Sign up for NEW free healthy recipes - Currently over 300,000 subscribers!

Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

Pin It!

COPYCAT RECIPE: Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

Taking chocolate and peanut butter to a whole new level.

Anyone who’s spent an extended amount of time in Philadelphia will most likely recognize Kandy Kakes (or Tandy Kakes). Vanilla sponge cake topped with peanut butter and coated in chocolate, these cakes carry something of a cult following in the Philadelphia area. I remember opening my elementary-school lunch box and looking around at the lunch boxes of my friends… chances were pretty high on any given day that at least three of us would be eating something from the Pennsylvania-based bakery, Tastykake, be it a krimpet, a honeybun, or their über-popular Kandy Kakes.


Today’s copycat Kandy Kakes recipe is MUCH healthier than the Kandy Kakes you can find in stores, with:

  • 1/2 the calories
  • 1/2 the fat
  • 1/3 the sugar
  • NO trans fat
  • NO high fructose corn syrup

Tasty Cakes

Tasty Cakes    TastyKakes

Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

Peanut Butter Layer:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (110g)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar or Sugar Free Powdered Sugar (30g)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (add an extra tbsp if using a natural peanut butter)

Beat all ingredients together until smooth, using hand beaters. (If you must, you can just stir everything together with a fork using maximum effort and patience.)

Cupcake Base (or you can use your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe):

  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp spelt flour (90g)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar of choice or xylitol (90g)
  • 1/4 cup mayo-style spread such as Vegenaise (58g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp water (95g)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 7 cupcake tins and set aside. In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients and sift very well. In a separate bowl, combine remaining three ingredients and whisk until the mayo spread is completely smooth. Pour wet into dry, and stir until just combined. Immediately divide among the cupcake tins. Bake 21 minutes, then let sit 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cut each cake in half, lengthwise, to make 14 cupcake tops. Place a sheet of wax paper on a large tray (or a few small plates). Spread a thick layer of peanut butter frosting over each cake—about 6g per cake. You won’t use all of the peanut butter frosting, but it’s a good idea to make a full batch for smoothest blending… I’m sure you can find something to do with the leftovers!

Chocolate Coating:

  • 6oz chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp virgin coconut oil or non-hydrogenated shortening (15g)

Carefully melt the ingredients together, either using the double broiler method or microwaving in 30-second intervals and then stirring until a chocolate sauce is formed. Using two forks, cover each cake in chocolate. Be sure to let all excess chocolate drip off, or you won’t have enough to cover them all. Set each on the tray, then freeze 30 minutes or until chocolate shell hardens. Once hard, store leftovers in  the fridge. Makes 14 kandy kakes.

View Nutrition Facts

Copycat Peanut Butter TastyKakes

Question of the Day:

Do you remember any of the snacks you’d get in your lunchbox as a kid?

Aside from the TastyKake pastries, I also remember opening my lunchbox to find Mounds bars, Dunkaroos (anyone remember them?), pudding cups, chocolate-filled koala bears, and Pocky (a Japanese snack). I distinctly remember once finding gummy bears in my lunchbox and going home to tell my mother to please not send those anymore… I was only interested if it was chocolate!

chocolate pumpkin pie

Link of the Day: Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Rate this recipe

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Melissa says:

    Ahh, this post brought back such fond memories! As a lifetime resident of the Philadelphia suburbs, when I was in elementary school, my lunchbox staple was ALWAYS Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes! My mom always had them on hand. Plus, I used to eat Hostess Cupcakes, Butterscotch Krimpets, Cosmic Brownies, Dunkaroos and of course, Oatmeal Cream Pies!

    1. Nina says:

      OMG cosmic brownies! yes! but the pb kandy kakes were always the winner =)

  2. Kat says:

    How exciting! I was just reminiscing this weekend about how my grandparents would always have a stash of these on hand (I grew up in central NJ) and I loved it since my parents would NEVER give us junk food like this. Can’t wait to try the recipe. What a walk down memory lane…

  3. Oh wow… I spent my early childhood in the Philly area, then temporarily moved across the country where these were unavailable. For the next six years of my youth I had extended family members shipping them to me on a regular basis. It’s been a good dozen or so years since I ate one. Now that you’ve created a healthied-up version I think I have to go for it. My family will devour these!

  4. Coookie says:

    Whoa! Yummy!
    I used to be addicted to the most unhealthy treats ever — I’d have to have my milo fix every single day! I loved the occasional treat of (box mix) Betty Crocker brownies, I thought my mom was the best baker ever! Then there were mini apple pies.. Mm! I didn’t know a thing about nutrition then. But ignorance was pretty blissful.. (Though it’d have wrecked my health of course)

  5. Christine Moore says:

    I remember Dunkaroos, though I haven’t eaten them in years. I feel like I ate a lot more packaged snack foods when I was younger: anything from Little Debbie (especially after soccer games), Froot-by-the-Foot & Gushers, and Hunny Buns (very popular in vending machines). It makes me kind of sick thinking about it. Thank goodness for a healthy vegan lifestyle with delicious treats in moderation! I hope it will undo the damage of my youth and then some.

  6. I have never heard of Kandy Kakes before. But they sound really good so I know I will be trying them!
    My mom used to give me Reese’s, pudding, yogurt, jello, and other small treats in my lunch. I still bring my lunch to school, but these days I bring fresh or dried fruit as a treat. 😉

  7. Chris says:

    I grew up in central Jersey and anything Tastykake was part of our lunch. I specifically remember learning the ‘correct’ process to open a Krimpet at the cafeteria lunch table. I now live in Wisconsin and occasionally my brother ships me a few boxes to hide in my freezer. That stash is long gone so I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

  8. A. Cook says:

    I totally forgot about TastyKakes until reading this post. Wow! Throwing it back.

    I definitely remember Dunkaroos and I ate them often. Also those Handisnacks things with the yellow “cheese” substance. It’s actually pretty nauseating to think back on.

  9. Lisa Ernst says:

    I’ve never had the commercial version of this treat, but your version looks irresistible. Yet another of your creations I will bookmark and try. So many choices, so little time. Well, I guess there’s plenty of time to try them all if I’m patient enough. 🙂

  10. I am from the Philadelphia suburbs as well and these are by far my favorite Tastykake treat. Another favorite was the vanilla wafers. I would have either one at almost every lunch in middle school! Love this healthier version!

  11. I’ve never heard of Kandy Kakes, but I wouldn’t say no to these! I actually went to a private school since I was little and we didn’t bring lunches, our cafeteria food was included in tuition. But, we had a soft serve machine from middle school on and I thought that was pretty neat!

  12. Teresa says:

    My lunch treats sometimes included Little Debby fudge rounds or Swiss cake rolls. But I admit my favorite thing to find in my lunch box was Laughing Cow cheese cubes. It was always 3 of the little foil-wrapped cubes.

  13. Caitlin says:

    I live on the west coast, I’ve never heard of Kandy Kakes! They sound amazing, I might have to make some TODAY! I’m going to change a few things around and try to make a lower-carb version, if you’d like I’ll send you my changes if it turns out well!
    As for your question, I only ever got dessert in my lunch box around Halloween and Easter, when I had lots of candy. I did, however, always have a bag of chips! My favorite were Cheetos. For my own daughter, I am horrified at the prospect of sending her to school with something so unhealthy every single day! Fortunately there are healthier snacks available now, and food bloggers who have healthier versions of lunchbox staples 🙂

  14. Samantha says:

    So I live on the west coast and I probably should be embarrassed about this but the only reason I know what these are is because of the Stephanie Plum books and yes, I am going to totally try and make them. 🙂

  15. Never heard of these but my mouth is watering!

  16. Lisa says:

    I think this recipe just made you my hero! Peanut butter Kandy Kakes were one of my all time favorite snacks growing up in MD. To this day, I walk by the Tasty Kake displays at the grocery store longingly and have the discussion with the little girl in me as to why she needs to make a healthier choice. And now I have one for her. Thanks Katie!

  17. Katie, you are my hero. These look ammmmazzzzinnggg! Can’t wait to try them out.


  18. Vegan Versio says:

    Oh, I remember them well. I am old enough to remember them being called ‘Tandy Takes” and they were such a treat! As a Mom, when I really want to spoil the kids I will slip a package into their lunches. Of all the Tastycake products these were always my favorite!

  19. Emily says:

    never heard of kandy kakes before but they sound GOOD! i love mounds and pocky and the chocolate filled bears (for me they’re pandas)!! ever had moon pies? they kinda remind me of kandy kakes… at least in my imagination

  20. trajayjay says:

    I honestly hate trans fat. That food is the devil. 2 grams and you’re looking at a hellish life of heart attack and stroke.

Want To Get Healthier?

Opt in to receive new FREE healthy recipes each week - delivered straight to your inbox!