Kandy Kakes are two tender sponge cakes with a smooth peanut butter filling between them, then dipped into chocolate. They're a childhood snack favorite that just had to be recreated! 

TastyKake is a treat brand I can remember snacking on since I was knee high.

I'm 99% sure it is not a nationwide brand, so you have to be from my neck of the woods to understand. It was awesome to find one of the many TastyKake treats in your lunch box from day to day.

A while ago, it was in the local news that TastyKake was closing. I was terribly saddened by the idea of another local company closing its doors and turning off the lights, especially one that had brought me so many smiles from a brown paper lunch bag. I believe they have been 'bailed out' and are still going to continue to make their delicious snacks - or at least I hope so because Hostess Ho-Ho's and Twinkies don't compare to the joy of TastyKake.

I can't imagine being up before the sun to launch the boat with my father without a 6 pack of mini chocolate covered doughnuts to keep my eyes open. Nor digging through my lunch box not to find a cookie bar, or rummaging through my grandparent's cabinets to find them barren of Krimpets. I've mailed TastyKake treats across oceans to friends who can no longer get their hands on them.

My favorite, and I would go as far to say 'fan favorite', are the Kandy Kakes.

Kandy Kakes were the perfect after school treat. Two small sponge cakes with a thin layer of peanut butter, dipped in chocolate; even better if kept in the fridge to make sure the chocolate didn't melt in your hands. So, at my initial panic over the possibility of TastyKake shutting down, I went on the hunt to recreate my favorite childhood snacks and found a recipe for Kandy Kakes that comes pretty darn close to the real deal.

Copycat Kandy Kakes recipe \\ Pass the Sushi

Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

Found on bakingsheet from Gourmet magazine

Ingredients:

For cake:

  • Copycat Kandy Kakes recipe \\ Pass the Sushi4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For topping:

  • 1 ⅓-1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter (do not use a "natural" kind)
  • 1 pound milk chocolate, chopped

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 17x11 ½x1-in. jelly-roll pan, knocking out excess flour.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until thick and pale, 3-5 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
While that is beating (or before, if you're not using a stand mixer), heat milk and butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter has just melted and the milk is steaming, but not boiling. Set aside.
Sift flour and baking powder into the beaten egg mixture and beat until just combined. With the mixer running, slowly stream in the milk/butter mixture until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading it out evenly, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F. Cake is done when a tester comes out clean and the top is golden and springs back when touched lightly.

Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then place small dollops of peanut butter on the surface of the cake. Use an off-set spatula to spread the peanut butter into an even layer, covering the entire cake.
Let cool completely, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours to make sure the peanut butter is set.

When chilled, melt the chocolate in a double boiler (bowl over a pan of simmering water), stirring constantly. Once it is smooth, pour it over the chilled cake and spread it evenly with an offset spatula.
Using a knife, cut the cake into 30 bars. It is not necessary to cut all the way through the cake, just into the chocolate/pb layers. Make sure the cuts are clear, so wipe your knife in between each. This will make it easy to divide up the bars when the chocolate has set. ( I used a round cookie cutter to mimic the shape of the original treat).
Return cake to fridge and chill until chocolate is firm (or overnight).

Copycat Kandy Kakes recipe \\ Pass the Sushi

What about you? Did you grow up with Kandy Kakes? What was your favorite lunch box find as a child?

Copycat Kandy Kakes recipe \\ Pass the Sushi

20 Comments

  1. Peanut Butter Candy Cakes are possibly the all-time best snack in the world. If you don't live near the Philadelphia area (that's where they are made) you don't know what you are missing! Thanks Kita! I might make these, I haven't baked in my new oven yet these would be a great start!

  2. The Harried Cook says:

    Never heard of a Tasty Kake before, but if they looks half as good and these do, they have a fan in me! That chocolate looks really dark! And I love the peanut butter peeking thru... Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe of your childhood favorite 🙂

  3. We didn't have Tasty Kakes growing up, but glad I can share your memories by making this yummy looking recipe. Anything with a chocolate glaze dripping off it has got to be a winner! YUM.

  4. TastyKakes was bought out by another company a month or two ago and the plan is to make them go nationwide like Little Debbies. With hope, everyone will have them soon! 🙂

    1. Francine Peer says:

      Also change the recipe and they aren’t as good. So now the entire Country can get them for what they’re worth now.

  5. There are two foods that I miss terribly from up North: Herr's Salt and Vinegar chips, and Tastykake! We use to get care packages of these and the butterscotch krimpets! I so hope they don't close up, need to make this recipe for my family they would love them!

  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    I think I've only had homemade versions of kandy kakes and never the real thing. I love your spin on them!

  7. briarrose says:

    I feel sad that I've never actually had a TastyKake treat of any kind...seriously what rock have I been living under....ehehehe.

    These look so very yummy. I'm pro anything that combines pb and chocolate.

  8. Taylor Thomson says:

    fruit snacks!! They were like crack!

  9. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says:

    Looks so so tasty! (no pun intended!) This is a funny thing to say but I think we both have the same pad of paper 🙂 LOL I noticed that when you posted your milkshake with the rainbow paper. We think alike! Oh, and these pictures are stunning! Great post!

  10. YUM! Those look amazing. I was always excited when there was a chocolate chip granola bar in my lunch box. 🙂

  11. Kate@Diethood.com says:

    I don't know about TastyKake, but your Kake sounds yummy good! The photos are just ...well...delicious!

  12. Kate@Diethood.com says:

    P.S. lunchbox find: I'm what you call a 'foreigner' ... my lunchbox didn't get the cookies/bars/candies that everyone else got ... I had feta cheese to munch on. 🙂

  13. Roxana GreenGirl says:

    oh boy, I've been missing on TastyKake Kandy Kakes all my life. good thing that are people like you that are kind enough to share.

  14. Oh my gosh I haven't had a peanut butter kandy cakes since I was a teenager!! These were one of the few "junk foods" my mother would buy for us. She was a good food from scratch type, pushed fruits, veggies, and home made cookies!

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe, I am so going to try it!!

    BTW- I grew up in Plymouth, just northeast of Philly.

  15. As a member of the Tastykake family, it was a pleasure reading the memories you have from growing up with Tastykakes. I will most certainly be passing this link along to my grandfather (former owner of the company) as I'm sure he'll enjoy it just as much as I did.

    Keep up the awesome baking! I can't wait to give these a shot 🙂

  16. I don't think I have ever had a TastyKake. That robe of dark chocolate looks so enticing. I am going to try making your recipe, but I think I will have to see if they are sold here. I don't want to miss out on a tradition. My lunchbox treats were a Wagon Wheel (two round crunch biscuits, marshmallow and jam sandwiched in the middle, covered in chocolate) or a frozen Sunny Boy (a triangular-shaped drink, usually orange-flavored, that my Grandmother froze for me).

  17. They look wonderful!! I have childhood memories of these as well. They are not nationwide!! We lived in the state next to my grandparents. The had them, we didn't! What a treat!!! I have one now and again . . . just for the memories!

  18. Katie @ ohshineon says:

    I don't think I've ever had one of these kandy kakes you seem so fond of... but I must admit that these babies look like the real deal. For sure. I want I want I want!

  19. Melissa Klotz says:

    Great idea! I also had a similar experience growing up. Always had mini powdered donuts, butterscotch krimpets, and peanut butter kandy kakes on hand!!

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