This Twix Cake is a chocolate caramel cake baked on a shortbread crust, filled with thick caramel and frosted with a caramel shortbread buttercream frosting! It has all the layers and elements of a Twix candy bar but in cake form! 

I love this Twix cake recipe because it just goes to show that there are so many fun ways to make a chocolate cake! My Small German Chocolate Cake Recipe is filled with a delicious Coconut Pecan Frosting; Then there’s my Ferrero Rocher Cake that includes a smooth Nutella Whipped Cream

A Twix layer cake on a white plate with a fork cutting into the slice.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Every element of a Twix candy bar. Even without the Twix bars on top, if you took a bite of this cake, you would definitely recognize that it is a Twix candy bar cake! It has every component: the shortbread, the chocolate and the caramel! 
  • Bloomed cocoa. The chocolate flavor in this chocolate caramel cake is out of this world! This is thanks to blooming the cocoa powder. By adding hot water to the cake batter, the chocolate flavor comes out and stands out much more! 
  • Amazing caramel flavor. This Twix cake really delivers on the caramel. The cake layers contain caramel extract that are sandwiched with thick caramel sauce and coated in a buttercream with caramel extract. You will love the caramel in this recipe! 

Ingredient Notes

A Twix Cake on a wooden plate against a cream textured background.
  • Unsalted Butter: Use unsalted butter in the shortbread crust for the bottom of the cake and for the shortbread in the buttercream. Make sure the unsalted butter for the buttercream is slightly soft but still cold. 
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour for the shortbread and the cake. 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: For more information on the different types of cocoa powders, when to use them and why, see my Cocoa Powder Differences guide. 
  • Eggs: Use room temperature eggs for the cake. This will help them incorporate into the batter better, resulting in a more even bake. 
  • Buttermilk: Make sure the buttermilk is at room temperature. Same with the eggs, this will help it incorporate into the batter better. I recommend using buttermilk instead of a buttermilk substitute. 
  • Vegetable Oil: Cakes that call for oil are going to be much more moist than cakes that call for butter. Keep that in mind! 
  • Vanilla Extract: Although this is a caramel cake, the vanilla extract acts as a flavor enhancer in the cake, similar to salt in savory dishes. 
  • Caramel Extract: This is optional, but it will really bring out the caramel flavor in the Twix cake recipe. 
  • Hot Water: The water needs to be hot, hot, hot! The hot water will bloom the cocoa powder. That means it will make the chocolate flavor richer and more prominent. It’s essentially activating a deeper chocolate flavor in the cocoa powder and bringing it out. 
  • Thick Caramel: Be sure you are using thick caramel, not the kind that drizzles out of a bottle. I like to use Sanders dessert topping. 
  • Shortbread Crumbs: The buttercream calls for shortbread crumbs, which you will make for the buttercream. 
  • Powdered Sugar: Use sifted powdered sugar to get a smoother buttercream texture. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the pans. Spray three 8-inch round cakes with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom with a parchment paper round and spray the round. 
  2. Make the shortbread crust. Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold, cubed butter into the mixture using forks or a pastry cutter until the butter pieces are pea sized. 
  3. Bake the crusts. Divide the shortbread dough among the three pans and press into the bottom to form the crust. Bake all three pans at the same time at 325ºF for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are just starting to get golden in color. Remove and let cool while preparing the cake batter.
  4. Make the Twix chocolate cake batter. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and caramel extract until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. 
  5. Bloom the cocoa powder. Pour the hot water and mix the batter on medium speed until the water is incorporated. Do not over mix. 
  6. Bake the Twix chocolate cake. Divide the chocolate cake batter among the cake pans (pouring directly over the shortbread crust). Bake at 325ºF for 28-34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove and let cool in the pans on a cooling rack. 
  1. Make the shortbread for the buttercream. Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold, cubed butter into the mixture using forks or a pastry cutter until the butter pieces are pea sized. Press the mixture firmly into the center of a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roll out with a rolling pin until the shortbread dough is 1/4 inch thick. 
  2. Bake the shortbread. Bake at 325ºF for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is starting to golden. Remove and let cool completely. Once cool, break into pieces and process in a food process until it resembles the texture of fine sand. 
  3. Make the caramel shortbread buttercream. Beat the butter and salt until smooth and light in color. Add the caramel and shortbread crumbs and beat until well combined. Add the sifted powdered sugar, a cup at a time, mixing between each addition. Add the heavy cream, vanilla and caramel extract to help soften the mixture. Once all ingredients are added, beat on high for 2-3 minutes. 
  1. Assemble the Twix candy bar cake. Place a cake layer crust side down on a cake board or stand. Spread a thin layer of buttercream evenly on top of the cake layer. Pipe a circle rim of buttercream on the outside to create a dam. Add 2/3 cup caramel and spread in an even layer. Do not over fill. Repeat with the next layer of cake. Place the third cake layer on top, crust side on bottom. 
  1. Crumb coat the cake. Cover the entire cake in a thin layer of buttercream (this is the crumb coat). Refrigerate or freeze until the buttercream is set.
  1. Frost and decorate. Finish frosting the entire cake. To add a caramel drip, warm the extra caramel and put it in a piping bag or drip squeeze bottle and drip around the edges. Then fill the top with caramel and spread to the edges of the cake. We used a Wilton 1M piping tip to create the swirls. Decorate with Twix candy bars.  
A three layer Twix cake recipe frosted with a tan shortbread buttercream frosting and a caramel drip going down the cake, topped with frosting swirls and Twix pieces.

Recipe Tips

Do not over mix the cake batter when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Over mixing at this stage will make the cake batter tougher, resulting in a tougher bake. 

Placing a dollop of buttercream on the cake board or stand will help keep the cake from sliding around as you assemble it.

Be sure to not overfill the cake with caramel and buttercream as it will seep out when you add the next layer and make the cake unstable and difficult to finish icing.

This is a big batch of buttercream. It will make enough for the buttercream swirls on top of the cake, plus a little extra.

Because it’s such a big batch of buttercream, I recommend making half of the buttercream at a time unless you have a mixer with a large capacity. I have a 5 quart stand mixer and the whole batch just barely fit and was a little hard to mix well.

You can make a smaller batch of buttercream that will just be enough to frost the Twix cake without any decorations using these measurements:

  • 3 cups butter
  • ½ cup caramel
  • 1 ½ cups shortbread crumbs
  • 7 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼-1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon caramel extract
  • Pinch of salt

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store the shortbread crumbs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 4 weeks.

The caramel shortbread buttercream can be made a few days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Let the buttercream come to room temperature a few hours before assembling the cake. Once the frosting has softened, beat in a stand mixer until smooth and light.

You can make each element of this cake ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer. For more information on storing and freezing cakes, check out my How to Store and Freeze Cakes guide!

Recipe FAQs

Can I use ice cream caramel syrup?

No. That caramel is a bit thin. You want a thick caramel sauce. This will ensure that the caramel stays between the layers better. 

Why is my buttercream grainy?

This could be due to a few things. First, make sure the shortbread crust is very fully processed in the food processor. You want a very fine sand texture. Due to the shortbread crumbs in the buttercream, note that the texture of the buttercream will be different. Sifting your powdered sugar can also help provide a smoother buttercream texture. 

What does blooming cocoa powder mean?

Blooming cocoa powder is when you add hot water to a mixture with cocoa powder in it. This heat activates the cocoa powder and helps enhance the flavor. 

Can I use caramel instead of caramel extract in the cake?

I recommend using the caramel extract. You’ll get a richer caramel flavor that will penetrate the cake layers much more than if you were to use caramel. The thick caramel could also affect the texture and bake of the cakes. 

A three layer Twix cake with chocolate layers baked on a shortbread crust with caramel oozing out between each layer.

More Cake Recipes

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a rating and review or scroll below the recipe card and do so there. 

Stay up-to-date by following us on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest.

A Twix cake covered in a tan buttercream frosting, caramel drip, frosting swirls and Twix pieces.
Print Review
5 from 1 vote

Twix Cake

This Twix cake is made up of caramel chocolate cake layers that are baked on a shortbread crust, filled with caramel, and then frosted with a caramel shortbread buttercream frosting. This cake is mind blowing and so delicious!
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Cook Time: 1 hr
Assembly Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 15 servings

Ingredients
 

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter - cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs - room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk - room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons caramel extract - optional
  • 1 cup hot water

Caramel Shortbread (for the shortbread portion of the buttercream):

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Caramel Shortbread Buttercream (for the buttercream):

  • 4 cups unsalted butter - slightly soft but still cold
  • 3/4 cup thick caramel - (I like to use Sanders dessert topping)
  • 2 cups shortbread crumbs
  • 10 cups powdered sugar - sifted
  • 1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caramel extract - optional
  • pinch salt

Instructions
 

Shortbread Crust Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans by spraying with nonstick spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper. 
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, and salt. Using forks or a pastry cutter, cut in the cold, cubed butter until the pieces of butter are no larger than the size of a pea. 
  • Divide mixture evenly into the prepared cake pans. Press firmly and evenly into the pans using the bottom of a glass or clean hands. 
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown and centers are just starting to get some golden color. 
  • Remove from oven to cool slightly but leave the oven at 325º F to bake the cake layers.

Chocolate Cake Instructions

  • In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla, caramel extract (if using) until combined. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer and mix until combined. Pour in the hot water and mix on medium speed until combined. 
  • Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 28-34 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter.
  • Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the cake pans and allow cakes to cool on a cooling rack until completely cool.

Caramel Shortbread Buttercream (for the shortbread)

  • Preheat the oven to 325° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, and salt. Using forks or a pastry cutter, cut in the cold, cubed butter until the pieces of butter are no larger than the size of a pea. 
  • Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the center of the baking sheet. Press or roll out with a rolling pin until it’s  about ¼ inch thick.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown and center is starting to get some golden color. Let cool completely.
  • Once cool, break the shortbread into pieces and process in a food processor until it resembles fine sand. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 4 weeks.

Caramel Shortbread Buttercream (for the buttercream):

  • Beat butter and salt until smooth and light in texture and color. Add the caramel and shortbread crumbs and beat until the mixture is homogenous.
  • Add the powdered sugar, a couple cups at a time, mixing between each addition. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and caramel extract (if using) as the mixture starts to get really thick.
  • Once all of the ingredients have been added, beat on high for 2-3 minutes.
  • This can be made a few days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Set the buttercream out to come to room temperature a few hours before assembling the cake. Once the frosting has softened, beat in a stand mixer until smooth and spreadable.

Assembly

  • Place a cake layer, crust side down, on a cake board or stand that has a small dollop of buttercream on it. This will help keep the cake from sliding around as you assemble it.
  • Spread a thin layer of buttercream evenly over the top of the cake layer.
  • Pipe a rim of buttercream around the top edge of the cake layer to create a dam, and add about 2/3 cup caramel inside the buttercream dam. Be sure to not overfill the cake as it will seep out when you add the next layer and make the cake unstable and difficult to finish icing.
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the second layer of cake, placing it on top of the first layer.
  • Place the third cake layer on top and crumb coat the entire cake in a thin layer of buttercream. Refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes, until the buttercream is cold and no longer soft.
  • Add the final layer of frosting around the entire cake. 
  • We decorated the cake with a caramel drip. To do this we warmed up the extra caramel from the filling for just a few seconds in the microwave, put it in a piping bag and added the drip around the sides of the cake. We then filled in the top with caramel as well. We also used a Wilton 1M piping tip to create swirls topped with pieces of Twix candy bars.

Notes

This is a big batch of buttercream. It will make enough for the buttercream swirls on top of the cake, plus a little extra.
  • Because it’s such a big batch of buttercream, I recommend making half of the buttercream at a time unless you have a mixer with a large capacity. I have a 5 quart stand mixer and the whole batch just barely fit and was a little hard to mix well.
  • You can make a smaller batch of buttercream that will just be enough to frost the cake without any decorations using these measurements:
    • 3 cups butter
    • ½ cup caramel
    • 1 ½ cups shortbread crumbs
    • 7 ½ cups powdered sugar
    • ¼-1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon caramel extract
    • Pinch of salt
You can make each element of this cake ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer. For more information on storing and freezing cakes, check out my How to Store and Freeze Cakes guide!

Nutrition

Calories: 1441kcal (72%)Carbohydrates: 165g (55%)Protein: 9g (18%)Fat: 87g (134%)Saturated Fat: 47g (235%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 224mg (75%)Sodium: 443mg (18%)Potassium: 205mg (6%)Fiber: 3g (12%)Sugar: 123g (137%)Vitamin A: 2248IU (45%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 73mg (7%)Iron: 3mg (17%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, English
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!