There’s some debate on whether the sticky, peanut buttery, chocolate topped rice krispie bars are called “scotcheroos” or “special k bars.” Personally, I believe they are scotcheroos unless they are made with Special K cereal, and only then should they be called special k bars. Makes sense, right? Regardless of which side of the debate you land on, we can all agree the bars are delicious. This cake is next level play on the famous bars, adding a chocolate cake layer to wow your guests. It’s made in three parts: bar layer, cake layer, and then the frosting and assembly. If you only have one cake pan, start with the bar layer as it can easily be removed from the pan within about a half-hour. If you have two pans, start with the cake layer as it can cool while you work on the bar layer. When assembling, keep the bar layer on the bottom as it is heavier and would squash the cake layer when cutting if they were reversed.Print
Chocolate Cake Layer Ingredients:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa, plus more for dusting pan
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 hot coffee, boiling water with instant coffee crystals or reheated coffee from breakfast (haha!)
Scotcheroo Layer Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 5 cups Rice Krispie cereal
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5–7 tbsp of milk
Chocolate Cake Layer Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8″ cake pan with oil (or use butter) and use cocoa powder to dust the inside.
- In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low to thoroughly combine.
- In a separate smaller bowl, add egg, vegetable oil, vanilla, milk, and lemon juice. Whisk together. Slowly pour in hot coffee while briskly whisking so it doesn’t cook the egg.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined, scraping edges of the bowl as needed. It will be very runny.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted at center comes out clean.
- Once baked, let cool for about 15 minutes and then flip onto a cooling rack, gently tapping the outside of the pan to release. Let cool completely.
Scotcheroo Layer Instruction:
- Grease an 8″ layer cake pan. Set aside.
- Pour corn syrup and sugar into a 4 qt or larger pan. Bring to a boil on medium heat on the stovetop, stirring frequently. (Tip for corn syrup- spray your measuring cup before pouring syrup in. It’ll come out of the cup much easier.)
- Put a dollop of peanut butter in the middle of a plate and place the scotcheroo layer on top (this keeps it from moving around). Top with frosting and a few small dollops of peanut butter, if you want.
- Place cake later on top. Stick three toothpicks into the cake about 1″ in from the edge (this keeps the top layer from shifting off).
- Frost sides first using a frosting spatula and then frost the top. Decorate by pressing rice krispies into the sides of the cake. Enjoy!
- Remove from heat and add peanut butter and salt, stirring until completely melted and combined.
- Add rice krispies and stir until well mixed.
- Press into the prepared cake pan with greased hands. Smoothing out the top as best as you can.
- Let cool about 30 minutes and then flip onto a plate to cool completely.
- Add butter, peanut butter, and vanilla to a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until smooth and fully combined, scraping edges of the bowl as needed.
- Add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt and mix in on low speed. It will be very dry and look like coarse sand.
- Beat in milk until desired consistency is reached. Beat well so it’s light and fluffy.