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Trash Cake

What do you call this childhood favorite? Growing up in Florida, we called it trash. I've also heard it called Puppy Chow, Muddy Buddies, Christmas Crack, etc. Whatever and however you call it, it's perfection. True story- I'm literally eating a bag of it while writing this post. I like to shake up my version by adding pretzels, nuts, and popcorn. They become enrobed in melted chocolate and peanut butter and then tossed in powdered sugar and it. is. so. addictive. So much so, that I only allow myself to make it once, maaayybbbe twice, a year. To really gild the lily, I thought, let's cover a cake with this glorious crack and see what happens. Well, voila mes amies. To drive home the trash candy theme, I made my favorite chocolate cake a là King Arthur Flour and layered it with my favorite peanut butter frosting a là my King Cupcakes. It is rich and decadent but you totally deserve it. Bonus- this cake requires only two bowls, a whisk, and ten minutes to throw together. Win, win.


Large bowl

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (18 grams) corn starch

3/4 cup (65 grams) dark cocoa powder

Pinch of espresso powder, optional

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Medium bowl

2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar

4 whole eggs

3/4 cup (150 grams) canola oil

1 1/4 cups (280 grams) water

On the sidelines:

Whipped peanut butter frosting, recipe here

Trash candy, recipe as follows



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray, with nonstick spray, two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.


In the large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.


In the medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients ensuring everything is thoroughly combined.


Scrape the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to bring everything together. Divide the batter between the two cake pans and smooth the tops.


Bake in the preheated oven until thoroughly baked through- roughly 45 to 48 minutes. Remove and let cool.


Once cooled, split the cakes in half, if so desired or just leave as is. Frost between layers and frost all around. Once frosted, pour on the trash mix. Press lightly around the sides so that it sticks and don't be shy. Let the cake chill in the fridge for an hour or so- it helps firm up the frosting and secure the trash mix.


Trash Mix

Large, large, large bowl:

1 box (340 grams) Chex cereal

1-2 cups pretzels

1 cup peanuts

1-2 cups popped popcorn

Medium, microwavable bowl:

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) chocolate chips

3/4 cup (220 grams) peanut butter

6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

On the sidelines:

3-4 cups powdered sugar


In the first bowl, toss all ingredients together.


In the medium bowl, microwave all ingredients until fully melted. I like to do this in 30 second spurts and mix thoroughly between intervals. All in all, this should take about two minutes.


Add the chocolate mixture into the cereal mixture and toss to coat. Once coated, toss the chocolatey mixture in the powdered sugar to coat.


Spread out the trash mix onto a couple baking sheets lined with parchment paper to set and dry. Store in an airtight container.

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