Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

the first cake I baked

A friend at church today told me she enjoyed the Banana Split Birthday Cake recipe, but her favorite is the peanut butter chocolate cake at Whole Foods. Could I find a recipe?

I don’t have a recipe for that exact cake, but I do have a picture of the first cake I baked, which was chocolate with peanut butter frosting, made from Betty Crocker’s ©1969 cookbook.

So I will now try to combine the request and my memories from ~20 years ago with a bit of web research to create a recipe that might just serve the purpose.

The Whole Foods online bakery menu describes their cake as:

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE
Creamy, rich peanut butter frosting spread between layers of devil’s food cake, garnished with ganache and roasted peanuts.
6-inch round $16.99 | 9-inch round $24.99

I used Hershey’s syrup – or rather, the off-brand Aldi version that we usually buy that’s behind me on the counter there – to decorate the cake. Ganache is usually a combination of heated cream and baking chocolate – a bit higher end and probably easier to keep the letters straight, if you feel like getting out a frosting bag to write a message.

I remember being dissatisfied with the quantity of frosting when I made the cake pictured above – I didn’t like that you could see the indentation between the layers. So I’ll be adjusting the quantities accordingly here.

Cake:

Whole Foods probably makes their devil’s food cake from a mix (most stores do, for consistency) – so why not do the same thing? I can come back and add a good from-scratch recipe here later if you leave a request in the comments. 🙂 I made some sort of basic chocolate cake for Mother’s Day in the picture above but don’t recall if it was terribly good or not.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

I’m increasing the amounts because I think the proportions in Betty Crocker are kind of skimpy

  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk

First mix the sugar and peanut butter together – be careful measuring and mixing the sugar, since it tends to get everywhere. Not something you want to just dump into a electric mixer and turn on high, unless you’re going for the powdered wig/syrupy face look. Stir in the vanilla and milk after the sugar and peanut butter are well mixed. Beat until smooth and spreadable.

Ganache

This is clearly not the kind of thing that you’ll find in a Betty Crocker Cookbook, at least not one produced somewhere between the late 60s and early 80s. But since it’s basically a 2-ingredient recipe, I’ll just adapt a recipe from Martha Stewart to get you a bit to use as a filling and/or topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (preferably 50% or more cacao), chopped

This should make a bit more than a cup of ganache filling. According to the Martha Stewart website, this is a make-ahead recipe:

1. Put chocolate into a heatproof bowl; set aside. Heat cream in a medium saucepan until just simmering. Pour over chocolate. Let stand 15 minutes; whisk until smooth. Let cool completely, whisking occasionally. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface; refrigerate overnight.

2. Put into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes (do not overmix).

Read more at Marthastewartweddings.com: Ganache Filling

Or you could just grab a jar of chocolate syrup and go to town. I recommend not opening the top entirely and moving pretty slowly if you’re trying to write letters.

One Comment Add yours

  1. The Kitchen Tourist says:

    Random memory: In the picture above I’m wearing one of the few store-bought dresses Mom got new as a present. As the youngest, growing up in a family of four with three girls, on a farm without much money, most of her clothes were hand-me-downs or homemade or both.

    But she happened to share a birthday with a nearby farmer who didn’t have any children and liked to have my mom’s family over to celebrate their birthdays together some years. And on those years she got a special present, usually a new dress, from the couple.

    Since the dress was so special to her growing up, she held onto it so her daughters could wear it someday. I’m glad I happened to be wearing it in this picture, since obviously I made the cake for her for Mother’s day. I think I chose to wear a dress I got from her mother last year for Mother’s day too.

    So cooking family recipes and wearing hand-me-downs is kind of a Mother’s Day tradition, I guess, even if I didn’t realize it. 🙂

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