This is not the best photograph of the recipe, but I wanted to include it so that you understood I have done a bit of altering. Here is where I veer from the page: I add waaaaay more than 6 ounces of caramel (more on that later) and the icing I make is not the 8 ounces of Cool Whip called for. It is so much better than that.
So, here's the steps you need to follow. Ready? Buy your favorite boxed chocolate cake mix. If you're anything like me, this is extremely difficult. I almost want to wear a disguise when I do this. I prefer the dark chocolate cakes, but use whatever you prefer. Prepare it according to the directions on the box to bake in a 9x13 inch pan. Bake.
The recipe states to pierce the warm cake all over with a toothpick, but I found that the sweetened condensed milk and the caramel just sit on top of the cake because the holes aren't big enough. So I use a fork and stab away at varying depths. I even get a little violent and tear some gaping holes. It won't matter, trust me. Here's my ugly cake:
Now you pour the goods on the cake. The order does not matter-but you dump warm caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk all over the top. Sorry for the blurry-ness. Can't pour and hold a camera steady, I guess! About the caramel sauce-I use a jar of Sanders Butterscotch Caramel (it really isn't butterscotch like you think of, more like salty caramel goddess of yum). The jar is 20 ounces. I use about half. Honestly, I just eyeball it and when it looks good to me, I consider it done.
I then use a spatula and spread the caramel/sweetened condensed milk mixture evenly over the warm cake top so it will sink into the holes I've stabbed in. This takes a while. See:
This is what it will look like after all of that yummy deliciousness has absorbed into your cake. Not pretty, I'll admit. But that is the next part.
Now it is time to make the icing. Remember I said I do not follow Ms. Deen's recipe for this at all? I had this icing on another cake a friend of mine made and knew it was destined for this one. It is like a whipped cream meets cream cheese meets heaven frosting. And, it is easy-peasy to make. Here is what you'll need:
Powdered sugar, cream cheese (softened), cool whip (defrosted-don't be a goof like me and forget that important step!), and crumbled Heath Bar pieces. That's it! First you will take your softened cream cheese, put it in a bowl and whip it up with a mixer. Then you will incorporate 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. I do this 1/2 cup at a time so I don't make a giant mess of myself.
Once your powdered sugar is completely incorporated into your cream cheese, you will want to fold in your cool whip. Let me repeat: fold in your cool whip. Do not under any circumstances whip it in, or you will make a giant mess, lose the fluff, and be sad. See below:
Done with the icing! Now we frost the cake, and eat. Here is the cake all done:
I just sprinkle the Heath Bar pieces on the top, generously. They're even better the next day (if your caaaake lasts that long) because they get a little gooey around the edges and are still crunchy in the middle. Mmmmmm.
Here you can see the cake, the carmely-milky yum oozing around it, and all that good frosting on top. This is what brings out temper-tantrums in small children and drool in everyone else.
I dare you not to lick the screen. Go on, try not to.
Finally, I leave you with our boy, who has forever changed the name of this dessert to simply CAAAAKE! He gives it a thumbs-up each time we have it. I always make it for vacation. Just for him (and the adults too).
Better than Sex Caaaake
1 boxed chocolate cake prepared as directed for 9x13 inch pan
14 oz jar sweetened condensed milk
6 oz caramel sauce
4 Heath Bars, crushed
Bake cake according to directions for 9x13 inch pan. Remove cake from oven when cake tester comes out clean. Pierce warm cake all over with fork. Pour sweetened condensed milk and warmed caramel sauce over top of cake and spread to cover. Place in refrigerator and chill.
Betsy's Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting
1 box cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 container Cool Whip
Whip cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly incorporate confectioners sugar until all 1 1/2 cups are in. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread onto cooled cake. Top with crushed Heath Bars.