Heath bars), chilled and chopped
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 F. grease a 9×13-inch glass baking dish.
Using an electric mixer, beat the flour, both sugars, butter, and salt in a large bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer ½ cup of the mixture to a medium bowl and mix in the toffee and pecans. Set toffee topping aside.
Stir baking soda into remaining flour-butter mixture in the large bowl. Add buttermilk, egg, and vanilla, beating until just combined. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle toffee topping evenly over batter.
Bake the cake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in dish. Cut into squares and serve.