Holy Cow Cake

"That's what your mouth will say when you take a bite of this moist and delicious chocolate cake! This recipe is a traditional birthday cake recipe for my family. Many thanks to Anne Byrn author of "The Cake Mix Doctor". *Special Note - cake mixes do not come in the 18 ounce size any more! See my note at the end of the directions on how to deal with the smaller size cake mix."
photo by Southern Polar Bear photo by Southern Polar Bear
photo by Southern Polar Bear
photo by Muffin Goddess photo by Muffin Goddess
photo by Sharon123 photo by Sharon123
photo by Sharon123 photo by Sharon123
photo by MA HIKER photo by MA HIKER
Ready In:


  • 18 ounces devil's food cake mix
  • 1 13 cups water
  • 12 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 ounces caramel topping
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup butterfinger candy bar, crushed
  • 12 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly spray a 13 by 9 inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix cake mix, water, oil and eggs with an electric mixer. Blend on low speed for 1 minute, scrap the sides and then mix at medium for 2 more minutes.
  • The batter should look thick and well blended.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
  • Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 38 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack.
  • Immediately poke holes in the top of the cake with a drinking straw or chopstick.
  • While the cake is baking prepare the topping. Place the caramel topping and the sweetened condensed milk in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Spoon this mixture over the warm cake so that it can seep down into the holes. Measure out half of the crushed candy bars and sprinkle the pieces over the cake.
  • Place the whipped topping and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth and combined.
  • Spread the frosting over the candy covered cake.
  • Sprinkle the remaining candy pieces on top.
  • Place the pan, uncovered, the refrigerator to chill the cake for about 20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
  • Store this cake, covered with wax paper, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (if it lasts that long!).
  • *Here is a tip from the Cake Doctor: Smaller Cake Mix Fix: Many cooks have been frustrated to watch cake mix package sizes shrink lately. But do not despair! If you are accustomed to baking recipes with 18.25-ounce mixes, there is a simple way that you can add flour to the smaller mixes and still bake Cake Mix Doctor recipes. Pour the cake mix into a large bowl and whisk in 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Now proceed as the recipe instructs. Not only will the cake achieve good volume, but it will have a nice structure and slice evenly. I learned this trick years ago before the mixes were downsized. If I added a little flour to the cake mix, then the cake seemed to have more body, and it did not sink or shrink when cooling. I hope you enjoy this simple solution!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Mzjujubee2u
    May I print and how could I?


  1. suewolford
    There must be an error in the recipe....way too much oil but I used that amount anyway. Didn't think about it being too much until I looked at the instructions on the cake mix box. I wish I had read the reviews or other recipes before using 1.25 cups of oil.
  2. Muffin Goddess
    Wow, lots of raves for this cake! I brought it to work for a birthday gathering, along with some other goodies, and this was definitely the most commented on. You would think that the finished cake would be kinda goopy because of all the caramel and milk poured onto it, but it soaks in really nicely. I really liked how the cream cheese transforms the Cool Whip (one person even thought it was real whipped cream frosting!). Just some prep notes: the store didn't have 12oz tubs of Cool Whip, so I used a 16oz tub instead; I used a 12.5oz bag of fun-size Butterfingers; I think there's a typo with the oil amount, so I only used 1/2 cup oil as recommended on the back of the cake mix box. Loved how easy this was to put together, too. I'll be keeping this recipe on hand for sure, thanks for posting! Made for PAC Spring 2012
  3. oudixiedahlin
    My kids always request this cake for birthdays..instead of butterfingers we use heath bar bits found in the gro by the chocolate chips..its super yummy..
  4. lapster570
    I made this for my daughter in law's birthday. I added the 6 T. of flour as per recommendation from the Cake Doctor. We haven't tasted it yet so my review is based solely on the preparation aspect so far. Despite letting the cream cheese come to room temperature and thawing the cool whip, the frosting turned out lumpy. I'll update my review if I get to taste it tomorrow.
  5. wright_nedra
    Thank you



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