Turn a simple boxed cake mix into an irresistible Better than Sex Cake! This quick and easy dessert recipe is a Devil’s Food cake mix topped with a mix of sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce, Cool Whip and crushed Oreo cookie crumbs. The ultimate treat for special occasions, birthdays and holidays!

Slice of better than sex cake topped with Oreo crumbles.

Remember that Sex in a Pan dessert I made for Christmas last year? Well I may have just found a cake even better than that. That’s right, I’d like you to meet this heavenly Better than Sex Cake. Isn’t she beautiful?

This super easy, yet incredibly delicious chocolate cake recipe has become my go-to when I need to whip up a quick dessert. I know the name of this cake is not very kid-friendly. So, around the kids we call it “Better than You Know What Cake” or “Better than Anything Cake”. It’s also commonly known as “Better than Robert Redford Cake” and “Death by Chocolate Cake”. This is definitely not my invention and probably dates back to the 1970s, before I was born. I just had to share, though, because it’s a family favorite. No matter what you call it, it’s definitely a rich, decadent, luscious dessert that you’re going to LOVE!

Slices of chocolate cake on plates with Cool Whip and Oreo crumbs.

What you need to make this recipe

This Better than Sex Cake recipe could not get any easier! This sinfully delicious dessert is made with just 4 simple ingredients, plus your favorite topping. It also only requires a large bowl to mix your cake batter and a 9×13-inch pan for baking the cake. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Box cake mix. The classic Better than Sex recipe uses a boxed Devil’s Food Cake mix. You can definitely experiment with different flavors and swap this for German Chocolate Cake mix or even a white cake mix or yellow cake mix. I like to use Duncan Hines brand.
  • Sweetened condensed milk. Cans of this can be found down the baking aisle, just be sure not to grab a can of evaporated milk… the cans look very similar. My favorite brand to use is Eagle Brand.
  • Caramel sauce. You’ll need approximately 8 to 12 ounces of caramel ice cream topping to mix with the sweetened condensed milk. Pouring this over the top of the cake will make it super moist and flavorful. Feel free to use a squeeze container, if you can’t find this in a jar. In my grocery store, it’s located near the ice cream.
  • Cool Whip. I personally love Cool Whip on dessert recipes like this, but if you don’t care for the taste, you can use homemade whipped cream or another whipped topping. Whipped cream will melt quicker than Cool Whip, so I only recommend if the cake is for immediate consumption.
  • Topping. Traditionally, toffee bits, chopped Heath bar or Skor candy bars are used to top the cake. I’m not a huge toffee fan, so I chose to use Oreo cookie crumbs and it was amazing… better than the original! I’ve also used chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups and it was a crowd favorite! Other options are chopped nuts or fresh berries.

How to make this cake recipe

Not only does this cake look fancy and taste incredibly delicious, it’s SO easy! It’s basically a chocolate poke cake infused with a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce, then topped with Cool Whip and cookie crumbles or candy. You can find the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of this page, but let’s walk through all of the steps.

  1. Make the cake. Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions and bake in a greased 9×13-inch dish as directed on the box.
  2. Poke holes. Immediately after you remove the cake from the oven, use the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake. Take a look at the picture for a visual of how this should look. If you don’t have a wooden spoon, a chopstick could be used… just make more holes.
  3. Mix the caramel drizzle. In a medium bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and the caramel sauce, then evenly drizzle the mixture all over the cake, letting it soak down into the holes you created. Allow the cake to cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Add the topping. When you’re ready to serve the cake, spread the Cool Whip over the top of the cake, sprinkle with Heath toffee bits, crushed cookies or chopped candy bar and refrigerate again for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve cold and enjoy!

Recipe tips

This dessert is SO simple to make, it’s really hard to mess up, but here are some tips, so that your Better than Sex Cake is perfect every time you make it!

  • Poking the holes. Make the holes in the cake while it is still warm because as it cools, the crust on top will crumble more easily as you poke.
  • Cool Whip. Be sure to place the Cool Whip in the refrigerator to thaw completely before using, this usually takes about 3.5 – 4 hours. Or leave it out at room temperature for about an hour.
  • Serve cold. This cake really tastes best if you let it chill in the fridge a few hours before eating it. Let the flavors soak into the cake, and serve it cold. It’s perfectly moist, rich and delectable! Because it’s best cold, we love to serve this in the summer!
A cake in a pan that has been cut into.

Variations

Easily adaptable to your taste, this poke cake is very versatile. Here’s a few ideas for making it your own:

  • Chocolate shavings. Copy the Sex in a Pan cake and top this with chocolate shavings. To make: use a cheese grater to shred a bit of a chocolate bar. You can also use a knife as seen in this “How to Create Chocolate Shavings” video tutorial.
  • Other candy options. Try adding a sprinkle of chopped up Butterfinger candy bar, chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or chopped Snickers. You can also make it fun for kids by adding mini M&M’s, chocolate chips or even Reese’s pieces.
  • Other cookie options. Instead of Oreo cookies, crumble any favorite cookies. Chocolate chip cookies would be lovely. Crisp cookies work best.
  • Sauce. Substitute hot fudge topping or chocolate syrup for the caramel sauce.
  • Cake. If you want your cake made from scratch, try this homemade Devil’s Food Cake recipe. You can also experiment and use different flavors of cake mix.
Cake in a pan topped with cookie crumbs.

Storing leftovers

Better than Sex dessert is great to make a day or two before you plan to serve it! It gets even more flavorful over time.

  • To make ahead. Make the chocolate cake up to 1 week ahead of time. Allow it to cool completely, cover it well, and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator (or leave it at room temperature for a couple hours) and then continue with step 2, poking holes in the cake.
  • To freeze. Allow the cake to cool completely. Cover the baking dish tightly and freeze for up to about 2 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Leftovers. This cake needs to be refrigerated when not being eaten. Once the cake is topped with the Cool Whip and cookie or candy, it can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days.
A piece of chocolate cake on a white plate with a fork.

You’re family will LOVE this Better than Sex Cake – it serves a crowd, which makes it perfect for the holidays or any special gathering. It’s also super convenient that it can be made days ahead of time, so on the day of your party all you need to do is slice, serve and enjoy!

More easy dessert recipes you’ll love

Looking for more easy dessert recipes that feed a crowd? Here’s some family favs to try!

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

Slice of better than sex cake topped with Oreo crumbles.
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Better than Sex Cake

Turn a simple boxed cake mix into an irresistible Better than Sex Cake! This quick and easy dessert recipe is a Devil's Food cake mix topped with a mix of sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce, Cool Whip and crushed Oreo cookie crumbs. The ultimate treat for special occasions, birthdays and holidays!  

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) box Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix, plus ingredients listed on the cake box (I like Duncan Hines)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk , (I like Eagle Brand)
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
  • Topping: 1/2 – 1 cup Heath toffee bits, crushed Oreo cookies, or chopped Reese's peanut butter cups

Instructions 

  • Prepare the cake mix according to package directions and bake in a greased 9×13-inch pan as directed on the box.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes* all over the top using the bottom of a wooden spoon. It's okay if the holes are on the larger side.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce, then slowly drizzle the mixture all over the cake, letting it soak down into the holes you created. Allow the cake to cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Spread the Cool Whip over the top of the cake, top with the Heath toffee bits, crushed cookies or chopped candy bar and refrigerate again for at least 1 hour. Serve cold and refrigerate any leftovers. Enjoy!

Notes

*It’s best to make the holes in the cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.
  • To make ahead. Make the chocolate cake up to 1 week ahead of time. Allow it to cool completely, cover it well, and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator (or leave it at room temperature for a couple hours) and then continue with step 2, poking holes in the cake. 
  • To freeze. Allow the cake to cool completely. Cover tightly and freeze for up to about 2 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Leftovers. This cake needs to be refrigerated when not being eaten. Once the cake is topped with the Cool Whip and cookie or candy, it can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days.
Serving: 1piece, Calories: 370kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 464mg, Potassium: 290mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 53g, Vitamin A: 148IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 182mg, Iron: 2mg

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