I’m so excited to share this recipe with you! I totally invented it and I think it’s pretty special. You need to make this Halloween Dump Cake this year.
It uses fun-sized candy bars and chocolate cake mix and I don’t want to be too bold here, but it’s dessert magic.
Or, you can wait until after trick-or-treating and make this with leftover candy bars! Dump cake recipes are so easy and always a crowd-pleaser!
This post was originally published on September 19, 2019, and has now been updated with better step-by-step instructions.
Why this Recipe Works
Yes, the term dump cake sounds absolutely terrible. But it somehow works perfectly for this creepy holiday. Whether you’re having a Halloween party or just want a treat for your kids, this is a great recipe!
Then I finally made a Chocolate Caramel Dump Cake. And I knew that adding candy bars would really level things up. So I did a little recipe testing with my best friend. One of the recipes I put together was just ok.
And then I hit the jackpot with this one. If you have a sweet tooth, you’re going to love this dump cake with candy bars!
This is a small batch dump cake recipe. A standard dump cake is usually made in a 9 x 13 dish.
But with the candy bars and caramel sauce making this extra decadent, I felt like a smaller version made a lot of sense.
And if you wanted to make this with leftover Halloween candy, I wasn’t sure if your kid would end up with enough fun-sized candy bars to cover the bottom of a full-sized baking pan.
Pair this with some easy Halloween Cupcakes and your sweet tooth is taken care of.
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Scroll to the printable recipe card for full measurements and detailed instructions.
I chose a Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix. Devil’s Food sounded appropriate for Halloween, but it’s also extra chocolatey. Also, dump cakes are pretty forgiving.
So when I say to use half a box of chocolate cake mix, do your best. I literally sat the bag on the counter and guestimated what half would be.
My dump cakes are always heavy on the butter, so I used a whole stick (instead of my usual 2 for a full batch). More butter is never wrong.
Grab your favorite brand of pretzels. You really can’t mess this up!
I love (and used) caramel sauce because it complemented the fun-sized candy bars that I used, but chocolate sauce would be tasty too! You can feel free to make your own caramel sauce but store-bought is just SO easy.
Candy Eyes are not optional. This really pushes it over that Halloween edge. BEWARE: If you put all of them on before it goes in the oven, they will most likely melt. I put on a few before and more after. The eyes make it perfectly festive.
How to make a Candy Bar Dump Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8′ x 8″ baking dish with baking spray. Break up the fun-sized candy bars as you add them to the bottom of the pan.
Yes, you will have to unwrap them all first. Yes, it’s very tedious. This would be a great thing to have your kids help you with.
I counted out that I used 25 pieces of candy. You can use more or less.
I just wanted to make sure that I created at least a full layer to cover the whole dish.
You are using the candy bars in place of fruit filling in this case so you don’t want to be stingy.
Drizzle with about half of the caramel sauce. It’s totally fine to eyeball it.
Again, too much caramel isn’t wrong. Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the candy.
Can you even think of better ingredients for a Candy Bar Dump Cake??
Evenly, pour melted butter over the top.
And, yes, you are correct. This candy bar cake looks terrible. But it tastes AMAZING when it’s done!
Drizzle with more caramel. Add broken up pretzel pieces. SO decadent!
Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 1 hour.
Remove from oven and add candy eye pieces. Eat hot or at room temperature.
My best friend was skeptical when this came out of the oven. It doesn’t look great. But then we tasted it.
I was nervous that the candy bars would solidify instead of melt. But they didn’t. Part of one type of candy bar turned into a toffee-like substance.
The way the butter mixed with the chocolate cake mix made it gritty and crumbly and the perfect texture to mix with the caramel sauce.
We ate it hot and then I tried it again at room temperature and proceeded to eat this whole pan by myself over the next few days.
The crunch and salt from the pretzels keep this from being too sweet. You need to make this!
This is definitely going to be one of my favorite Halloween desserts to make every year.
Tips and Tricks
- For ease of use, you can use a disposable baking dish. Chocolate and caramel can get really hard and crusty in spots and I’m lazy. Throwing out the pan is my jam.
- Have your kids help you unwrap all of the candy, it takes a while!
- You may be able to use other types of candy bars, but as they bake, their texture may change. I know the candies that I listed above work really well.
- But it’s easy to make a full batch if you have enough candy, just double what you see below!
Frequently Asked Questions
Because you’re literally dumping the ingredients in a pan and baking. This type of cake is as easy as you can get. No stirring is needed.
Dump Cake is best stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container, but this cake is so good I don’t think that it will have time to lose its freshness. To enjoy, place a portion in a bowl and microwave on half power for 30 seconds. Or leave it on the counter for about half an hour to soften a bit.
I don’t want to force you to follow this recipe exactly. I usually prefer for people to use my easy recipe as a starting point and put their own flair on it.
But I’m going to implore you to use Twix, 3 Muskateers, and Kit Kats. Other candy bars may work. But something magical happens when you bake these candy bars. I’m sure it’s science and I can’t begin to break it down. But it just works.
I will say, that other candy might not melt down the same way. It might just get all hard and unchewable.
- Cherry Pie Baked Inside a Cake Looks Horrific but tastes delicious!
- Cookie Faces make a great after school party idea!
- This list of Halloween Rice Crispy Treats are super fun for a holiday-themed dessert.
- Candy Popcorn would be a great treat to gift special trick-or-treaters!
- This Oreo Pumpkin Ice Box Cake from 4 Hats and Frugal sounds like something my kids would love.
- Celebrations at Home has a tutorial for how to make a Coffin Cake! Scary!
Halloween Dump Cake with Candy Bars
- 8 x 8 baking dish
- Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with baking spray.
- Break up the fun-sized candy bars as you add them to the bottom of the pan.
- Drizzle with about half of the caramel sauce.
- Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the candy.
- Evenly, pour melted butter over the top.
- Drizzle with more caramel.
- Add broken up pretzel pieces.
- Add a few candy eyeballs.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and add more candy eye pieces.
- Eat hot or room temperature.
If you’re looking for a fun festive treat to make, this Halloween Dump Cake is it. The candy bars and pretzel make it decadent and delicious!