chocolate peanut butter cake

I am totally enamored with the French expression 'une jolie-laide' which describes a woman who, despite not being pretty or beautiful in a classic way, still has an interesting face. The non-gender specific would be 'd'un beau affreux' but because it's cake, which for some reason I think of as feminine, and because this cake is pictured with the Strawberry Tall Cake, I think this French saying is very appropriate in this case.

This cake isn't as pretty as it's sister but boy is it interesting. And if you love peanut butter and chocolate, you should find it fascinating.

 best butter cake batter: sunset cookbook

2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
about 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter


3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk


5 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons milk


3 Reece's peanut butter cups, quartered
3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts


Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and peanut butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Butter and flour 2 round 9-in. cake pans. Divide batter evenly between pans.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool cakes 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack, remove pans, and let cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.

make filling:

In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat together peanut butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth and fluffy.

make frosting:

Melt chocolate in a medium metal bowl set in a pan over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Add butter and beat with a mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and milk; beat until smooth. Add more sugar if frosting seems too thin or more milk if it seems too thick.

assemble cake:

Dollop 1 tbsp. peanut butter filling onto a cake stand (to hold cake in place). Place 1 cake layer on stand. Spread with remaining peanut butter filling. Top with second layer. Starting with the top, then working down the sides, frost cake with fudge frosting. Decorate the top edge with candy pieces and peanuts.


Nouveau Chef said...

The tall strawberry may be superficially prettier but I'll go with the interesting every time. The chocolate peanut butter looks like a keeper. Hope you are feeling better - happy birthday celebration for all!

Vickie said...

Holy Smokes - this looks gooood. :)

Ksamoila said...

im curious .. theres no chocolate in the cake batter? so how does it come out like chocolate cake?

krysta said...

ksamoila... there is no chocolate in the batter, it would probably be better off named peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting but because i used a recipe from sunset magazine, i kept the name. my thought process being that if you are looking for a recipe from a certain source you would be able to find it here with maybe some adaptations or that you always give credit to your source and if that's what they named it, well then, that's what they named it. *shrug*

Ksamoila said...

So what recipe did u use to make it a chocolate cake then?

Anonymous said...

I would like to make this cake for my brother's birthday, thanks for recipe!
I just have a quick question:
it's listed 1/2 cup peanut butter in ingredients for batter, and under assembly, it's instructed to mix sugar, butter and peanut butter, then, again in the end: "stir in 1/2 cup peanut butter". So, is it more than 1/2 cup peanut butter, or is it accidentally mentioned twice?

krysta said...

it's accidentally mentioned twice. further proof i am in need of an editor. i fixed the mistake and i am really sorry for the confusion.

Anonymous said...

I just made your recipe for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day. He is a huge fan of Reese's peanut butter cups. Although I chose another chocolate icing recipe (because I lacked some ingredients), the cake as a whole was a huge success. His own words were "Can I have this as my girlfriend instead?" To be replaced by a cake is quite humiliating but also a huge compliment and I owe that to you! So thank you!