Luke’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Birthday Cake

What you’ll need for the cake…

  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped (I say splurge on the chocolate.)
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot coffee (Same as with the chocolate… go for a coffee you like.)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour two 10 inch round baking pans. In a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Sift the cake flour and measure out 2 1/4 cups. Then sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the coffee and buttermilk.

Finished with all the prep work… now it’s time to start combining everything to make the batter.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

Add the coffee/buttermilk mixture and flour mixtures in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until the ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the melted chocolate. (Not confident in your folding skills:  look it up on YouTube or Hulu.  I found a really great video tutorial for the first time I made an angel food cake.  Now I’m a pro. [smile])

Divide the batter evenly among the two prepared pans and tap pans on a counter to smooth the tops. Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely before frosting.

What you’ll need for the frosting…

  • 2 cup confectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar
  • 2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream/whipping cream

Directions:
Beat the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in large bowl until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. (It will change color slightly and begin to look like whipped icing when its ready.)

Putting it all together…

Freeze a bag of your favorite peanut butter cup candy.  Once frozen chop roughly with a large knife. When frosting cake put about half the candy in between the layers and half on top.

[Recipes adapted from German Cake recipe at Joy of Baking.com and the Barefoot Contessa’s Peanut Butter Icing from Food Network.com.]

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