Homemade Kandy Kakes

As a coal cracker, I was surrounded by the ability to enjoy just about every variety of Tastykake product out there (Tastykake bakery was based in Philadelphia, Pa. and their products were widely available in just about every store in the Coal Region, from grocery chains to Mom and Pop corner stores.).

My absolute favorite was the product originally known as Tandy Takes but now renamed to Kandy Kakes which went on to become the most popular Tastykake product.  Made in two versions at the time, my chosen one was the milk chocolate enrobed, peanut butter topped little gem of yellow cake. (The other version was a dark chocolate and white creme topped chocolate cake. Today they make specialty/limited time versions for holidays in many flavor combos).

Vintage Tandy Takes Box

When I was a child, it was a huge treat to receive a pack of Tandy Takes. I savored them one at a time, putting away the three that came in the individual serving package separately and, in my mind, would schedule each one’s demise (accompanied by a glass of milk over ice!)

There was a ritual I had when it was time to down one of those delightful little cakes — I would nibble around the entire outer edge, taking off the coating of chocolate until I was left with a disk of cake topped with a layer of peanut butter and the remaining chocolate which was then finished off in three equal bites. Confession time…I still eat a (now) Kandy Kake the same way today.

By The 80’s Tastykake was no longer just a Philly phenomenon. Improved distribution had made it possible to get their products in a much wider area around the country.  If you love the milk chocolate/peanut butter Kandy Kakes like I do, but cannot get them — or love them so much you need an entire pan full — here is a homemade version that will please your craving for a Pennsylvania favorite.

Homemade Kandy Kakes

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: DessertCuisine: Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate


  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1-1/4 cups creamy peanut butter

  • 5 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each), chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in milk and vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture and mix well.
  • Spread into a greased 15 x 10 x 1-in. baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 15 minutes on a wire rack.
  • Spread peanut butter over top; cool completely.
  • In a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Gently spread over peanut butter.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.


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