Irresistible Peanut Butter Tandy Kakes combine a moist vanilla sponge cake, a creamy peanut butter layer, and a rich, semi-sweet melted chocolate that's spread evenly over the top. It's a childhood, classic favorite recipe that's easy to make and—whether you call them tandy kakes, kandy kakes, or tandy cakes—they are simply out of this world!
irresistible peanut butter tandy kakes - behind the recipe
When I was a kid my Dad would bring home boxes of the different Tastykakes® from the local grocery store. The first box I would open (READ: tear into) was their Peanut Butter Tandy Kakes.
With that memory still fresh in my brain after all these years, I knew I wanted to share a homemade version of this classic with you all which could, dare I say, rival the brand's version.
If you've never heard of the Tastykakes brand before, they are a Philly based product retail line of baked goods like donuts, pies, pastries, and snack cakes. And according to their website, their top-selling item in the entire Tastykake line of products is the...wait for it...PEANUT BUTTER KANDY KAKES!
And I'm totally not at all surprised with that fun fact!
is it peanut butter tandy kakes or kandy kakes?
This classic chocolate peanut butter treat goes by a couple of names, actually—Tandy Kakes, Kandy Kakes, and a third one, Tandy Cakes.
I've always known them as Tandy Kakes which was the original name of the product from the store. That name later became Kandy Kakes to avoid confusion with another similar sounding company.
Then there are others that simply call them Tandy Cakes. People interchange the names a lot, but they're all correct and they all taste equally delicious!
what are peanut butter tandy kakes?
Peanut butter tandy kakes combine a moist vanilla sponge cake, with a layer of peanut butter, followed by a layer of melted chocolate that is poured evenly over the top.
Just writing that sentence makes me drool. Seriously.
how to make peanut butter tandy kakes
Whether it's your first time making peanut butter tandy kakes or you simply need a refresher, here's a general guide on how to make them!
prep your jelly roll pan
You will need a 15" x 10" x 1" size jelly roll pan and a flour-based baking spray. I highly recommend Baker's Joy. It's just awesome and has never, ever failed me once.
make the vanilla sponge cake
ingredients needed: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk
You can use a hand-held mixer, stand mixer, or keep it really simple and just use a large bowl and a whisk. Having a spatula on hand to scrape down the sides of the bowl is good too.
First, whisk the dry ingredients together then set to the side. In a separate bowl, you'll mix together the granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. You can substitute the vegetable oil for coconut oil, if you prefer. You can also omit the vanilla extract if you don't have any or are running low.
Gradually add in the whisked dry ingredients with the wet, alternating with the milk. Whisk together until just combined. Do not over mix the cake batter. Add the vanilla sponge cake batter to the prepared jelly roll pan, then bake at 350ºF for 28-30 minutes.
add the peanut butter layer
ingredients needed: peanut butter
My preference is to use a creamy, no-stir peanut butter for this recipe. If you only have the natural peanut butter where the oil separates, make sure to stir it up really good before spreading it over top of the sponge cake.
For spreading the peanut butter layer, I recommend using either a spatula or an offset spatula.
One last tip—the vanilla sponge cake needs to be almost cooled before you add the peanut butter. If it's just a smidge warm—that's okay. But right out of the oven? I don't recommend that. You'll run the risk of the peanut butter becoming too runny, which can make adding the melted chocolate difficult.
add the melted chocolate layer
ingredients needed: semi-sweet chocolate chips, coconut oil (optional)
You'll need 1, 12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips for this part of the recipe. The coconut oil is optional, but helps to thin the chocolate out just a little more and gives the top a little shine.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave in 45-60 second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate has fully melted and is smooth.
You can also use a double boiler if you'd like, but for this tandy kakes recipe, the microwave is the easiest route.
Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer. Using a spatula or an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top.
Then the hard part...waiting for them to set in the refrigerator.
chill the peanut butter tandy kakes for 30 minutes to 1 hour
Place the peanut butter tandy kakes into the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This time frame seems to be the sweet spot for letting the chocolate set, making it easier to cut into. Any sooner and you'll have yummy, albeit messy tandy kakes on your hands.
These will keep for up to 4-5 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
recommended baking tools
Irresistible Peanut Butter Tandy KakesAuthor:
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 4 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 ½ cups Creamy Peanut Butter, no-stir (preferred)
- 12 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil, optional add on with the chocolate chips
- Adjust the oven rack to the 2nd level mark (just above center) and preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Coat a 15" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan with a flour-based baking spray. Set to the side.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set to the side.
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together the granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until fully combined.
- Switching the mixing speed to low, alternate between adding the milk with the whisked dry mixture until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan, giving it a few light taps to get out any air bubbles before placing it in the oven.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes at 350ºF.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Using a spatula or offset spatula, spread the peanut butter evenly over the top of the cake.
- In a medium-sized bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut oil (optional) in the microwave in 45 - 60 second increments, stirring each time, until completely melted and smooth.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the peanut butter, then spread evenly over the top using a spatula or offset spatula.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes - 1 hour before cutting into squares. These are best kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container.