Let Them Eat Cake

If I could eat cake everyday I totally would, that is if I could find a cake that had zero fat, zero calories and all the delicious flavor intact…not likely, so I guess I’ll have to settle for cake every once in awhile.  This is why whenever I’m invited over to someone’s house or have people over I always make cupcakes or brownies.  It is only recently I’ve been into cakes. Years ago I tried to make cake for a party and it was so dry and gross, I was so embarrassed that I haven’t made a cake since. Well, until this past weekend.  Last week I found a recipe for a chocolate peanut butter layer cake that look so delicious I was obsessing over it for days.  Thank goodness we were invited over to a friend’s house for a dinner party this weekend because I was going to make this cake either way, I’m just glad I didn’t have to eat the whole thing myself (which would not have been hard to do) and was able to share it with others.

I’ve only made a layer cake twice before, one was a disaster, the other looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but at least it was tasty.   I think the key to having a layer cake stay put is by not over filling the layers, which is hard especially if you don’t want the leftover filling to go to waste, I say it’s just more for you to snack on.  I probably could have filled this cake more, but I didn’t want to take the chance of any layers sliding off or oozing out, both of which are not pretty.

So here’s the recipe for the cake I made this last weekend.  If you like peanut butter and chocolate you’ll like this cake.  Be sure you have a big glass of milk to go with it, it’s pretty rich.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake (from Serious Eats )


 For the Cake:

2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

3/4 cup hot coffee

1 1/2 cups  granulated sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 egg yolk

7 Tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

For the Peanut Butter Mousse:

8 oz cream cheese

3/4 cup  confectioners’ sugar

1 cup cream peanut butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch salt

1 cup heavy cream

For the Peanut Butter Ganache:

12 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet)

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp heavy cream

2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter


 For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, stir chocolate into coffee and set aside. In large bowl, whisk sugar, buttermilk, egg, yolk, oil, salt, and vanilla until combined. In small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder until combined. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until combined. Whisk in the coffee mixture until smooth.

Pour 1/3 batter in one pan and the remaining 2/3 in the other pan. Bake until just firm, about 20 to 25 minutes, respectively. Let cake cool in pans for 15 minutes, then invert cakes onto wire rack to cool completely before assembling cake.

For the Peanut Butter Mousse: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese with sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until creamy and light, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Switch to whip attachment and beat cream on high-speed to stiff but not dry peaks. Fold cream into peanut butter mixture. Keep chilled until ready to use.

Slice the larger of the two cakes into two layers. Place on serving plate and stack cake layers with peanut butter mousse. Keep chilled until ganache is ready to use.

For the Peanut Butter Ganache: Using the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the chocolate and cream until melted and smooth. Gently whisk in peanut butter. Chill until just firm enough to frost, about 30 minutes. Frost cake and serve.


Verdict: Definitely have a glass of milk handy.  I’d make this again for sure.  Everyone loved it, I probably could have eaten two slices if I wasn’t full from our delicious dinner.  I should have kept the leftovers instead of bringing them to work, I was jonesing for some last night.  I settled on a handful of chocolate chips…just not the same.

So next time you need to bring a dessert to a dinner party or just want to make a cake, I suggest this one (pending you’re not serving this to people with peanut allergies).  If three layers seems a bit too much to handle, you can always do two layers not a problem, you’ll just have more mousse to eat later….oh darn.