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Happy Monday guys! Today I’ve got a really special cake for you that’s just perfect for anyone who loves the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. I first started going crazy for pb & choc when I made these amazing brownies and then these peanut butter chocolate pretzel sandwiches, and I can’t see my enthusiasm for the pairing diminishing anytime soon. This cake is the union of two different recipes – a fudgy chocolate cake and a peanut butter frosting. The chocolate cake is a really easy one to make for birthdays and celebrations, and the chocolate fudge frosting swirls dreamily smooth, making decorating the cake a cinch even for those who can’t normally master the palette knife!

Psst

let me let you in on a secret – this cake may look pretty amazing (I can’t really say that while remaining modest so let’s move on) but a bit like my 6 layer rainbow cake, its actually super duper easy!

Just a note on the recipes – the chocolate cake and frosting are from a recipe from Nigella bites recipe and I cobbled the peanut butter frosting recipe together based on taste. I had planned to pipe swirls of chocolate/peanut butter frosting on top of the cake and top them with reese’s, but the chunky peanut butter frosting I was using blocked up my frosting nozzle – so be sure to use smooth if you’d like to pipe it.

I made this cake for the September cake eaters anonymous event and it was long gone by the time I made it to the front of the cake queue… so if you make it, be sure to snag a slice for yourself first!

For the cake –

  • 400g plain flour
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 100g light muscavado sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 142ml sour cream (you could use natural yoghurt without a problem)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 175g melted and cooled unsalted butter
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 300ml cold water

Cake time! First, preheat your oven to 180C/gas4/350F.

It’s a wet and dry situation – so measure out your flour, baking powder, sugar, cocoa and salt into one bowl, and then in another bowl, mix your cooled melted butter, 3 eggs, sour cream and vegetable oil with the cold water. Combine and blend, either by hand or in a stand mixer, until the mixture is relatively smooth.

I divided my mixture into three separate 8 inch wide tins because I wanted a three layer cake, you could also use two if you prefer, although spreading the mixture out among three and levelling it with an offset spatula does help the cakes to bake flat and even rather than rising too much in the middle.

Cook for 50 minutes – to hour, (less for three layers) – if you think your cake might be done, just insert a clean toothpick into the middle, and if it comes out covered in crumbs (as opposed to batter), its done.

Cool your cake and lets make the frostings!

For the chocolate fudge frosting –

  • 175g dark chocolate, melted
  • 250g butter (THAT’S A WHOLE PACKET! at least in the UK)
  • 275g icing sugar – sifted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

YUM. This stuff tastes amazing. To make it, melt your chocolate in the microwave, making sure you stir every 40 seconds so that the chocolate doesn’t burn. While your chocolate cools, beat your soft butter together in a stand mixer (by hand is possible too, it just takes a little more time) with the sieved icing sugar. I like to beat in about a third of the icing sugar at once and let the butter incorporate it. Add your vanilla, and then pour the melted chocolate in. Try to resist the urge to dunk your head in the bowl.

Store the chocolate fudge frosting at room temperature until its ready to be used – it sets quite hard, so unlike a cream cheese or buttercream frosting, you won’t want to put it in the fridge.

For the peanut butter frosting –

  • 2/3 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (I would use smooth next time)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 4 cups sieved icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp milk

Mix together your soft butter and peanut butter in a bowl with your vanilla, then add the icing sugar 1 sieved cup at a time. Add a little milk until you’re happy with the consistency. The peanut butter frosting is softer, so can be stored in the fridge until you’re ready to decorate (if you want to do the swirls!).

To decorate –

  • 9 snack packs of Reese’s peanut butter cups (the ones with 3 per pack)

When swirling my peanut butter/chocolate frosting on top of and around the sides of my cake failed (with a tremendous farting noise as the frosting plopped out), I decided to cut the Reese’s Pieces into quarters and use those instead. The result is much easier (as you don’t need a piping nozzle and bag) and still looks great.

Happy baking!

x Kerry