If you love toffee and chocolate, you're going to love Mom's Retro Heath Bar Cake!!
Don't save this Heath Bar cake only for special occasions. Make it any time you need a delicious dessert that everyone will flip over!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Retro Heath Bar Cake is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
This recipe was originally shared in 2015. This post has been updated with additional information, including a recipe card complete with nutritional information, but the recipe itself has remained unchanged.
The ingredient list:
- brown sugar
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- baking powder
- milk pure vanilla extract
- Heath candy bars
- chopped pecans
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- large bowl (if using a hand mixer)
- measuring cups and spoons
- nut chopper (optional)
- gallon zip-top bag (for crushing candy)
- rolling pin or meat mallet (for crushing candy)
- baking spray
- 2 - 9" round cake pans (or aluminum disposable pans) or 13 x 9 baking pan
- cake tester (optional) or toothpicks
- cooling rack
How this recipe came to be:
This Heath Bar Cake is a recipe that my mom used to make when I was growing up. It is seriously one of my favorite dessert memories from my childhood.
When I was growing up, my mom used to get gently kidded that the only time she ever baked was when company was coming over.
Even though it was said in jest, it was pretty much a true story. LOL. Sorry, mom.
My memories of Heath Bar cake:
My mom used to get kidded about her frozen desserts too. She was the one in the family with the sweet tooth.
Every night after we finished off our family dinner (5:30 p.m. - no exceptions), mom would pull out some type of frozen Sara Lee dessert and cut off a frozen piece for herself and whoever else wanted dessert.
It was rare that I ever partook in those frozen confections, as I was always the one who reached for whatever was left in the bottom of the vegetable bowl. Weird kid, I know.
Unless of course, mom was serving Heath Bar Cake. That was one dessert I always wanted to have!!
What makes this Heath Bar Cake a recipe retro?
Mom got this recipe for Heath Bar Cake from her aunt Regina sometime in the early '60s when Heath toffee candy bars were in their heyday.
Can this baked cake be frozen?
Wrap it will with plastic wrap and it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Can other nuts be used in place of the pecans?
Sure thing, or leave the nuts out entirely if you prefer. It's your choice.
Can other toffee candy bars be substituted for Heath candy bars?
These days large Heath bars may be hard to come by, but the smaller snack-sized ones should be easily found on grocery store shelves.
However, Butterfingers candy bars would be a wonderful substitution, as would SKOR candy bars (another delicious toffee candy bar).
This recipe from mom's Aunt Regina was written to be baked in a 9x13 pan, but my mom would always divide the recipe and bake two cakes in round disposable 9" aluminum pans.
I chose to bake my cakes just the same way mom did for that blast-from-the-past feel and to aid in my retro-recipes theme.
How many cakes does this recipe make?
This recipe will make 2 9" round cakes. It's super handy to have a recipe that makes two cakes. One for the family, and one for company.
Which is why, I guess, my mom divided the recipe into two cakes... to get her family off her back! LOL (see above recollections)
However, if you'd like to make this recipe in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, please do so.
You'll need to bake a 13 x 9 cake a tad bit longer than what the recipe here calls for (maybe an additional 10 minutes), but as long as you test the cake with a toothpick (and it comes out clean), your Retro Heath Bar Cake is baked and ready to go.
Don't wait to make this cake for special occasions!
I'm so glad I finally asked my mom for this recipe and I can't wait to serve this retro candy bar cake to friends and family.
Of course, I'll have to take one out of the freezer to thaw, first! HaHa! Love you, Mom!!!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's retro Heath Bar Candy Cake.
If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Retro Heath Bar Cake
- ½ cup 1 stick butter, softened
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8-10 mini Heath bars rough chopped
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- baking spray
- 2 - 8 " round disposable cake pans or 1- 9x13 baking pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until incorporated. Slowly blend in the flour to form a crumb-like texture. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside.
- Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, egg, milk, and vanilla to the large bowl and beat until well blended.
- Spray the pan/pans with baking spray.
- If using the two round pans, divide the dough evenly between the two pans. If using a 9x13, pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the reserved crumble topping evenly over the cake batter.
- Divide the Heath bars and pecans (if using 2 round pans), and sprinkle them evenly over the crumble topping.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If using a 13 x 9 pan, allow a few extra minutes in the oven, and then check for doneness with a toothpick.
- Cool completely before cutting and serving.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's delicious retro dessert recipe for Heath Bar Cake as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!!