Wow This M&M Cake is Easy to Make

Last year, I spent over 2 hours decorating my daughter Ellie’s birthday cake. This year, I did it in 20 minutes.

I was inspired to make this cake by the blog Texas Monkey. Check out her original post because in addition to this cake, she has photos of several similar, but completely different cakes that use the same technique. A cake bordered by a cookie or candy and filled to the top with something delicious and colorful can be used for many occasions for children and adults alike.

More than one of my friends asked me if there was actually any cake in this cake and there was. I used my “go to” recipe for vanilla layer cake and a vanilla buttercream frosting almost exactly like this one except that I don’t sift my powdered sugar and I use about 5 to 5 1/2 cups of it. You can use whatever cake flavors you like. You can even use a box mix for the cake, but I insist that you make your own frosting. Canned frosting tastes like yuck.

I baked the cake into two 8-inch layers. When they were completely cool, I sawed off the “dome” that forms on most layer cakes so that the cakes were perfectly flat on the top and bottom. TIP: I sandwiched leftover frosting between the two domes of cake to make an enormous 8-inch whoopie pie for dessert the night before the party. Not very pretty, yet almost as popular as the cake itself…almost.

I put a dollop of frosting on the serving plate to glue down the first layer and covered the edge of the serving plate with wax paper. Then I covered all that with one perfectly flat layer of cake. I put a layer of frosting on the first layer of cake then covered that with the other layer of perfectly flat cake. Next, I frosted all around with most of the remaining frosting reserving about 3/4 of a cup for adding the M&Ms around the base.

NOTE: This is a really good tutorial on how to do a simple frosting job on a cake. Simple is all you need for this cake because the Kit Kats and M&Ms hide any imperfections in the frosting.

To make the edge, I cut full-size Kit Kats into 2-bar segments. It is very important to use full size Kit Kats, NOT the snack size because the snack size isn’t tall enough to form a container for the M&Ms on the top. I pressed the Kit Kats to the side of the cake to cover all around. It took just less than 12 packages of Kit Kats to accomplish this.

Next, I tied a pretty ribbon around the whole thing. The ribbon serves a double purpose as a pretty decoration that also ensures that the Kit Kats don’t budge.

The tall end of the Kit Kats created a well at the top of the cake that Ellie and I filled with M&Ms. Ellie particularly enjoyed this part although she took it quite seriously.

When all of the frosting is obscured by colorful M&Ms, I pulled out the wax paper, dotted frosting all around the ridges of the cake, and topped each dot with an M&M. If you are anal retentive like me, you might make sure that the color pattern repeats all around. That’s not crazy is it?

Anyway, when the last M&M is placed you are done.

Store the cake at room temperature for up to 24 hours. If you must refrigerate it (which I do not recommend), let it rest at room temperature for several hours before serving. Cakes with a lot of butter are dry when cold. Room temperature buttery cake is moist and delicious.

The cake cuts quite easily although you should be prepared for a little M&M avalanche. What a great problem to have, right?

This cake served about 14 people. When you do go to slice it, the Kit Kat segments make a nice even measurement of how big your pieces are. Enjoy!



  1. WOW!!!

  2. This looks so fun! Very attractive looking cake.


  3. I was wondering what’s going to happen when you cut it! Most of the M&Ms actually stays on! Kids must love this cake. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This cake is the bomb! Just love it! So colorful and fun yet still moist and delicious and homemade! Thank you for sharing!

  5. oh I think I just found my daughter’s third birthday cake! How simple yet awesome.

  6. My husband loves M&Ms, so I’m definitely going to try this for a B-day/
    Fathers day combo for him. Thanks for sharing!

  7. LOVE THIS … can’t wait to make one

  8. This is what we are going to do for my son’s 5 bday, so excited!

  9. What do you mean by you do not recommend us to refrigerate? Is it okay if we leave it at room temperature? The chocolates will not melt? especially the kitkat.

    • Yes. You must let the cake come to room temp before frosting and decorating with the candy. Once it is decorated, you can leave it at room temperature for at least 24 hours. Once you cut it, you can still leave it at room temperature, but I recommend that you press wax paper to the cut sides to keep them from drying out. – Heather

      • what is the recipe

        • Hi Sasha,
          The recipe is Cake + Frosting + Kit Kats + M & Ms. 😉 As to the specific makeup of the the cake and frosting, that is up to you. I included links for the cake and frosting recipes I used in the text of the post. – H

  10. LOVE! Only drawback is not finding this before my twins birthday party… oooh, but Thanksgiving & Christmas are coming up, perfect time to try it with holiday color themed M&Ms :)

  11. Want to make my daughter a cake that actually tastes like Kit Kats (not just having them on the exterior) so unfortunately this recipe won’t help. Going to have experiment on my own like I do every year (last year we made a Reese’s PB Cup cake by making a chocolate cake, adding peanut butter to the icing in between the layers, added bits of PB cups around the side, then added cups cut-up on the top).

  12. Awesome cake! I made this for a dessert auction at our church…it went for $200!!!

    • Wonderful! – Heather

      • that looks so good

  13. About how many Kit Kat bars dies it take for an 8″ cake?

    • I used 12 packages. – Heather

      • is that 12 packages small or the large packets that have around 11 pieces in it.

        • I used the regular size packages, the kind with 4 sticks in each. – H

  14. My mom and I use to decorate cakes and she taught me a few tricks I thought I would pass on to you.
    1) instead of using flour on the inside of your cake pan lightly dust with regular sugar instead making sure to dump out an extra like you would with flour. Cake comes out of pan easily and it leaves a sweet taste to the crust of your cake.

    2)after you remove the cake from your oven lightly dampen a cheesecloth or clean cotton clean towel. Lay it over the entire top of cake. Start in the middle and lightly smooth out towards the edge of the cake. This will smooth out any lumps in the middle of the cake,therefore eliminating any need to cut off the top of your cake in order to have a smooth surface.

    Hope this is helpful to anyone baking this year

    • clean cotton kitchen towel. sorry

  15. I’m making this for New years eve! (And using up my red and green M&Ms! :-) You take beautiful pictures! thanks for sharing!

  16. i want to know where to take the frosting but i am a kuwaiti girl and now i will talk to you in a kuwait language :االسلام عليكم you answer :عليكم السالام و رحمة اللة و بركاة
    i know english and also arabic
    and its true i am not lieing if i lie you will realize

  17. I bought Twix instead of Kit Kats. Do you think it will work as well?

    • Sure! What matters is that the candy be longer than the height of the cake so that it can help hold in the M&Ms on the top…or whatever you choose to fill the top with.

      • Thanks Heather. I hope it comes out as good as the picture looks!!

  18. Thank you for this amazing idea for a cake. Do you have recipe for a chocolate version?

  19. it looks wonderful! now to clean up the puddle of drool from my computer screen

  20. my friends made this cake and I tasted it, best cake I’ve ever tasted.

  21. This kit kat idea is really good for kids and adults. I’ve made it before and it was really good. Everybody loved it. Maybe you should add more m&ms on the top so it’s flooded and it yummier. Great cake!

  22. Saw this recipe months ago but made I think with cool whip,mousse and ice cream any idea if these would work with the kit kat cake. Want to make this for my daughters 16th birthday she doesn’t eat cake

    • I don’t know if it would work, but I imagine that if you used very cold ice cream, you could layer it inside like a cake. if you try it, let me know how it turns out. :)



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