My little man turned three last week, and to celebrate, we had a little party at our house with family.
See, my sister in laws are really good at stuff. Being in shape, being pretty, good at baking, pinteresting things…you know. So I have to keep up with the Jones.
So I made this bad boy.
Score one for Cassie.
I mean, I had to outdo myself from Maelie’s first birthday cake.
That? Was phenomenal.
This? Was a diabetic’s nightmare. It was rich, chocolately, peanut buttery perfection.
If I’m not known in the family as being a fantastic baker yet, I don’t know what’ll get me to that status.
Here’s how to make it!
recipe adapted from She Makes and Bakes
For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the peanut butter frosting:
10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
For the chocolate peanut butter ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
Start with the cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray three 8- or 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray, then flour the pans.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the oil and sour cream and mix together. Next add the water and stir it together. Mix in the vinegar and vanilla and stir until combined. Add the eggs and mix until everything is well combined.
Divide the batter into the three pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 20 minutes and then finish cooling on a wire rack.
The cakes are soft and crumbly, so to frost them, they need to be super chilled and put together. I made the cakes the night before, by storing them in the fridge, wrapped in cellophane. If that’s not an option, stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Next, make the frosting! In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, slowly mixing in between until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the bowl. When everything is smooth and the frosting is light and fluffy, add the peanut butter and mix again until combined.
Next, put it together! Frost the layers, with a thin layer of frosting to start. This is your messy layer, because putting a light frosting on a dark cake creates crumbs. Put the cake in the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes. Once that is set, put a thicker layer of frosting on the cake and lightly, use a rubber spatula, smooth it to make it look pretty. Again, place the cake in the fridge so the ganache sets well.
To make the ganache, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup in a bowl over a pot of simmering water or the top of a double boiler. Stirring often, cook until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the half-and-half until well combined. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Once it’s a touch thicker, pour it over the top of the cake, spreading it to the edges so it drips down the cake. Place the cake back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving so the ganache can set.
Store in the refrigerator but make sure to take it out 30 minutes prior to serving, because no one likes to eat cold cake. OK, well most don’t.