Peanut Butter Graham Cake


Nov 24

Peanut Butter Graham Cake – graham cracker crust, graham cracker cake, peanut butter frosting, chocolate ganache and a chocolate shell.

Celebration, Cake and a Pink Carpet

We recently made a quick trip to Los Angeles to attend the Swan Princess 25th Anniversary Party, where I had the opportunity to judge a Swan Princess themed cake competition. Talk about a fun night! We all got fancy, walked the “pink” carpet and enjoyed a night of celebration.

A Day at Disneyland

The next morning we headed to Disneyland for the day. We got to the park right when it opened and stayed until it closed. It was packed but we had a blast!

One of my favorite things about Disneyland is the treat selection! (I doubt you’re surprised to hear that – haha.) There are certain sweets I get every time I visit, but during this trip I decided to try something new – the Peanut Butter Sandwich from Pooh’s Corner and the Main Street Bakery. I had heard about this treat for years, but Disneyland took it off their menu for a while and I could never find it – until now! It’s back!

This little bar is full of everything I love in life! There’s a graham cracker layer, some kind of whipped peanut butter filling and a chocolate shell. Simple and incredible. I got one bar to share, but we quickly realized one bar wasn’t enough. We all went back for another… and with that kind of reaction, I knew these flavors would be a winning cake combination.

Peanut Butter Graham Cake

I got to work on the new cake as soon as we got home. I’ve made several cakes with graham cracker crust (i.e. Ultimate S’mores Cake and Banana Nutella S’mores Cake), even one with graham cracker frosting (Marshmallow Moon Pie Cake), but I’ve never used graham cracker in the actual cake layers. So that was my first priority – graham cracker cake.

Graham Cracker Cake

When I’m coming up with a new cake flavor, I’ll often work off a recipe for one of my other cakes that has a similar texture I’m going for. In this case, I knew my Biscoff Cake layers would be a great base for the graham cracker cake. In the Biscoff Cake, you’ll crush the cookies into a fine, crumb-like consistency and add them to the batter for flavor and texture.

Graham crackers don’t have quite as strong of a flavor as Biscoff, but the texture of the cake is fantastic. To enhance the graham cracker flavor and give the cake a bit of a crunch like the bar at Disneyland, I also added the graham cracker crust like my s’mores cakes.

Note: The graham cracker crust can sometimes be hard to cut into. So, when you cut the cake, make sure you use a sharp knife!

Peanut Butter Frosting

My peanut butter frosting was a no-brainer for this cake. It has nearly the same consistency as the filling from the Disneyland bar. Plus, it’s simply one of the best things you’ll ever put into your mouth! Win, win!

Chocolate Shell

The last element I wanted to mimic from the Disneyland bar was the chocolate shell. I added chocolate ganache between the layers, but I also wanted to get that crisp chocolate shell on the outside of the cake. A chocolate drip (which has cream in it) wouldn’t harden like I wanted.

As I brainstormed ideas to get the chocolate shell on the entire cake, I thought about using Magic Shell (which is an ice cream topping), but decided instead that I could create my own Magic Shell with melted chocolate.

To get the chocolate coated around the entire cake, I thought it would be fun to try rolling the cake in the melted chocolate, just like I’ve done with sprinkles. Take a look at the video to see how it’s done. I also explain it a little more in the instruction notes.

I originally planned to smooth out the sides, but after rolling the cake and then pulling it away from the chocolate, decided I loved the texture I had created.

The chocolate set just like Magic Shell does on ice cream and gives the cake the perfect finishing touch. You’ll have to let me know what you think of this one, especially if you’ve had the bar at Disneyland!

Enjoy!

 

Peanut Butter Graham Cake

Graham cracker crust with graham cracker cake layers, peanut butter frosting, chocolate ganache and a chocolate shell.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Keyword Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Cake
Servings 1 3-layer, 8-inch round cake

Ingredients

FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

  • 3 cups finely ground graham crackers about 25-27 full rectangular crackers
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

FOR THE CAKE

  • 1 cup finely ground graham crackers about 8-9 full rectangular crackers
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large or extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk at room temperature 

FOR THE GANACHE

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

FOR THE FROSTING

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 5 cups powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter I use Skippy
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream 
  • Pinch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SHELL

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips

GARNISH

  • Chopped peanuts, salted

Instructions

FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and then line with parchment. Spray again. Set aside.

  2. In a medium-size bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Stir until all the graham cracker crumbs are dampened by the melted butter.

  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the three pans and press down firmly with your hand or the back of a spoon.

  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool while you make the cake layers.

FOR THE CAKE

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Place the graham crackers in a food processor or blender and pulse until the cookies are finely ground and resemble flour.

  3. In a medium-size bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until the ingredients are well-blended. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.

  5. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Slowly add half of the buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Continue alternating the flour and buttermilk until it has all been incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly mix for another 20-30 seconds.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among your pans (right on top of the graham cracker crust) and bake for about 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack before inverting onto cooling racks to cool completely. 

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream for about 1 minute.

  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate and to stir to melt the chocolate. Mixture should be silky and slightly thick. Let cool before using.

FOR THE FROSTING

  1. In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and peanut butter. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 45 seconds.

  2. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and mix in, slowly at first until incorporated, then increasing the mixer speed to high once all of the powdered sugar has been added. Blend in the vanilla extract, salt and heavy whipping cream, and continue to whip on high speed until very fluffy, about 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SHELL

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Place the first cake layer on a cake board, with the graham cracker layer on the bottom. Top 3/4 cup peanut butter frosting and a generous drizzle of the chocolate ganache.

  2. Repeat with the second layer of cake.

  3. Place your final cake layer, with the graham cracker layer on the bottom, on top of the second layer of frosting and ganache.

  4. Apply a thin layer of the peanut butter frosting around the entire cake and freeze the cake for 10 to 15 minutes. This is the crumb coat, which locks in crumbs and allows you to frost the cake without any crumbs getting into the final coat of frosting.

  5. Once the crumb coat is set, finish frosting the cake, using another cake board or an acrylic disk on top to help you get straight sides. After you've smoothed out your sides, freeze the cake for another 20-30 minutes. We want the cake to get extra cold so we can roll it in the chocolate.

  6. While the cake is in the freezer, melt your chocolate chips and spread the melted chocolate on a sheet pan as evenly as possible.

  7. Take the cake out of the freezer and turn it on it's side and roll it into the melted chocolate. You'll have to do this rather quickly. Check out the video above for help. I rolled half of the cake in the chocolate, used an offset icing spatula to even out the chocolate again and then rolled the cake for a second time.

  8. Let the chocolate set on the chilled cake and then remove the acrylic disk and spread the melted chocolate on the top of the cake. You'll see that the chocolate starts to harden like the Magic Shell ice cream topper (something you could also use in place of rolling the cake in melted chocolate).

  9. Top with chopped peanuts.

2 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Graham Cake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *