Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cake

I think this could get me kicked out of The Cake Slice Bakers. This month's cake was a Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Cake. It called for espresso powder and Heath candy bars. I love, love, love coffee, but for some reason I do not enjoy coffee flavored desserts. I'd much rather have a cup of strong, black coffee with my dessert, not in my dessert.

SO, I substituted cocoa powder for espresso powder, which of course made a chocolate flavored cake, not a coffee flavored cake. Which, to be honest, I quite enjoyed. It was such a small amount of cocoa powder that it made a very lightly chocolate tasting cake, almost like chocolate milk(!).

Now, as for the Heath bars, I have nothing against Heath bars, but I know of something even better than Heath bars...English Toffee from Trader Joe's. This stuff makes me want to die of happiness. This stuff makes me think it would be worth it to weigh 5,000 pounds if it was due to the fact that I had been gorgingon TJ's English Toffee. God bless the English and their toffee making skills. It also has almonds on it. Swoon.

So, those were the only changes I made. Honest. Oh, and I baked it in an 8-inch round pan, but that was only because I don't have the kind of pan the recipe called for. Oh, and I also added 2 eggs instead of 1 and 1 yolk. But that's it, those are the only changes I made.

And I loved this cake! Very tasty. However, my streusel topping sank mostly to the bottom of my cake, which I don't know if that was to be expected or not ideal, but either way it was still delicious.

I could make this cake again for sure and I also think it would be good as cupcakes. If you made this cake with the espresso powder and didn't like it, I suggest trying my version. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cake
Adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

For the Cake:
1½ cups flour
1 heaping Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (or instant espresso powder)
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs (or 1 egg and 1 egg yolk)
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

For the Streusel:
1 cup Trader Joe's English Toffee, chopped (or 4 Heath bars (1.4ounces each), chopped)
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan (I used an 8-inch round pan).

Combine the toffee or Heath bars, brown sugar, flour and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the mixture with your fingers until it resembles large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine the flour, cocoa or espresso powder, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs (or egg and egg yolk) and vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add a third of the flour mixture and then half the milk, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Repeat, alternating the flour and milk, ending with the flour.

Kind of looks like chocolate milk, right?

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer with a spatula. Scatter the streusel onto the batter, distributing it evenly over the cake.
Bake the cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Release the sides of the pan and use a large spatula to slide the cake from the pan bottom to onto a wire rack. Cool completely, cut into wedges and serve.

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Isn't this packaging adorable? This is one of the many reasons I love Trader Joe's!


  1. Your substitutions will definitely not get you kicked out of the group. Actually, quite a few people so far have made this sub. I want to try this next time too, even though I did like the coffee version. I am so jealous. If Trader Joes opened here I would think that I died and went to heaven. Seriously, they have the greatest stuff. If I could get my hands on that English Toffee there is no way I would use any everyday Heath bar.

  2. Yummy! Cocoa sounds good! 8" worked well for you but 6" springform pan was a disaster for me!

    I made a MILO version of it and DH loved it!

  3. ack! i soooo wish i was within 100 miles of a trader joe's! this is one fantastic cake, thanks especially to your changes. bravo!