Birthdays are always special and should be celebrated. After all, you have made it through another year. It may just be a day to some but it could be a milestone like my last birthday, which was the BIG 5-0. So, I like to celebrate by preparing a special treat for my friends and family.
Traditions around the office
It has been a tradition since I started writing this blog that when one of our office family has a birthday I make them a special treat. Sometimes it’s cookies or pie but this time it was cake. And not any ordinary cake but one that includes peanut butter and chocolate.
My mind immediately flashed to one of my favorite candies that shall not be named but has peanut butter and chocolate. So, I did a bit of research and found today’s recipe. This has about 6 cups of confectioner’s powdered sugar, lots of cocoa powder, and nearly an entire jar of creamy peanut butter. The cake is so rich you will need about a half-gallon of milk or a rather large cup of coffee when you eat it.
Follow the Directions
Baking is a science and as a scientist, I followed the directions most of the time. I did have to deviate from the instructions for the peanut butter icing/filling just a bit as it was so thick I couldn’t spread it without ripping the cake apart. You may want to add just an extra tablespoon or two of milk when whipping it up.
The recipe for this cake is long so I’m going to keep this part short. Remember to celebrate birthdays as it will create a bit of joy in your life. Live, Laugh, Love and Eat Well.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Courtesy of www.tastesbetterfromscratch.com
For the Chocolate cake:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup boiling water
For the Peanut Butter filling (icing):
- ½ cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 2 to 3 TBSP evaporated or regular milk
For the Chocolate icing:
- ½ cup butter (1 stick) melted
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ½ to 3 cups powdered sugar (I used 2 ½)
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk or regular milk (I used regular)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 12 to 16 mini peanut butter cups for topping the cake
Baking the cake:
Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour (or use parchment paper) two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the vanilla, milk, eggs, and oil and beat on medium speed for about two minutes. Stir in the boiling water and mix completely (your batter will look thin but it’s fine). Pour the batter into the two pans and put into preheated oven.
Bake the cakes about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove cake from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Preparing the peanut butter filling:
Beat together the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat again until combined.
Add the milk and beat until light and fluffy. You can add extra sugar if thin or extra milk if too thick.
Preparing the chocolate icing:
Put the melted butter in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add additional sugar if too thin or additional milk if too thick.
Assembling the cake:
Once the cake is completely cooled, use a sharp serrated knife to torte (cut each cake horizontally) so that you have four thin cake layers. Place one layer on the cake stand and place about 1/3 of the peanut butter icing on top, smoothing it out with a spatula being careful not to rip the cake. Place another layer of cake and repeat with the second and third layers.
Place the last layer on top and then frost the cake with the chocolate icing. You can reserve a bit of the icing to pipe a decoration around the top. Chill the cake to set the icing and then add mini peanut butter cups on top for optional decoration.