So sweet, so rich, and so delectably decadent! This easy recipe for Better Than Sex Cake is really going to knock your socks off.
Better than sex cake is a perfectly gooey chocolate poke cake that is known by many different names. I’m going to guess that this happened in the name of modesty, or a desire to not have to explain what “better than sex” means to grandma or a preschooler, but it’s hard to say for sure.
Maybe you know this cake as better than anything cake, almost better than sex cake, better than winning the lottery cake, better than you-know-what cake, or maybe just BTS cake.
Some like to call this simply, “Sex in a Pan”. You can call it whatever you like, because it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that this chocolate poke cake made with sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce, topped with whipped topping and candy bars is super easy to make and completely delicious.
BTS Cake is a popular dessert recipe that was first published in newspapers in the 1980s. If you love a good retro throwback, check out my recipes for Homemade Sloppy Joes, Baked Potato Skins, and Oreo Dirt Cake. These vintage recipes were all the rage back then! Toblerone Fondue is also a super fun dessert if you have a vintage fondue set to play with.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy Poke Cake Recipe – A poke cake is exactly what it sounds like – you poke holes in the cake when it comes out of the oven so that you can pour something sweet and delicious inside of them! Here, rich caramel sauce is just the thing to take a chocolate cake to the very best level.
- Use a boxed mix, or bake from scratch – The original recipe for better than sex cake calls for a box of devil’s food cake mix. Remember, it was the 80s, we loved convenience foods then! If you prefer, you can make a chocolate cake from scratch instead.
- Versatile Recipe – I like chopped Heath Bars on my cake, but you can use your favorite candy bar instead. You can also play around with the topping, or change the cake flavor if you’d like to.
Ingredients in Better Than Sex Cake
It’s super simple! All you need are the ingredients to make the cake and a few delicious toppings.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Chocolate Cake: You’re going to need a devil’s food cake mix, plus whatever ingredients are needed to make that cake per the instructions on the box. Typically, you’ll need eggs, oil, and milk or water.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: This makes the cake super moist and extra sweet.
- Caramel: On top of the condensed milk, even more sweetness comes from caramel sauce. Look for this in the ice cream toppings section of your grocery store.
- Whipped Topping: Cool Whip or similar is the ideal topping for better-than-sex cake. Your mom/aunt/friend may have made this with fat-free cool whip back in 1985, and you can as well, but I suggest using the regular or lite version instead for the best flavor.
- Heath Bars: Pick up 3 or 4 regular size candy bars and chop them into pieces. They sell “heath bits” in the baking aisle, but using the bars is better, since the bits are only the toffee, and the bars have both toffee and chocolate!
Have a box of yellow cake mix on hand? Use it to make a rich and gooey Honey Bun Cake!
How To Make Better Than Sex Cake
- Bake the Cake: Follow the instructions on the box to mix up the chocolate cake batter, and bake as directed in a 9×13-inch pan.
- Poke Holes: As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, poke holes all over it using a chopstick, skewer, or fork. There’s no need to be neat, just be sure that you have about the same amount of holes all over.
- Add Condensed Milk: Slowly and evenly, pour the condensed milk over the holes in the cake. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the thick syrup to ensure that it gets in all the holes.
- Then the Caramel: Pour the caramel sauce on next, again, making sure to cover the cake evenly.
- Chill: Next we need to give the cake time to absorb all of the delicious sauces we just poured over it. Cover the pan, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Add Toppings: After the cake is chilled, you can spread the whipped topping on it and sprinkle it with chopped Heath Bar pieces. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
I cut the cake into 12 square pieces originally, but honestly, this cake is very rich and sweet, so smaller pieces are probably best! You can easily cut this into 16 or even 20 pieces.
- Try a different candy bar. Heath bars are traditional, but this cake will be just as sexy with chopped Butterfinger bars, Snickers, or Milky Ways on top.
- Add more chocolate. A drizzle of hot fudge or even chocolate syrup can definitely be added if you like.
- Instead of Cool Whip, you can use fresh whipped cream. Use your favorite stabilized whipped cream recipe if you’re making the cake ahead of time. A simple blend of 1 ½ cups heavy cream and ¼ cup powdered sugar should hold up for 12-24 hours. Use canned whipped cream only if you’ll be eating the cake right away since it will melt quickly once it comes out of the can.
- Want it less sweet? Use half of the jar of sweetened condensed milk instead of the whole thing.
Better than Sex Cake should be served cold, so store it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can double the recipe for better than sex cake, but I suggest making two separate cakes so that they bake evenly.
You can! I’ve seen it made with white cake, yellow cake, pumpkin cake, and even red velvet cake. Choose whatever you have on hand, or whatever sounds good.
I haven’t tried this myself, but I think that you could definitely freeze better than sex cake, so long as you used cool whip and not fresh whipped cream for the topping.
Is the cake really better? I’ll leave that decision up to you! Be sure to make this easy better than sex cake recipe the next time you get together with your friends or family. It’s perfect for sharing. Pin it for more people to find too!
- 1 15-ounce boxed devil's food cake mix plus ingredients needed to make it, per the instructions (oil, eggs, water, etc.)
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 16 ounces caramel topping or sauce
- 1 8-ounce container whipped topping or fresh whipped cream
- 4 Heath Bars chopped (5-6 ounces of candy total)
- Bake the devil's food cake in a 9×13-inch pan, following the instructions on the cake mix box.
- Remove from the oven, and immediately poke holes all over the cake using a fork or a wooden skewer.
- While the cake is still hot, evenly pour the condensed milk over the cake, tilting the pan as needed to distrubute the condensed milk into all the holes and over the entire surface of the cake.
- Then pour the caramel sauce on top, and allow the cake to cool down completely at room temperature. Transfer the cake to chill in the fridge for one hour or more.
- Spread the whipped topping over the top of the cake, smoothing it out with a spatula then sprinkle with chopped Heath candy bars.
- This recipe will make a cake to serve between 12 and 16 people. Since the cake is so rich and sweet, smaller pieces might be preferred.
- To make the cake a bit less sweet, use only half of the sweetened condensed milk.
- In place of whipped topping, you can whip 1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream with ¼ cup powdered sugar instead.
- If you’d rather make the chocolate cake from scratch, make this one. It’s not super sweet and totally delicious.
- The nutrition values given here do not include the ingredients that you add to the cake mix, since these will be different depending on the brand.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen