Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing

The things I do on whims! I am freqently surprised at the amount of time I'll spend on something I have a slight hankering for, or whenever find a weak excuse to make something I haven't made before, or to try to use my sugary wiles to cheer up a friend who's having a crappy week.
I bring this up because a friend of mine is currently having a rough week. A big box full of warm clothes and Christmas presents has gone missing in the mail, or maybe stolen from outside his apartment by a nasty neighbor or shady passerby. He has a cold. He has a lot of work to do. He mentioned offhand recently that he loves peanut butter and chocolate together. So, of course, I made him this cake to cheer him up, and now I will go back to crossing my fingers that his box of precious new goodies turns up tomorrow, and this can be a celebratory cake.

It takes about 30 minutes to get the cakes in the oven and make the icing, and another 20 or so to decorate it. You get two or more hours in between while the cakes bake and cool.

Reese's eat your heart out.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsps peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined. Blend in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/3 of the yogurt, repeat until all ingredients are mixed.
Pour the batter into two greased 9" round cake pans and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cool completely before decorating.

Peanut Butter Icing

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar,
3 to 4 tbsp milk

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, salt and vanilla until very smooth and light. Mix in the confectioners' sugar half at a time, and add milk one tablespoon at a time until the icing is wet enough to be smooth, then continue to beat for a few minutes to get it nice and whipped and fluffy.

Smear a dab of icing on the center of your cake plate. Turn one of the cakes out of its pan carefully, and flip it over onto a flat clean surface. With a bread knife or a cake layer wire, trim the top of the cake so it is flat. Carefully pick the cake up again and place it cut-side down on the center of the cake plate, where the icing will hold it in place. Spread a layer of icing about 1/4" thick over the top of the cake. Turn the other cake out of its pan and place it right side up on the icing. Spread icing all over the top and sides. I would love to have had some chopped peanuts to decorate the sides of the cake, but peanuts don't live long in my apartment. We are nut fiends.

For the cake in the picture, I sprinkled cocoa powder on the middle of the cake and then used a star icing tip to cover the top and surround the edge with stars, then painted melted peanut butter around the edges. I had some chocolate icing left over from another cake and drizzled some of that on top, too.


  1. That looks so ridiculously good.

  2. It sticks to your mouth like peanut butter should!