Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

25 Sep

Okay.  Stay calm.  Try to contain yourself.  You read that right…Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.  Is there a more perfect combination of ingredients in all existence?  Mmm…no.

My friend wanted to make something special for her man’s birthday, and she’s, well, a tad inexperienced in the baking department.  Naturally, when she came to me for cake ideas and my baking “expertise,” I jumped on it.  I sent her quite a few recipes, and she settled on this one (although I’m pretty sure the Cherpumple would have gone over VERY well).

So, we embarked on this day-long cake journey with coffee and Halloween movies (it’s never too early for Hocus Pocus and Sleepy Hollow), along with the Wisconsin Badgers kicking some South Dakota tail right across the street, including the masses of Badger fans.  I love Wisconsin.

After one minor hiccup (it’s easy to forget to buy baking soda!) and some Jimmy John’s, the cake came together beautifully, as you can see.  What are you waiting for?  Who needs an occasion to make something this amazing?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Adapted from Smells Like Home

For the Cake:

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
Peanut butter cup candy for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, and tap out the excess (we wanted three layers, so we used three pans, which shortened the baking time a bit…if you decide on three layers keep an eye on them!).  Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, then the yolks one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); mix only until each new batch is blended into the batter. Lastly, add the melted chocolate, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the cake pans.

Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and turn them out of the pans to cool to room temperature.

For the peanut butter frosting:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:
Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work.  Add the cream and beat on low speed to incorporate, then beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

For the chocolate frosting (I sort of just threw this together to make the cake prettier):

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:
Place the confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work.  Blend in the melted, cooled chocolate.  Add the cream and beat on low speed to incorporate, then beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

To Assemble the Cake: Place one layer top side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Using the peanut butter frosting, frost the top of the layer, then top with the second layer.  If using three layers, repeat these steps once more.  Frost the top and sides of the cake. Using a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip, decorate the edges of the cake with the chocolate frosting.  Garnish with the peanut butter cups.  Prepare for a sugar coma.

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One Response to “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake”

  1. Stephanie September 29, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Sounds delicious! My favorite part, of course, was the mention of the always necessary ‘sauce medley’!!! Ohhhh, the memories!

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