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Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream – moist and rich peanut butter cake layers with a silky, decadent chocolate buttercream.
The Cake That Started It All
This past December marked my 10-year cake-iversary! TEN YEARS! I can hardly believe it was that long ago that I made my first cake from scratch. Time has flown by!
My first cake was for Westin’s 1st birthday. I was hoping to impress my in-laws and picked a recipe from one of their favorite food magazines, Bon Appetit. It was a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting. It obviously spoke to me. I got all new pans, fresh ingredients and studied the recipe the best I could. Making this cake was so fun, but I enjoyed even more sharing it with our guests that sunny Saturday afternoon as we sang “Happy Birthday” to our little guy. I found so much joy in everyone’s reaction as they ate this cake I had made.
I remember being so proud of this moment. This cake creation, that is now referred to as my “poofy cake,” was the cake that started it all. And how about that homemade cake topper out of craft paper! Dying!
I eventually moved on from making my own cake toppers (thank heavens!), but making my own cakes was something that would stay with me forever!
Peanut Butter Cake
To celebrate 10 years of blissful, sometimes (ok, often times) trying, cake making, I set out to recreate Westin’s birthday cake. I couldn’t find the exact recipe I used back then, darn it. It would have been fun to compare my recipe to the original.
For my cake layers, I used my peanut butter cake recipe you’ve likely seen in my Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake and my Peanut Butter Dream Cake. There’s a full cup of peanut butter and a smidge of cinnamon to give it the most dreamy flavor.
The coloring reminds me a bit of my Classic Yellow Cake. But don’t worry, the flavors are totally different 😉
For the buttercream, I replicated the Bon Appetit recipe with my go-to chocolate frosting recipe. It’s so silky and smooth, and the flavor is incredibly delicious!
TIP: Remember, when you’re making a buttercream with any kind of chocolate in it, heat the cream in the recipe and then pour it over the chips to melt. You’re basically creating a ganache that you’ll then pour into the buttercream. This ensures you don’t have any chunks of chocolate in your buttercream. (Big thanks to my friend Annie for sharing this awesome tip that I now swear by!).
This one is an easy cake recipe, so if you’re a beginner baker, add this to your list!
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake
Peanut butter cake with chocolate buttercream
For the Cake
- 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
- 3 tsp. (12 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp. (5.7 g) salt
- 1 tsp. (2.5 g) ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup (312 g) peanut butter I use Skippy, smooth
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk at room temperature
- 1 tbsp. (13 g) vanilla extract
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
- 5 cups (625 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
- 1 tbsp. (13 g) vanilla extract `
- 8 ounces (228 g) dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (58 g) heavy whipping cream
- Pinch of salt
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray each of your three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and peanut butter until creamy on medium-high speed. Add the granulated sugar and mix on medium for about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix again for another 30 seconds.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix between each addition. Add the vanilla.
- Decrease the speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat additions, finishing with the remaining flour mixture. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another 20 to 30 seconds.
- Evenly divide the batter between the three pans, about 18 to 19 ounces of batter in each of the 8-inch pans. 13-14 ounces of batter if you're using the 6-inch pans. Bake the cake layers for 32 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Let cool in pans for about 15 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cooled completely, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least an hour chilled. Can be stored for up to a week with the plastic wrap and up to a few months with tin foil also wrapped around each layer.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- In a microwave safe bowl or over the stove, heat the cream and the chocolate. Stir to create a smooth ganache. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla and salt.
- With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the chocolate ganache. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat the frosting for about 3 to 5 minutes. Once the buttercream is done, be sure to mix it by hand a bit with a spatula or wooden spoon to push out the air pockets.
- Place the first cake layer (top side/crumbly side up) on a cake board that has a little frosting on it (which acts like glue to hold the cake in place).
- Spread about 1 cup of the frosting over the cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top and add another cup of frosting. Make sure to get eye level with the cake to check that your frosting is spread evenly across each cake layer.
- When you get the final cake layer, place it top side down on the second layer of frosting. Spread a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for 10 minutes to set the crumb coat.
- Continue to frost and decorate the cake with the remaining frosting.