While baking is delicious and I love to cook for those I love, there are ulterior motives for baking
Baking makes me friends. Baking gets me out of tight spots. And baking means that, if I'm stumped for a birthday present for someone, or I think I didn't find the perfect gift, I can overshadow that fact with a blowout of a cake.
My friend had a rather big birthday this weekend, though we kept it pretty chill. I bought her a pretty water bottle, but that seemed inadequate, so I went to town on the cake.
Peanut butter layers with a firm crumb (thanks to buttermilk). Filled with dark chocolate frosting and chopped mini Reese's cups.
Finished off with more chocolate frosting, more peanut butter cups, and a generous (okay, excessive) drizzle of peanut butter on top.
Not going to lie-- according to my friends, this is the best cake I've made to date. This is the one to beat.
The water bottle actually went over well... but not as well as the cake!
Happy birthday, Sara!
The Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Birthday Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker and Our Best Bites
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup smooth peanut butter
7 tbsp butter, unsalted, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9" round cake pans.
Whisk together dry ingredients, except sugars. Set aside.
In an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugars, and peanut butter until fluffy. Slowly add eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in increments, until all is added. Finally, SLOWLY beat in the buttermilk (emphasis on "SLOWLY," unless you want buttermilk all over your new shirt).
Divide batter between two pans. Bake 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and cake bounces back when touched. Remove from oven, cool, and invert cakes from pans.
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups almond milk
1 1/2 cup real butter, softened
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
3 cups mini Reese's cups, halved
1/2 cup peanut butter
In a saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, and milk; bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened like a thinned pudding. Remove from heat and strain mixture through fine mesh sieve into a small bowl. Cool completely in the refrigerator.
Beat the butter until creamy, then slowly add in the cooled chocolate mixture until well combined fluffy-- it may look a bit separated, but that will remedy itself soon. Finally add in melted chocolate and beat again until well combined and fluffy.
Spread on cake between layers; sprinkle a handful of peanut butter cups between. Finish assembling the cake, decorating the base and top of the cake.
Place peanut butter in a ziploc bag, and run under hot water until melty. Snip the tip of the bag, and drizzle over finished cake. Eat with friends.