Happy Birthday, Stacey! Today is my good friend's 30th birthday. She and her husband co-lead small group with us on Wednesday's, so we take turns hosting. This last Wednesday was our turn to host, so I used it as an opportunity to surprise Stacey with this Chocolate Peanut Butter cake. I've been waiting to make her this cake for a while now... because she loves the peanut butter and chocolate combo.
Although everyone loved the cake, I thought the actual chocolate cake was a little dry. But, I did leave it in the oven a few minutes longer than I wanted to, because when I did the toothpick test, I didn't think it was done. Now I know that it probably was and should take it out at that point. On the other hand, the frosting is fantastic!
Another mistake I made was assuming that my Wilton Cake Release would be sufficient in getting the cake out of the pan, and didn't use the parchment paper as the recipe instructed. Yeah.... my cake almost crumbled (being dry and being stuck) when trying to get it out. So, next time, I'll be using the parchment paper. And, yes, there will be a next time because the cake on a whole was delicious and has a gorgeous presentation.
On Annie's Eats (where I found the recipe), she calls this cake a Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter cake, but I left the Reese's Cup out of the title because I didn't use anything Reeses with this recipe. The peanut butter was JIF (my favorite) and the peanut butter cups were Palmers**.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (adapted from Annie's Eats)
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 unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional) - I think I'll leave out next time.
2 batches Peanut Butter Frosting
miniature peanut butter cups, halved and/or chopped
For the cake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9×2” round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Place the pans on a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides 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 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients). Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, if using, folding it in with a spatula.Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.
Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard circle. Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer. (If desired, sprinkle with chopped Reese’s cups.) Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting. Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting. Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.
**Penny Says: While shopping for the ingredients, look for peanut butter cups sold in the bulk candy section. Often times you can get a better deal buying bulk because you can get the exact amount you need instead of a bunch left over. This method is also easier on your waistline! 😉