The ingeniously named Better Than Sex Cake is a glorious celebration of rich chocolate cake, gooey caramel sauce, airy whipped cream, with the sweet crunch of toffee bits mixed in to keep things interesting.
What makes this Better than Sex Cake recipe so mindblowing is that in addition to the standard 9 by 13 baking dish version, we also have a multi-layered cake version that elevates the classic into a stunner that looks as good as it tastes.
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This cake is a popular dessert for potlucks, office parties, and anywhere chocolate cake lovers gather. The cake is simple to make and an easy way to satiate lots of people looking for something sweet.
It’s not very often you come across a recipe that makes people blush and giggle when you say its name or has so many aliases that it deserves a wanted poster.
This cake has been known to take the stage as Better Than Anything Cake or Better Than You Know What Cake for those with a more puritanical bent, BTS Cake for people who think everything should be short & sweet, Divorce Cake for those trying to get over something, and Better Than Robert Redford Cake for those from a particular generation.
Whether or not the cake lives up to its name is for you to decide, but for your sake, we hope it doesn’t.
What this decadent chocolate cake is, is a poke cake, which in this case isn’t a euphemism. It’s a cake you poke holes in after it’s been baked to add a filling or liquid. It’s also delicious and an easy way to liven up the most boring potlucks.
Better Than Sex Cake Recipe Ingredients
It only takes a few ingredients to make a delicious cake. Most of these ingredients can be kept on hand.
Devil’s Food Cake Mix – We recommend using a Devil’s Food cake, homemade or box mix, as the basis for this recipe. Any chocolate cake will work, but the richness of Devil’s Food along with the name makes it ideal. German chocolate is a good substitute.
Sweet and Condensed Milk – The sweet and condensed milk is what gives this poke cake its incredible moistness and a texture that melts in your mouth.
Caramel Topping – The caramel topping provides a contrasting set of flavors to the chocolate that gives the cake a deep rich flavor.
Real Whipped Cream – Most recipes call for Cool Whip or other whipped toppings, which will work but are incredibly disappointing once you’ve had this cake with real whipped cream. Real whipped cream elevates the flavor and texture of the cake beyond what can be achieved with the fake stuff.
Heath or Skor Bar Bits – The crunch from the toffee bits is what brings the different components of this cake together. Most grocery stores have bags of toffee bits in the same section as chocolate chips. Using crunched bits is much easier than breaking up whole candy bars.
Two Ways to Make Better Than Anything Cake
The most common way to make this cake is to bake it in a 9 by 13 pan. It’s not the prettiest way to serve it but works well if you’re serving a large group. The addition of the condensed milk and caramel makes it challenging to take a whole 9 by 13 inch cake out of the pan, meaning it has to be served from the dish it’s been baked in.
For a truly show-stopping presentation, use this recipe to bake a layer cake using 9 inch round cake pans. The smaller pans make it easier to get the layers out and onto a nice serving dish.
Turning it into a layer cake also lets you sprinkle the crumbled toffee bits in the middle and spread the whipped cream across the whole cake, creating a texture that complements the moistness of the cake.
How to Make Better Than Sex Cake
Here are a few tips for making an unforgettable, sinfully delicious BTS Cake.
Use a rich chocolate cake, whether you’re making the cake from scratch or using a mix. We recommend using a Devil’s Food cake for obvious reasons, along with its superior texture and flavor.
After the cake has finished baking and while it is still warm, poke it full of holes. We generally space the holes an inch apart. As far as poking tools go, nothing beats a good chopstick.
Warm the condensed milk and caramel together on the stove before pouring them onto the cake. Warming them helps distribute the flavors evenly throughout the cake and makes the sauce easier to pour.
It helps to pause every now and then while pouring to let the sauce soak into the cake, which keeps it from running across the top and pooling on the sides.
To remove the cake rounds from the pan run a knife along the edges and turn the pan over quickly. To prevent the rounds from sticking, It can be helpful to use parchment liners and to use a small spatula to lift up the edge of the cake before turning it over.
This recipe can be made ahead of time and is at its best a couple of hours after the caramel and condensed milk have a chance to soak in.
This cake, like everything in life, tastes much better with real whipped cream instead of the fake stuff that lives in the freezer and is basically the scourage of all that is good in the world. The easiest way to make whipped cream is to use a stand mixer, hand mixers also work well. This Maple Whipped Cream recipe has all the details on how to make it. The cake should be chilled before the whipped cream is added.
The finished cake should be stored in the fridge and will keep for a couple of days. It might last longer than three or four days but we’ve never been able to keep one around more than two.
With a name that’s a built-in conversation starter, this cake is ideal for dinner parties, especially when it’s made as a layered cake and is happy to take center stage during dessert.
A few dishes we love to serve it with include a Slow Roasted Roast Beef so tender you can cut it with a fork, a couple of beautifully Grilled Ribeye Steaks, or a slowly Smoked Turkey.
No matter what you serve for the main course, this cake is particularly delicious with Freshly Brewed Coffee straight from a French Press or a round of Classic Old Fashioneds.
- 1 devil’s food cake, box mix
- 8 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 6 oz caramel topping
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 ounces toffee bars, crumbled
- Make the cake in 9-inch round pans according to the instructions on the box.
- Warm the sweet and condensed milk and caramel topping in a small saucepan on a low simmer until it has warmed through.
- While the cake is still warm, poke holes across the top of the cake, using a chopstick or anything else that makes small holes. The holes should be spaced around an inch apart.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the top, drizzling the sauce into the holes, making sure it soaks deep into the cake
- Cover the cake and put it into the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the cake has finished cooling, use a mixer to make the whipped cream by whipping the heavy cream and sugar until it forms soft peaks.
- To remove the first layer run a knife around the edge of the pan, quickly turning the cake over onto a serving dish.
- Cover the layer in whipped cream and sprinkle it with toffee bits.
- To add the second layer, run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn it over quickly on top of the first layer.
- Spread the whipped cream on the top of the cake before sprinkling the crumbled toffee bits across the top and along the sides.
Baking the cake in a 9 by 13-inch pan
- To make the cake in a 9 by 13-inch pan follow all of the instructions above other than removing it from the pan and the bit about the second layer.
- To finish a cake made in the larger pan, spread the whipped cream across the top of the cake and sprinkle the crumbled toffee bars across the top.