Peanut Butter Cake


Skip the experiment, go to the recipe!

Pinterest experiment for the win today!

Lindsay from Life Love and Sugar posted “Loaded Peanut Butter Layer Cake” and if you love peanut butter this one’s for you!

Food styling isn’t a concern for me since I’m more of a food learner rather than a food blogger, so this cake will look like this if you have almost no experience. I made zero effort at perfection, it was for my family to enjoy. While I made my teens watch a YouTube video on habits of highly effective people.

You know they loved that. Mom rules.

The buttercream was not smooth going on, but that’s nothing that a hot knife and possibly substituting meringue powder and heavy cream for milk couldn’t cure.

As you can see by my photo, though, that effort would be wasted! Between the peanut butter chips and peanut butter ganache you don’t even see it!! And it was DELICIOUS!!!! {Update: even 3 days later!}

Her ganache recipe would work with any version of flavored chips you buy at the grocery store I’m sure. For similar purposes.

This is a very rich cake. It would translate into a smaller portion such as a cupcake beautifully, nobody could finish the smallish slices I served.

Her recipe refers to trimming the dome off the cake, but I used the reverse creaming method and my layers baked perfectly flat. Until I dropped one on the cooling rack. Can’t tell, tasted great!

I sifted my flour and sugar with the leavener and salt, then used a hand mixer to blend with the peanut butter and butter until it resembled coarse sand as pictured above.

All of the remaining ingredients were whisked together in a 4 cup glass measure then added to my dry mix in three batches, blending each on low until just incorporated.

I’m not a food science buff, you can find out about the reverse creaming method on YouTube and by a quick Google search. I hate to offer information when I have no idea what I’m talking about!!!

Reverse creaming produces a slightly denser more velvety texture which is perfect for a cupcake. Softer cakes fall apart in your hands when you peel the paper back and try to eat. Texture is everything for me.

Also I use baker’s sugar which is a finer granulation than regular sugar and better for cakes according to gurus like Rose Levy Beranbaum in The Cake Bible.

In the Cincinnati market the only place I find it is Meijers grocery store and a wholesaler Restaurant Depot. There might be others but I could not find them. Confession, I didn’t look very hard because I live six minutes from Meijers and I was able to buy a 50 pound bag from Restaurant Depot.

Superfine sugar is a suitable substitution and that was also available at Kroger’s. It’s bar sugar. Pinterest and regular bloggers say you can process regular granulated sugar for a few seconds in a food processor, but pastry chef bloggers contend you can’t get a uniform grind from that method. I’ve tried it, I agree with the chefs.

The molasses used to create brown sugar highlights the flavor of peanut butter the way coffee accents chocolate. Since I used baker’s sugar I added 2 tablespoons of molasses.

I used all milk, no water for the liquid.

My changes were not a radical departure from the recipe so I’m satisfied with my experiment.

That’s a wrap, happy baking!

Be blessed!

Michelle

Peanut Butter Layer Cake   (clickable link to author’s post)
by Lindsay of Life, Love and Sugar

Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water

Icing

  • 2 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups peanut butter
  • 9 cups (1035g) powdered sugar
  • 6-7 tablespoons water or milk
  • 10 oz peanut butter chips

Peanut Butter Ganache

  • 6 oz peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Cake

Preheat oven to 350º, prepare 3 ~ 8″ pans with parchment circles and cooking spray or flour and butter for easy release.

I am writing out the reverse creaming method that I used because it’s simple and worked beautifully to create even layers. She utilizes the traditional mixing method for cake on her post but had domes on her finished cakes. Was it the mixing method? The minor ingredient substitutions I made? Who knows! 

Pour flour, both sugars, baking soda and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer, stir on low until until well combined.

Put cubed butter into the bowl of the stand mixer with the dry ingredients and mix on medium low until mixture resembles course sand.

Meanwhile pour sour cream, vanilla, eggs, milk and water into a 4-cup glass measure or large prep bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour into flour mixture, mixing on low for about 20-30 seconds each time until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition.

Pour evenly into the three prepared pans and  bake for about 21-23 minutes until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool in pan for 2-3 minutes then on cooling wracks until completely cooled.

ICING

Cream butter and peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on low until smooth and creamy then add about 1/2 the powdered sugar mixture and mix until smooth.

Add about 5-6 tablespoons of the water or milk mixing until well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl of the stand mixer and add the rest of the icing sugar mixing until smooth.  You might want to add more liquid depending on the texture you are going for.

ASSEMBLY

If there are domes on the cooled cakes cut them off then ice the cakes, stacking as you go, with the buttercream and press additional peanut butter chips into the fully iced sides of the cake.

GANACHE

Pour the peanut butter chips into a medium sized bowl then heat the whipping cream until it starts to boil around the edges. Pour the cream over the chips  and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes before whisking smooth.

Finally pour over the edges drip-like and top of the cake smoothing with a knife or offset spatula. Save a spoonful for the cook to eat directly, seriously. Then you can continue decorating as you like, she suggests piping swirls on top.

Follow the link to her recipe description for more information or questions.

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