Pipe Dream #53: To Take Real Pictures Of The Best Thing EVER – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

It is really so sad that I don’t have proper pictures of this cake for you. I’m serious, it is probably the best cake I have ever made. Ever. Although similar to the Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, I think this cake is better. And pretty easy, compared to some layer cakes.

The cream cheese peanut butter frosting alone is good enough to make and eat. All at once. Up on my roof. For the world to see.

Display my penchant for frosting so openly and honestly? So unashamed? It’s like standing in the Mall at the U and yelling about how Jesus loves me and you too. I would do it if I thought it would make you believe it.

And if swallowing my pride and eating this frosting on the roof would make you bake, assemble and frost this cake immediately, I would do that too. But for both of these issues, you only have my word and these shoddy pictures, as of now.

Please go make this cake. I’m not being bossy. Just earnest.

Earnestly desiring the fulfillment of your deepest desires,

Lauren

Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen‘s version from Sky-High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes, her notes follow below, and her pictures are better than mine, as per usual :]

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

For the peanut butter frosting:
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

For the chocolate peanut butter glaze:
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

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10 Responses to “Pipe Dream #53: To Take Real Pictures Of The Best Thing EVER – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake”


  1. 1 Tim August 10, 2011 at 9:28 am

    if I buy you all the ingredients will you make this cake for me.? I’m bribing you if you don’t understand that already;)

  2. 2 Bert Tisher August 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Save some for me

  3. 3 Lauren August 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    A bribe posits that there is a reward in this for me… :]

  4. 4 Always,Allison August 16, 2011 at 11:06 am

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it.

  5. 5 skinny cream September 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm

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  6. 6 Dyan X. Ikner September 26, 2014 at 11:54 pm

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    It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Thank you for sharing!

  7. 7 screen print supplies aberdoggie October 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm

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  8. 8 screen print supplies aberdoggie October 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at
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  1. 1 Pipe Dream #53: To Take Real Pictures of the Best Thing EVER, Revisited – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake « piping dreams Trackback on February 6, 2012 at 8:01 am
  2. 2 Pipe Dream #295: To Produce Something From Nothing – Espresso Bean Peanut Butter Banana Cookies | piping dreams Trackback on October 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

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