Reversing Gears & a Chocolate Snickers Cake

So a few posts ago, I mentioned that a slight change was happening in a couple weeks but I wasn’t quite ready to say what. Well, with this post I feel like it’s an appropriate time to say what that is since it sort of explains why I baked this cake. Tomorrow is the last day at my current job with “corporate America” and I’m heading back to the agency life. I will be 10 days shy of being at my current job for seven months.

I don’t like how this change after seven months will look on my resumé, but I am not the first to do it and I certainly won’t be the last. I should have realized before I even took this job that I would be pigeon-holing myself and my creative freedom, but I honestly think I had blinders up. I knew from the beginning that this wasn’t my dream job or that this is where I would spend my time creating an amazing portfolio with lots of drool-worthy work. But it did give me experience with working and designing for a corporate, e-commerce company. Areas of business I had no prior knowledge in. However, when an opportunity came up for me to reverse gears and head back to the agency life at a place I’ve had my eyes on since gradating college two and a half years ago, I decided to go for it. It all happened very quickly—on a Thursday I had happy hour with one of the agency’s employees that I know, an interview with the agency’s partners on that following Tuesday, and a phone call that night with a job offer. Wow. It’s definitely going to be a change of pace, and I’ve been warned that the first months there are going to be extremely busy. But I’m ready for it.

So the cake was made as a farewell and thank you for my team. I had quite the experience baking it last night. I had to start completely over when I realized after the first layer of cake batter was baking that I somehow forgot the sugar. Chocolate cake without sugar is not good. So bitter. I thought about trying to save it by adding sugar to the half that was waiting to go into the oven, but decided it was just best to start over. And to add to this, I realized I didn’t have a cake carrier. The one thing I didn’t register for, I actually needed. Go figure. So off to Target we went, where I picked up a cake carrier and some more cocoa. Got home and realized that I didn’t have any more buttermilk. Thank goodness I had what I needed to make buttermilk from scratch! In the end, I got the yummy chocolate cake I was hoping for.

Quick notes about the original recipe & my adjustments!
• It includes a homemade caramel sauce, but since I knew I would be short on time, I opted for buying caramel sauce instead.
• It also calls for using two round cake pans. I don’t have two round cake pans, so I just used the one 9×9 square pan I have and baked each half for about 22 minutes. Remember that ovens vary, so just be sure to watch the time! In this instance, it’s crucial to let the first layer cool before removing it from the pan or it will fall apart while you try and remove it.

Chocolate Snickers Cake
Original recipe from Sprinkled with Flour

Ingredients
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed coffee
butter for greasing pans (even if your pan is non-stick)
about 12-14 fun sized snickers bars, cut into small pieces

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8×2 inch round cake pans with butter, followed by sprinkling some flour in them as well.
2. Using an electric mixer on low speed, add sifted flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry with the mixer on low speed.
4. Add in coffee and stir just until combined.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Let the cake cool in the pans for 30 minutes before removing them onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Frosting
Ingredients
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ stick of unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
5 ½ cups powdered sugar

Directions
1. Using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.
2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar (about 1/2 cup at a time) and beat until combined.
I recommend putting the frosting in the fridge for a bit while the cakes are cooking/cooling to help firm up a bit.

Assemble
1. Place one layer (flat side up) on a plate/cake stand. Spread frosting over this first layer—be generous, there’s plenty of frosting! Drizzle caramel sauce over the frosting, and if you have enough Snickers, scatter some over as well.
2. Place the second layer on top (round side up) and spread the remaining frosting on top and over the sides. Press pieces of Snickers around the outside edge, and put remaining on top. Drizzle caramel sauce over the top.

—m.

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