Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies! This cake is my valentine to you. It’s my personal favorite cake I’ve ever made. If you know me, you know of my undying love for peanut butter… peanut butter cups, peanut butter swirl ice cream, and (especially) a spoonful of peanut butter right from the jar. In this dreamy cake, I’ve combined by love for peanut butter into a Reese’s peanut butter cup-like cake. Twelve layers of fluffy peanut butter buttercream between rich, moist chocolate cake… it’s ridiculously indulgent and crazy delicious.
I can’t decide whether I like the frosting or the cake better, so I’ll just tell you about both 🙂 The frosting has a whole cup of peanut butter in it, but it’s far from dense. It’s really important to whip up the peanut butter and butter on high speed to lighten it and bring air into it before adding the powdered sugar, then whipping it again after the addition of sugar. The subsequent fluffiness contrasts perfectly with the dense cake.
The chocolate cake is moist and super chocolate-y, thanks to using some high-quality cocoa powder. So, if you want this cake at its best, maybe splurge for a bit of fancy cocoa – it really makes a difference in the final product!
All over baking Instagram accounts I follow and my favorite baking blogs, I always see this fancy chocolate drip over the top and sides of the best-looking cakes. Once I finished baking this cake, I wasn’t sure how to decorate it, so I turned online for some inspiration. Although I was daunted by this drip, I knew I had to try it. It was so easy. Really! I made a simple ganache with butter and chocolate, got it to the right temperature and consistency, and dripped to my heart’s content. It’s a little sloppy because it was my first try, but I can’t wait to keep experimenting with new techniques like these!
P.S., this cake is available for order on my new Order Me page! Give it a peek… if your mouth is watering after this post, I can help 🙂 I’d love to bake this amazing cake again soon!
I can’t gush enough about how deliciously decadent this cake is. Enjoy, everyone!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Dream Cake
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 24 minutes
Yield: One 6-inch three-layer cake
For the cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup milk
For the frosting
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 bar of good-quality semisweet or dark chocolate, broken up or chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease three 6-inch cake pans.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, stir the espresso powder and boiling water to combine.
- In a medium bowl, combine the vegetable oil, vanilla, milk, and the espresso mixture. On low speed, add this mixture into the stand mixer, then switch to medium speed and continue to mix for two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
- Divide the batter between your prepared pans and bake for 24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the cakes clean. Make sure to let the layers cool before stacking and frosting.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the peanut butter and butter on high speed, until lighter in color and aerated. Reduce the speed to low and add in the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Raise the speed back up to high and beat for 1-2 minutes, or until it’s fluffy and cloud-like.
- After cooling the cakes, carefully cut each layer in two, making 6 layers – if desired. make sure to hold your knife straight to cut even layers. Stack and frost between each layer, and then cover the whole cake in frosting.
- Make the ganache drip with a double boiler; place a heat-resistant bowl on top a saucepan filled with simmering water. Stir together the chocolate and butter until smooth and shiny. Let it cool slightly, then slowly pour the chocolate into the center of the top of your cake, using the back of a spoon to circularly push the chocolate drip over the edge of your cake.
- Pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes, and enjoy!