Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


I LOVE baking for other people’s birthdays. Especially when those other people like the same kind of cake as I do AND they invite me to their party.

As you can see, this cake is covered with chopped up peanut butter cups and the most amazing velvety smooth peanut butter frosting I’ve ever had. It’s a little unusual because it starts with an egg yolk beaten with powdered sugar over simmering water, which I’ve never done before, but with the whipped cream beaten in at the end it takes on a light mousse-like texture without the overly sweet you get from the usual butter-powdered sugar-peanut butter-milk frosting.

The secret to the cake itself is right here:

A cup of coffee with 3/4 cup cocoa powder. You don’t taste the coffee, but it definitely makes the chocolate flavor richer and keeps the cake incredibly moist!

So festive with candles…

If I weren’t completely loyal to carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, I would want this for my next birthday. It’s definitely a keeper! And of course there’s no rule that says you need any occasion to make it…

In running-related news, I had a GREAT 10 mile run yesterday morning and I’m getting more excited for Boston every day. I’m keeping my mileage kind of low because I’m still a little nervous about my right knee, but so far everything’s going well! The weather has been completely perfect too. It was in the low 60s for the run and there were TONS of people out running in shorts and T-shirts. I love you, California winters.

Recipe:
(from Sugarlaws)

cake

2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup brewed coffee
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk

frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used natural creamy and it worked beautifully)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream
mini peanut butter cups, quartered or roughly chopped

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans and line the bottoms with parchment.

Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Stir the cocoa powder in the coffee and mix until smooth, then add to the sugar mixture.

In a medium bowl, stir the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cake flour together with a whisk. Add half the flour mixture to the batter and mix until combined. Add 1/2 cup of the milk and mix on low until smooth, then scrape down the bowl. Add the other half of the dry ingredients, mix well, then add the other 1/2 cup of milk and mix on low until combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the two cake pans, tapping them against the counter to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake the cakes for about 35-45 minutes (depending on which size pans you used), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the layers to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:
Bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium heat.

Mix together the egg yolk and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and set over the simmering water. Keep stirring until the mixture is hot to the touch.

Allow to cool for a few minutes, then beat in the peanut butter, and then the butter. It may look a little lumpy at this point, but it will smooth out! Beat in 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream with 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form Add the whipped cream to the rest of the frosting and beat until smooth. Frost the cake and press the peanut butter cup pieces onto the sides. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

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13 Responses to “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake”


  1. 1 Danielle January 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Wow, that cake looks amazing!! Chocolate, peanut butter, AND coffee? I’m sold 🙂

  2. 2 Laura January 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    That looks delicious! I am filing this away to try for someone’s birthday this spring.

  3. 3 Bridget January 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    We had a friend over for dinner last night who is running in Boston! I said something dorky like, “oh, I have an internet friend who is running the Boston marathon too!”

    I have nothing interesting to add about chocolate peanut butter cake, because DUH, chocolate peanut butter cake, of course I want to make it!

  4. 4 Kierstan January 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I need to find an excuse to make that cake this week! Looks amazing!!

  5. 5 Ally January 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Wow. Look at those peanut butter cups! My husband would die if I made this cake…too bad his birthday just passed. I’m saving this recipe for next year 🙂

  6. 6 katie January 24, 2011 at 7:15 am

    That cake looks fantastic~ you cannot go wrong with peanut butter cups!

  7. 7 Carolyn Jung January 24, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I love added a little espresso to chocolate when I make baked goods. It’s like you said — the coffee just makes the chocolate taste even better. Especially great for brownies.

  8. 8 Natalie January 24, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Dang this looks good. Like really, really good!

  9. 9 natalie (the sweets life) January 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    ooh i’ve been looking for a choc pb dessert to make for my sister’s birthday…this might be the winner!

  10. 10 sonia January 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I loved your chocolate peanut cake. Great recipe… !

  11. 11 Taylor January 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Congrats on the 10 mile run…I would be starting training for Boston too if I weren’t going out of the country in April…I’m sooo bummed I’m gonna miss it!! Oh and what a yummy looking cake…PB and chocolate is my favorite combo!!

  12. 12 Aly January 28, 2011 at 11:05 am

    WOW!!! Coffee makes anything chocolate taste so fabulous. And peanut butter icing? AND peanut butter cups. Can’t wait to make this.

  13. 13 Natalia - a side of simple January 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Oh my, I think my heart just skipped a beat. This combination really can do no wrong 🙂


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