Chocolate Snickers Layer Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
butter, for greasing the pans
12 fun sized snicker bars, cut into small pieces

Homemade Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans with butter. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer, mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Scatter some of the snickers pieces over the icing, then drizzle a little caramel sauce over it. Place the second cake layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Press two rows of snickers pieces into the sides of the bottom edge of the cake, all around the cake. Decorate the top of cake with remaining snickers pieces. Drizzle caramel sauce over the cake. Serve and enjoy!

Homemade Caramel Sauce:
(Recipe from The Pioneer Woman)

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup half and half
4 tbsp butter
pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
12-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until combined. I like to put my frosting in the fridge to firm up a bit before frosting my cake.
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