Leftover Candy Cookie Cake
Leftover Halloween candy? You can eat it plain… or you can turn it into an outrageous soft and chewy Candy Cookie Cake filled with all your favorite chocolate! Perfect for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, wedding candy bars, birthday party pinatas, or any occasion that leaves you with an assortment of candy!
Okay, this title is a little bit of a misnomer. You don’t have to use leftover candy.
You could go to the store and buy all NEW candy just for this candy cookie cake. And if you don’t have any candy on hand, you totally should, because it is just that good.
Buuuuut it’s almost Halloween, so there’s a good chance you’re about to have some leftover candy on your hands — or the perfect excuse to go buy a big bag of assorted candy at half off!
Now, you could eat all that candy straight out of the bag. (And I support this, because I am pro-candy.)
Or you can bake with it. And given that this is a baking-based food blog, I’m pretty sure you can guess which option I’m going to suggest.
Have Snickers? Make these Snickers cheesecake bars.
Peanut Butter Cups? Allow me to suggest this peanut butter cup cheesecake dip. Or perhaps a chocolate peanut butter cup layer cake. Maybe this one bowl chocolate peanut butter cup bundt cake is more your style?
Have a whole bunch of Kit Kats on hand? You need to make this Candy Cake – cover the top with whatever other candy you have on hand!
Or you can use all your assorted leftover candy and turn it into a delicious, both crispy and chewy, decadent, chocolate-filled candy cookie cake. Because, yes.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butter: The butter should be cool room temperature, approximately 65°F.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar keeps the cookie cake soft and provides a deeper flavor, but you can substitute in all granulated sugar if necessary.
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Flour: Use a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free baking mix with xanthan gum to keep this cookie cake gluten-free.
- Baking Soda
- Assorted Candy: I find that chocolate based candy tends to work better than gummy candy, but mix and match whatever candy you like!
Easy Cookie Cake
What’s better than a single cookie? A giant cookie turned into a cake! And especially a giant candy cookie cake.
It’s like all the best parts of a cookie, but even better. Because it’s one GIANT cookie cake, the outside can get nice and crispy and the inside can stay ooey-gooey and soft.
I like to load of up my cookie cake with brown sugar to keep it extra soft and moist – it almost feels undercooked in the middle (but fret not – perfectly cooked and safe to eat!).
Making a candy cookie cake is super quick and easy, too. It’s as simple as:
- Prepare the Candy: Start by unwrapping and chopping up your leftover candy into bite-sized pieces. You can mix and match to create a colorful array of flavors and textures.
- Prepare the Cookie Cake Batter: Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, followed by the dry ingredients. Fold in the chopped candy.
- Bake: Spread the cookie cake batter in a greased pan, and bake until the edges are golden but the center is still slightly soft.
- Add Extra Candy: As soon as you remove the cookie cake from the oven, press additional pieces of candy along the top as decorations.
Best Candy to Use
As far as what kind of candy to add to your leftover candy cookie cake? Whatever you like! I prefer the flavor of chocolate or peanut butter candies, but if you love gummies – go for it!
This version here has peanut M&Ms (my personal most favorite candy), Snickers, Butterfingers, Crunch, KatKats, 3 Musketeers, Milky Ways (my personal least favorite candy), Twix, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and a surrounding ring of Whoppers.
You could stick with all one kind of candy, but when it comes to candy, I feel like variety really is the spice of life.
And it’s not just because it looks nice to use a variety of candy, or because you’re getting different candy flavors. It affects the texture of the cookie cake, too! Why does this happen? It’s time for my favorite subject.. kitchen chemistry!
Using a variety of candy in the cookie cake combines various sugars with different compositions and properties. Different candies contain different types of sugars, such as sucrose, fructose, glucose, and inverted sugars. Both the type of sugar and the amount of sugar in these different candies affect the final texture of the cookie cake. Candies with higher sugar content or made with inverted sugar melt more quickly, creating pockets of gooeyness within the cake, while lower-sugar candies tend to maintain their structure better, providing bursts of crunch or chewiness.
Recommended Tools to Make a Candy Cookie Cake
Tips and Tricks for the Best Leftover Candy Cookie Cake
- Candy Variety for the Best Flavor: Mix various candy types — from chocolates to gummies to caramels — to create a fun flavor profile in every bite. Aim for a balanced mix of sweetness and textures.
- Optimal Candy Size: Chop candies into a variety of sizes for varied textural experiences. Larger chunks create gooey pockets while smaller pieces offer delightful crunch.
- Round Cake Pan: If you don’t have a springform pan, bake the cookie cake in a round cake pan lined with parchment paper for easy removal.
- Add Candy After Baking: In addition to adding chopped candy to the cookie cake batter, make sure to press additional candy into the top of the cake as soon as it is removed from the oven. This is the perfect way to decorate the top of the cookie cake!
- Freeze Leftovers: The cookie cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for up to 3 months.
More Cookie Cake Recipes:
- S’mores Cookie Cake
- Giant Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
- Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Cake
- 1 cup (223 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (213 grams) brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups assorted candy, chopped, plus more for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Lightly grease a 9″ springform pan, cake tin, or pie plate.
- Beat together butter and sugars using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, continuing to mix just until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chopped candy.
- Transfer the cookie dough into the prepared pan. Spread to the edges and smooth using a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- While still warm, press additional candy into the top of the cookie cake. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
Baked, fully cooled candy cookie cake can be wrapped in two layers of aluminum foil and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight before slicing.