Chocolate Overload Layer Cake is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday or any day. Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and mounds of chocolate candy.
Bake cakes according to directions on Something Swanky (link above in text). Let cool completely.
Place chocolate chips in a bowl and mix together if you chose two different sizes of chips. Set aside.
Make the buttercream frosting according to Joy the Baker's site (link in text above).
If you are doing a surprise inside, use a round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut a hole in the middle of three of the cakes, leaving the last one whole. Place first layer on cake plate or stand you will be serving on. Place strips of parchment or wax paper under the edges of the cake. This is done so frosting doesn't get all over the plate and will be removed when you are done decorating. Frost top of the layer generously. Place the second layer on top (with a hole) and frost. Top with the third cut out layer then pour M&M's into the hole. Frost the top of the third layer covering the hole. Top with the last layer. If it is domed a bit, level it off with a large serated knife. Brush away crumbs. Completely frost the top and sides of the cake.
Take handfuls of the chocolate chips and press them into the sides of the cake until it is covered. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for it to set up and to ensure the chocolate chips harden into the frosting and stay put.
Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate. For the candy bars, chop them into bite-size chunks. I cut the fun size bars on the bias to make the presentation more dynamic. Chop the giant candy bars into rough, uneven sizes for texture. I left the rolos, mini peanut butter cups, sno caps and chocolate covered pretzels whole.
Remove cake from refrigerator and top with the prepared candy. Take your time randomly placing the candy to ensure you don't have all the same candy in one area. If you have different kinds of chocolate (white, dark, milk) ensure it gets placed around the cake evenly so you don't have big color blocks. Refrigerate until ready to serve and keep leftovers (if you have any) refrigerated because of the heavy cream in the frosting.