As you all probably know by now, I am in love with peanut butter.
What you might not know is that this legume love is genetic! Both of my parents love peanut butter too, which is why this scrumptious cake was the perfect birthday present for my mom.
March 4th is actually a big day for our family! In a weird twist of fate, my mom, grandfather, and cousin all have the same exact birthday. It makes celebrating easy because we can do a three in one, although we live a little too far from them to share the same cake.
It’s become somewhat of a tradition that I’m the official birthday cake baker for our family. It’s a great system – I love making cakes and the rest of the family loves to eat them! We also have reasonably spaced out birthdays, so I get my fix just enough that nobody’s too tired of layer cakes galore.
This particular cake is essentially a giant Reeses. It’s three layers of moist chocolate cake with sweet fluffy peanut butter frosting inside and out. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, there are regular Reeses on top. It’s pretty much chocolate – peanut butter heaven.
In non birthday news, I have been SWAMPED with SAT studying. For those of you who are (luckily) not currently involved in the high-stress college process, the SATs are this Saturday, which means I will be sitting in a classroom scratching my brain for a good 5-6 hours. The good news is that afterwards, I will have PLENTY of time for mental recovery by means of mass baking. Pretty sure I’ll be too tired to do anything else, so expect something delicious coming up soon!
Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Cake recipe adapted from Eats Well With Others
For the cake:
3/4 cup of dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups of hot water
2/3 cup of greek yogurt
2 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/4 cups of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
3/4 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325. Line the bottoms of three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir the cocoa powder and hot water into the greek yogurt. Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter on medium speed, then add in the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
Add the flour mixture to the bowl in three additions, alternating with the cocoa mixture. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, start the frosting
For the frosting:
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of half and half
*Note – you may want to double this recipe if you want a thick layer around the entire cake. This was enough for a thin crumb coat, but my mom’s not a huge fan of frosting (and you don’t argue with the birthday girl)!
In the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy, then add in the peanut butter and continue to whisk on high. Add in the sugar and stir on medium to combine. Next, add the vanilla extract and half and half, turning the mixer to high for 30 seconds to a minute. Be sure to scrape down the sides as necessary.
To assemble the cake, spread about 1/2-3/4 of a cup between each layer, leaving it about an inch from the edge. When the three layers are together, use the rest of the frosting to cover the cake, starting with the sides and then moving to cover the top. Optionally, you can chop up some Reese’s and lay them on the top of the cake in a cute design. Get creative!
Definitely make this for your next family birthday 😉