Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Hey there Reese’s fans — this is your cake!  Rich chocolate layer cake is filled and frosted with deeply peanutty, buttery, fluffy, sweet-salty frosting.

Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting 2
Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

I’ve retooled the size on my signature Chocolate Cake recipe, scaling it down for more intimate gatherings.  The Peanut Butter Frosting recipe makes enough for thick layers of frosting between the layers with enough left over for covering the cake and simple piping.  Topping it off is a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache.  Ganache is usually make with cream, but this one is more of a pure chocolate glaze, as I just softened it with oil.  My favorite oil for this recipe is avocado oil — it’s neutral in flavor, and has an excellent, creamy mouthfeel.  Enjoy!

PS:  I use a kitchen scale for my baking measurements.  It’s faster, easier, and more accurate than relying on cups.  I use the OXO Kitchen Scale, and love it.

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
(makes 2 8-inch layers or 3 6-inch layers)

for the Chocolate Cake
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
5.25 oz (2/3 cup) boiling water
6 oz (1 1/4 cup) flour
1 2/3 oz (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
4 1/2 oz (2/3 cup) white sugar
5 oz (2/3 cup) brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt, fine
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 oz (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
5 oz (2/3 cup) buttermilk
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare two 8-inch or 3 6-inch round baking pans with baking spray, or butter and flour.

In a small heatproof bowl mix chocolate and boiling water.  Blend until chocolate is melted.  It may look a little clumpy – don’t worry.  Set this aside while you mix the rest of the batter.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the rest of the ingredients and mix on low for 20 seconds.  Scrape down the side of the bowl, then mix on medium for 2 minutes until batter is thick but very smooth.

Add the water/chocolate mixture to batter.  Scrape bowl, then mix on low to combine.  Batter will be thin.

Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Begin to test after 22 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a baking rack or parchment lined plate to cool completely.  May store layers in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap.  Thaw before frosting.

For the Peanut Butter Frosting
10 oz sweet butter, room temperature
10 oz smooth natural peanut butter
14 oz powdered sugar
1 tsp sea salt, fine
3 TB milk

In a large mixing bowl blend the butter and peanut butter on low until combined.  Increase speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is lightening in color and is getting fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar and salt.  Mix on low until combined, then mix on medium until the mixture is fluffy.  Turn off mixer, scrape bowl, then mix on low while adding the milk one TB at a time.  Mix for another 30 seconds or so on medium until the frosting is very fluffy.

Frost and fill the cake layers.  Set frosted cake in the fridge to set while you prepare the chocolate ganache for the top.

For the Chocolate Ganache
1 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp vegetable oil

Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl in the microwave.  When melted, stir in the vegetable oil until combined.  Pour directly on top of the cake, allowing the chocolate mixture to flow out toward the edge of the cake and spill in drips over the side.  For complete cake coverage or more prominent drips, double or triple the Chocolate Ganache recipe.

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