Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

So I've decided that I really like making cakes.  I mean, nothing against cupcakes.  I still like making cupcakes.  And I'll still make them!  Don't worry.  But somehow, making a cake is just really satisfying.  I think it started with the red velvet cheesecake last August.  It's very satisfying making something so . . . well, fancy.

And the other thing about cakes is that you can't just make them every day.  It really does need to be a special occasion.  And that occasion just happened to be KEB's birthday.  Because of Easter and everything else at the end of March and the beginning of April, we didn't get to celebrate KEB's birthday.  So, I decided that since we were going to visit her and JB yesterday anyway, we'd surprise her with a birthday cake.
When I asked NES what kind of cake I should make, he wanted me to make a peanut butter cup shaped cake for her, since peanut butter cups are her favorite.  I decided I wanted to make a different chocolate peanut butter cake.  Yup.  So, I, of course, looked on Pinterest.  And found these two.  And decided to meld them.

I was so excited on Thursday to make the cake layers . . . NES can be my witness.  I was talking about it all week.

It was a crazy cake.  I've never made a cake with quite so much oil in it.  But hey, anything with this much gooey chocolate in it can't be bad.

I even had to run out and get a new cake pan to make the third layer.  And then, I tried to get all three on one shelf in the oven, and they didn't fit.  So I put two toward the back, and one toward the front.

And the two in the back, well, came out . . . lopsided.  I'm not quite sure why.  Either the shelf is crooked, or there is air blowing right there.  Oh well.  They at least fit together well, and the cake came out even enough.

And then, they cooled.

And I put them away for the night.  We even had to take out a shelf so the cake keeper fit in the fridge.  But that's ok.  It was worth it.

Then Friday night, I made the frosting.

And I must say, it is really good frosting.  It starts with 2 cups of peanut butter, and a cup and 2 tbsp. of butter.  How can it go wrong?

Then there's the 4 cups of powdered sugar.

But it's nice, light, fluffy frosting!  It is really good.

Then, just to make things a little more crazy, I chopped up a bag of peanut butter cups, and put them in between the layers.
Just to make it a little more interesting.

Then, after I frosted it, it was time for it to set while I made ganache.

The ganache took the rest of the jar of peanut butter (that's right, I used a whole jar of peanut butter . . . in one cake), chocolate chips and corn syrup.

It made a gooey mess that became a beautiful creamy, smooth liquid.

That I had to pour over my beautiful cake.  That might have been the scariest part.

But it did make nice drips down the side when I poured it close to the edges.

I think I used a little too much, since it did start pooling on the bottom.  But that's ok.  It was still fun.

And then, it just had to set.

Did I mention it weighed a ton?!

I found really fun stripey candles for it, and we rigged a soft cooler so we could carry it to KEB and JB's.  I might have buckled it in.  I was being a little protective.

It was fun to surprise KEB with the cake!

I think the stripey candles and the drips make it look like a Dr. Seuss cake!

She blew out the candles . . .

And cut it up.

We actually (between 13 of us) ate most of it.  It was intense cake.  A 1/16 piece of the cake was . . . a lot.

And there was pie too!  RB made a chocolate cream pie.  And EM brought strawberries.  It was wonderful.

But soooo much sugar.

The last few pieces looked a little sad.  But at least there was some leftover!

Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
adapted slightly from Smells Like Home

2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease three 9 inch cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper.  Lightly grease the paper.

In a large bowl (emphasis on large!), mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Combine.  Whisk in the sour cream and oil.

Whisk in the water gradually.  Add the vinegar and vanilla.  Whisk in the eggs, and beat until well blended.

Divide amongst the three prepared pans.  I used a measuring cup to make them remotely even.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, without the pans touching each other, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out (almost) clean.  Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks and peel off the paper.

Let cool completely (or overnight).  Store with paper between the layers.

2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup and 2 tbsp. butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whipping cream

Beat the peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer until combined.

Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt.  Beat, starting at low speed and increasing to medium-high.  Beat 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add the cream and beat until well combined.

Cake Assembly:
2/3 of 12 oz. bag of mini peanut butter cups

Chop the peanut butter cups into quarters.

Place one layer on the plate or cake stand and spread a generous layer of frosting on top.  Sprinkle with half of the peanut butter cups, and press them into the frosting.

Add a second cake layer.  I suggest keeping it on a piece of parchment paper and using that to flip it onto the first layer.

Again, spread a generous layer of frosting on top and sprinkle with the remaining peanut butter cups.  Press into the frosting.

Flip the 3rd layer on top.

Frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting -- this is the crumb coat.

Put in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to set.

Frost the cake with the remaining frosting, making it as smooth as possible.  Refrigerate while making the ganache.

8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 cup half and half, or 1/4 cup whipping cream and 1/4 cup milk

In a double boiler or bowl over simmering water, mix the chocolate, peanut butter and corn syrup.  Mix constantly, until combined.  It will be stiff.

Remove from the heat and whisk in half and half.  Mix until very smooth.

While still warm, pour over the cake.  Let it drip down the edges (spreading to edges if necessary).  However, once it starts approaching the bottom, stop!  Refrigerate promptly for at least 30 minutes.

Remove from fridge an hour or so before serving.  Cut into 16+ pieces.

Oh, and happy spring!!


Popular Posts