Heath Bar Cake

I’ve been eating this cake for at least the last three decades. I requested it every year faithfully for my birthday cake growing up and every year, faithfully, my wonderful mother made it for me. In college, since my wonderful mother was hundreds of miles away, I went ahead and made it for myself. Happy Birthday to me! And now? Well, to be honest, I manage to make this cake more often than ever – eliminating it just from the birthday lineup and eating it year round. When I do happen to request it for my birthday, my husband and kidlets nicely conquer that task.

Heath Bar Cake

It is truly a glorious cake. Not only is it a one-bowl wonder (well, one and a half, I guess), but the result of the tender buttermilk cake topped with crumbly streusel and loads of chopped up Heath bars (a chocolate covered toffee bar, in case you are unfamiliar) is one that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. The melted chocolate and toffee meld together to create this dreamy, decadent candy layer on top of an incredibly moist cake. It is so very, very hard to stop eating.

I can’t believe I only have three decades of eating this under my belt. Here’s to the next three (at least!).

Heath Bar Cake

One Year Ago: Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl
Two Years Ago: Quick and Delicious Clam Chowder
Three Years Ago: No-Knead Bread Revolution

Heath Bar Cake

Yield: Serves 8-10

Heath Bar Cake


  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk (here is a guide for making your own buttermilk)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 (1.4 ounces each) chocolate covered toffee bars (like Heath), chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and center a rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, flour and butter. Crumble these ingredients together with a pastry blender, whisk or two forks until the mixture is crumbly and coarse. Remove 1/2 cup of the crumbs to a small bowl and set aside. To the large bowl with the remaining crumbs, add the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it to the edges. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the reserved crumbs and chopped Heath bars. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is no longer gooey but a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs. The cake may fall slightly in the center leaving the edges raised. No fear! It will still be delicious.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my beautiful mother, Michel W.

71 Responses to Heath Bar Cake

  1. cass says:

    Hello! I LOVE this cake and I was wondering if you have/ ever heard of doing a larger version in a rimmed baking sheet?

  2. Cass says:

    Hey Mel, I have made this recipe dozens of times and I really enjoy it. The first couple times I made it (over a year ago) there was a definite separation of cake and crumb. But the last few times I’ve made it the cake kind of takes over and my candy bar/crumb sinks. It still tastes amazing. I was just wondering if you’ve ever run into that or if you know what I might be doing wrong.

    • Cass says:

      OH shoot, maybe it’s because I threw an extra handful of chocolate chips on top. Too top heavy?!

      • Mel says:

        Hi Cass – it might be due to the extra chocolate chips but actually when I make this the heath candy bars sink into the middle a little, too – that’s always kind of been the norm for me.

  3. Roxanne says:

    Do the candy pieces stay with a crunchy texture or smooth/gooey?

  4. […] favorite child. Impossible! (Most days.) But, here is one that would gain top ten status for sure: Heath Bar Cake. I grew up eating this cake on my birthdays every year (thanks, mom!) and love it to this […]

  5. JL says:

    Excellent cake. I love Skor bars and do not like the infamous “Better than Sex” cake (even made from scratch) since it’s way too sweet and gooey. I had to look for another recipe and this one is perfect!! Everyone I baked this for loved it and it’s so easy to make and looks great. I served it with some whipped cream on the side, but ice cream would be really yummy too. Thank you very much for this recipe.

  6. I needed a quick, yummy dessert to feed the missionaries and came across this one. It turned out so good and I got compliments all around the table. I served it with ice cream and that worked out really well. Thanks Mel for an awesome site!

  7. Melanie says:

    Just have to let you know this was a H.I.T. with my family!! And that’s saying a lot! Made it our our FHE dessert and they snarfed down every single morsel. My 11-year-old went back for thirds, and put in his request for this as his birthday cake (unfortunately, it’s Valentine’s Day, so he’s gonna have to wait!), and he’s much like his father in not liking much that is sweet. My 9-year-old was licking his plate (honestly, though – that’s not abnormal for him), my 6-year-old very delicately ate two portions, and my 3-year-old ate all hers, then announced “I don’ like it”, then stole mine from my plate. So, all in all, another resounding success. Thanks so much!!

  8. Christina says:

    I made this for Easter and it was really good. The family loved it and it was so simple to make!

  9. Ann says:

    I did the same darn thing as Mary!! I set aside 1/2 of all the crumb mixture not 1/2 CUP. Ha! It was a little crumbly but we still loved it and now have an excuse to make it again paying attention to detail 🙂

  10. Krissy says:

    My mother in law called me three days before my sister in law’s wedding asking if I could make a cake for her wedding luncheon. Knowing a box cake mix just wouldn’t do, I jumped on your blog and found this little delight! Came together SO quickly and tasted amazing. You saved that day (again!), thanks 🙂

  11. Kassie says:

    I’m wondering if the problem Mary had when she made it is that she said she “eyeballed how much was half of the crumb mixture” when it should have been 1/2 CUP, not 1/2 of all the crumbs. Looking forward to making this for Sunday dessert this weekend!

  12. Carrie says:


    I just wanted to let you know that I made this cake last night…. DELICIOUS! My husband has been so excited about all the recipes I have found on your blog. It is nice to find family-friendly meals that I can do when I get home from work. Thank you again for the wonderful photographs, fantastic recipes, and all the great ideas.


    P.S. The Chicken Enchilada Pasta is on the menu for tonight. 🙂

  13. Mary Karlee says:

    I made this today for a family get together, and while several went back for seconds, it still didn’t seem to come out just right. The crumb mixture seemed dry and the heath bar just didn’t melt together I like I expected. I eyeballed how much was half of the crumb mixture to make the batter. I’m wondering if my ratio was off. Also, I bought a bag of pre-chopped heath bars. Would that make a difference? Last question, I softened the butter in the microwave and it got slightly melty. Is room temperature butter a must? Many thanks for all your wonderful recipes, love your blog!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Mary – I’m sorry this didn’t turn out the way you were expecting. To be honest, the crumb mixture does stay a bit dry and crumbly so you may have done that right. However, you may be on to something with the butter. I think the texture could be off if the butter was melted, or partially so. It helps to have the butter at a soft room temperature and could have contributed to the difference in texture. Also, I always chop the heath bars myself so they end up in much bigger chunks than the pre-packaged. Because of that, they definitely kind of meld together on the top during baking and form a glorious layer of melted heath bars. Next time you might try chopping them.

  14. Kelly S. says:

    Thanks for the awesome recipe….this is soooo good!

  15. April says:

    This looks delicious! I wonder if it would be good with Butterfingers on top? Or both! Can’t wait to make it for my three decades and three years birthday!

  16. jackie says:

    i am making this for my “free day” this week. i cannot wait! and i might make your chicken cordon bleu breadbowls too! carby goodness!

  17. Siobhan Gregg says:

    This cake was absolutely incredible. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand so I used one cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar to make my own “buttermilk” and it turned out just fine! Thank you for this recipe, this is a keeper 🙂

  18. CaSaundra says:

    Ooo I love the sounds of this & the fact that the ingredients list isn’t too lengthy is a bonus too! Thanks for sharing!

  19. amanda says:

    Wow, I’ve been following this site for a while and this desert was so good- I had to post! I’ve been having it every night for 3 days! Yummy!

  20. Emily says:

    Is it best to serve this cake slightly warm or cooled? How does it do making it a day in advance before serving?

    • Mel says:

      Emily – I like serving this cake at room temperature. If you can keep it tightly covered, I think making it up to one day in advance would be fine. I don’t like it chilled as much, so when I have leftovers, I store it on my counter in an airtight container (or tightly covered) and it tastes great the next day.

  21. Camille says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I’m wondering if you’ve ever made it substituting the buttermilk with sour milk (1 T. vinegar, then milk added to make 1 cup). I often use that in recipes when I don’t have buttermilk on hand, but wasn’t sure if it would work here.

    • Mel says:

      Camille – I have always used the real thing when it comes to buttermilk in this cake. I’ve never had good experience substituting sour milk in cake recipes so my recommendation would be to use the buttermilk. I’m glad you liked it!

  22. Joyce says:

    I just made this cake tonight. It looks SO yummy, but I have to wait until after dinner to eat it…darn. I loved how easy it was to make. One bowl wonder. To answer an earlier question…Skor candy bars have a little more “bite” than Heath bars. A little more crunch. A little more brittle. Does that make sense? I love Skor’s more than Heath bars… but I used Heath bars because you can chop them up without it flying everywhere.
    Thanks so much for this yummy recipe!!

  23. MaijaSFO says:

    This cake is amazing – I had a great time making it with my kids.

  24. Veronica says:

    This isn’t what I was expecting! I thought it would be a chocolate cake that had holes poked in it, then caramel/butterscotch syrup poured over it to soak in, then topped with whipped cream and chopped heath bars! I think that cake is called many things, among them “better than sex cake.” It was nice to see something I’ve never seen before–sounds really good!

  25. Kimberlee says:

    Thanks Mel! My husband and the kids made this last night. Just so happens that it was my birthday. Perfect timing that you posted this recipe a few days ago! I LOVE THIS CAKE! I’m not a huge cake fan…really it’s mostly icing I don’t like, but I love Heath Bars. This is definitely my new favorite!!!

  26. Kimberlee says:

    Mel – Do you mix the crumb topping and Heath bar together before sprinkling on top or do you sprinkle one first and then the other? I can’t wait to try it! Yum!

  27. SandyM says:

    I think My Hubby and Kids will be making this for me this weekend for my Birthday! Sounds perfect!! Happy Birthday to me! Thank You!

  28. grace says:

    question: what’s the difference between heath bars and skor bars? i can never tell. regardless, they’re both delicious and both would be awesome in this capacity. great cake!

  29. corrie says:

    we don’t have heath bars here so for a second I thought you were showing us a recipe for health bar cake! uh oh not so healthy but yuuuuum! I can see why it’s your favourite and how special that you have such a long love affair with it!


  30. Andrea says:

    I made this tonight for dessert and it was delish as usual, and of course too sweet for my hubby (why are men always saying things are too sweet or too chocolaty, why can’t women have this problem) but that just means more for me!! It was also the quickest made-from-scratch dessert I’ve made in a long time. So good! Thanks Melanie!

  31. Norah B says:

    So I made this yesterday and I see why you love it so much. Sadly or maybe luckily two of my boys didn’t like so I had more of the cake to eat myself. Thanks for sharing this dish. A keeper in my house.

  32. Kristen says:

    Yum! I’ll have three decades under my belt on Sunday. Maybe I’ll have my husband and kids make this for me. Heath bars are my favorite candy bar. Thanks for the great recipe!

  33. Whitney says:

    MMM…it looks delicous!

  34. carrian says:

    I must add your blog to my list. everything looks fantastic!

  35. Jenny says:

    Yum!!!! Thanks for sharing one of your fav recipes!!! I adore Heath candy bars, who wouldn’t! I’m excited to try this!!!!

  36. Debbie says:

    My kind of cake. Another one to add in my to try folder. Looks delicious!

  37. I first thought the title was “Health” Bar Cake lol. Not quite, but I wish. Looks delish!

  38. Jenny says:

    There’s nothing better than Heath Bars . . . and cake. I’m sure if I made this I wouldn’t stop eating it until it was all gone. It looks wonderful.

  39. Kelli says:

    Oh, my hubby would kill me if I made this! He adores Heath bars and we are both trying to limit our sugar intake, but there would be no holding back on this one for him!

  40. Mecca says:

    I am making this asap! Sounds delish!

  41. Cristal says:

    Would it be possible to turn this into cupcakes?

    • Mel says:

      Cristal – I don’t think this cake would fare very well as cupcakes. The cake is tender enough that I don’t know how it would hold up in miniature form.

  42. Abby says:

    I LOVE heath bars and so does my mom! I am totally bookmarking this for her birthday!!! Can’t wait it will be a treat for me as well 🙂

  43. Maria says:

    I will be making this cake and soon:)

  44. Jeanette says:

    I have 3 decades of desserts AROUND my belt! 🙂
    This looks great. I just posted a recipe for cookies with toffee, so perhaps I can use some leftover toffee to make this. Thanks for another great one! ~J

  45. Beth B says:

    This looks amazing!

  46. nicole says:

    umm love it. it looks delicious! can’t wait for the next not even a special occasion to try it out!

  47. Cammee says:

    Is it your birthday? If so, Happy Birthday!! Lucky for me, my mom lives in the same town I do so she still bakes me up a birthday cake. I return the favor and then we don’t have to have any of those icky store bought cakes. I can’t wait to try this one!

    • Mel says:

      Cammee – thanks for the birthday wishes but it actually isn’t my birthday. I have to wait a whole other month. I’m seriously not kidding about this cake, though, I make it ALL the time. Every day’s a birthday when you got this cake, man!

  48. Jen M says:

    I think my husband might ban me from looking at your blog soon if I can’t get some self-control and not make all the delicious goodies you post! This looks delicious and I can’t wait until I can find a good excuse to make it!

  49. KarenC says:

    I absolutely love Heath Bars. I just printed this recipe out and plan to bake it as soon as I can go get the Heath Bars.

    Mel… if you love Heath Bars… you will love these Heath Bar cookies. I found the recipe a couple of years ago and they are my absolute favorite cookie. I make dozens of them at Christmas and several times through the year. Everyone who tries them loves them. Check it out if you get a chance.


  50. Norah B says:

    I’m going to have to have my husband stop for heath bars on the way home from the gym. Oh my goodness this looks so freaking good I can taste it through the screen.

  51. Kim in MD says:

    Ok…how did you know that I LOVE Heath Bars? 🙂 I love to use them in cookies, but never thought to incorporate them into a cake! What a fabulous idea…another “why didn’t I think of that”? moment!

  52. briarrose says:

    Mmmm…a perfect birthday cake. 🙂 Looks wonderful.

  53. You always come up with these recipes that I’ve never even heard of before! How do you do it? 🙂 This looks absolutely incredible. I wonder if my husband would make it for me for my birthday?

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