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The BEST Chocolate Layer Cake with Easy Peanut Butter Frosting

 This Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake is made with layers of moist, decadent chocolate cake, and creamy peanut butter frosting. Topped with chocolate ganache and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, this is a chocolate and peanut butter lover's dream!


Two weeks ago, we celebrated my son's 16th birthday. I do not feel old enough to have a 16 year old and I am still trying to figure out how he went from being 3 yrs old, to 16 yrs old! I still remember the day he was born, like it was yesterday. I remember bringing him home and being exhausted, but also being the happiest woman on earth. I always tell my kids that the day they were born, is the day I finally understood how much my mother loves me. It is an indescribable amount of love. Nothing else matters in this world, only their safety and happiness. 

My mom always made us homemade birthday cakes growing up. I remember the one year I ended up having a store bough McCain cake. My mom had made me the most beautiful cake with 7 minute marshmallow frosting (one of my faves) and she had placed it in the oven, while she made dinner, so as to not get it splattered with food. I had asked for homemade fries and Pogo's (corn dogs), as my birthday dinner that year. This was before deep fryers were accessible to households, so mom had a big pot of oil on the stove to fry our dinner. She had filled it with too much oil, and when she added the fries, the oil overflowed and caught fire. Thankfully we had a fire extinguisher and mom thought quickly. However, the dust from the fire extinguisher ended up all over the kitchen AND inside the oven. My beautiful cake was now covered in fire extinguisher dust. It is a birthday I am sure to never forget.

I have carried over the tradition of making homemade cakes for birthdays. A few weeks before birthdays are due to arrive, I ask what kind of cake they would like. This year my son chose a chocolate and peanut butter cake. I wasn't sure if I'd make a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting, or a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. After thinking on it for a few days, I decided to use my go to chocolate cake recipe, and to make the most delicious and simple peanut butter frosting. The result was heavenly!

My chocolate cake recipe always bakes up so moist and tender. The frosting wasn't too sweet and paired so well with the deep chocolate richness of the cake. I topped it with a dark chocolate ganache and decorated with Reese Peanut Butter Cup minis. This is such a beautiful cake and everyone enjoyed it tremendously. Even my SO's mom said it was amazing! Out of all the birthday cakes I've made, this one has to be one of my favourites. Not only is it a gorgeous cake, it tastes fantastic too. You can see more of the cakes I have created over the years on my Instagram page.

On the 20th of this month is my daughter's birthday. I've asked her to think of what kind of cake she would want. I am anxious to see what she requests!

Tips on making the perfect cake

  1. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Warm milk up slightly in the microwave for 40 seconds. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in warm water for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. I sprinkle sugar on the bottom and sides of my greased cake pans, to help the cakes not stick while baking. It adds a yummy crunch to the outside of the cakes.
  3. Making sure all the ingredients are well combined is the key here. It also helps to add air to the cake batter, making the cakes light and fluffy.
  4. Check to see if your cakes are done by gently pressing in the center. If it springs back, the cakes are done. You can also use a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes. I like to see a few moist crumbs on the toothpick (not batter).
  5. Place strips of parchment paper around the bottom of the cake, while frosting, to keep your cake stand or plate clean.
  6. Dip your offset spatula in warm water to achieve a smooth finish to your frosting.
Equipment needed for this recipe
  • stand mixer or hand held mixer
  • kettle
  • mixing bowl (or bowl for stand mixer)
  • measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients
  • measuring spoons
  • mixing spoon and whisk
  • 2- 9 inch round cake pans
  • toothpicks or cake tester
  • wire racks for cooling
  • cake stand or cake plate
  • offset cake spatula
  • piping bag with a large star tip
  • parchment paper
  • small sauce pot
  • cutting board and sharp knife

Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

2 C sugar
1 3/4 C flour
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs at room temperature
1 C milk
1/2 C light flavoured oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 C boiling water
1 tsp instant coffee
1- 104g bag of REESE minis, keep 8-10 whole and cut the remaining in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 2- 9 inch round cake tins. I like to sprinkle sugar in my greased tins to coat the bottom and sides. It helps the cakes release once baked.

In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the room temperature eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mixing well. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for an additional 5 minutes.

Combine the instant coffee with the boiling water, until dissolved. Add to the cake batter and mix by hand until well incorporated.

Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and place on center rack in oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched in the center, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Let cool in the tins for 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto wire cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 C creamy natural peanut butter
4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbs whipping cream

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, natural peanut butter and vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1 C at a time, mixing at low speed until incorporated. Once all powdered sugar has been added, beat frosting on high speed for 2 minutes. Add in 1 Tbs of whipping cream, beating at high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add a second Tbs of whipping cream if frosting is still too stiff.

Chocolate Ganache

1 C dark chocolate chips
1/2 C whipping cream

Scald the whipping cream in a small pot (heat on medium high heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the outside). Place chocolate chips in a large bowl and pour hot cream over top. Let sit 2 minutes before whisking smooth.

To Assemble the Cake

Place strips of parchment paper around the outside of your cake stand and place 1 cooled cake onto the center of the cake stand (I place mind upside down, so there is a flat surface to frost. Using an off set spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the 1st cake. Place the second cake over the frosted part of the 1st cake (again I make sure the bottom of the cake is facing upwards). 

Using 2/3 of the remaining frosting, frost the sides and top of the assembled cake. Dip your spatula in warm water, to help frosting spread smoothly. 

Once cake is frosted to your satisfaction, pour the ganache over the cake, letting it run slightly down over the sides. Let sit for 30 minutes to set. Once set gently remove the parchment paper from around the outside bottom of the cake.

After ganache has set, place remaining frosting in a pipping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 8-10 rosettes of frosting onto the top of the cake, near the edge. 

Place one REESE mini onto each of the rosettes and pile the remaining chopped minis in the center of the cake.

PIN IT!!!


I'm sharing this recipe with these linky parties

Comments

  1. Ok. Not fair! This looks incredible and I need a slice ASAP! Wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I would have shared had I been able to. Gives you a reason to make it ;)

      Delete
  2. Omg this looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am drooling while I am typing this comment 😂! This chocolate cake looks so darn delicious! I really like cakes that are not overly sweet and moist like this recipe. Chocolate is my best friend.
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe, and thanks for including all the tips. I really need those tips when I bake.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'll take some right now!

    ReplyDelete
  5. peanut butter frosting sounds really delicious! I want to try the next time I make a cake

    ReplyDelete
  6. This cake looks so decadent and tasty. I'd love to have a slice right now, lol! It's definitely a must try. Thanks for the recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. This cake looks absolutely stunning. What a great birthday treat.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That looks amazing! I hope he had a wonderful 16th birthday. It's amazing how fast they grow up isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  9. This looks Fantastic , thanks for sharing .

    ReplyDelete
  10. peanut butter and chocolate - yes, please! Pinning this so my daughter and I can bake this recipe soon.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm not 16, but it is my birthday and I want this cake! :) Thank you for sharing on the Classy Flamingos.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations,
    Your awesome post is featured on Full Plate Thursday,528 and we have pinned it to our Features Board. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete

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