Milky Way Cake Recipe


The first time Southern Living ran a recipe for the Milky Way Cake, grocery stores across the South reported a shortage of those beloved candy bars.  Grocers, here we go again! Buttermilk makes the cake layers super tender, while Ovaltine Chocolate Malt drink mix lends a whimsical, vintage flavor to the frosting and filling.

Milky Way Cake
Photo: Alison Miksch
Cook Time:
1 hrs 40 mins
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
1 cake


Cake Layers

  • 7 (1.84-oz.) Milky Way candy bars

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, divided

  • 2 cup granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar

  • 1 cup cup chocolate malt drink mix (such as Ovaltine)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  • 2 (1.84-oz.) Milky Way candy bars, sliced


  1. Prepare the Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine candy bars and 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.

  2. Beat granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. Add melted candy mixture and vanilla; beat on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among 3 greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round pans.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack; cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  4. Prepare the Frosting: Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring after 30 seconds. Cool 5 minutes.

  5. Beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Add malt drink mix, vanilla, and salt; beat on low speed 2 minutes. Add melted chocolate and beat on low speed 2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons cream and beat on medium speed until smooth and spreadable, adding an additional tablespoon of cream if needed to reach desired consistency.

  6. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with candy bars as desired.

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