Erin’s Take 5 Cake

My mom has made the desserts for our family birthdays and holidays forever, so in truth, I was never much of a baker until I had my own kids. Let me tell you, I have big shoes to fill and because of that, I am really picky about which baked recipes I would bother making again. This recipe, however, made me so thrilled because I came up with the idea and everyone loved it. The birthday girl might not have been super ecstatic about her will-go-unnumbered birthday this year, but her cake made her smile! 

Have you ever had those Take 5 candy bars? That’s what this is based on: the five ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, peanuts and pretzels. It’s salty and sweet with some crunch, you have to make this recipe! Oh, and notice I took a little help from the grocery store, I am not ashamed and would do it again!


A candy bar in a're welcome.

A candy bar in a cake…you’re welcome.

Erin's Take 5 Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • One package of Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil's Food Cake Mix (and eggs, oil and water, according to the package directions)
  • One container of your choice of caramel sauce or drizzle (I used Hershey's brand, found in the ice cream accoutrements aisle)
  • 1 cup Pretzel sticks, cut into ½ inch long lengths
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I usually only use natural peanut butter, but for this recipe, I use Skippy. It just holds together better. Spray the measuring cup with Pam to allow the peanut butter to come out easier after you measure.)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature so it's soft
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • Pam or a similar vegetable oil spray
  • Parchment paper
  • Special equipment: Hand mixer, cooling rack and an offset spatula for icing the cake
  1. Preheat the oven and mix the cake batter according to the package directions.
  2. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray and cut a small circle of parchment paper for each of the bottoms of the pans. Once you place the parchment paper inside the pans, spray it too.
  3. Pour half of the batter in each of the pans and bake according to the directions. Remove the cakes to the cooling racks.
  4. Time to make frosting. Place the confectioner's sugar, peanut butter, softened butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Spray the beaters of your hand mixer with Pam and mix on medium-low until creamy.
  5. Add the cream and beat on high until light and smooth.
  6. Once the cakes have fully cooled, slice off the domed tops with a bread knife to make them nice and flat. Have a snack.
  7. Place one cake on your cake platter, upside-down (It contains the crumbs better.), and heap about a third of the frosting on top and smooth it out.
  8. Place the other cake on top, also upside-down, and heap the remainder of the frosting on top, smoothing it over the top and sides of the cake.
  9. JUST BEFORE SERVING (so nothing gets soggy): Drizzle the caramel on top, and arrange the pretzels and peanuts over as well.
  10. Enjoy!


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