Peanut Butter & Chocolate Birthday Cake
Time is a tricky thing. Lately it just seems as though the days are flying past. I mean, how are we already nearing the middle of November!? It seems like summer only just ended & now all of a sudden Halloween is over & December is fast approaching & that means Christmas & also Christmas exams for college & sometimes it’s really scary to think about how fast everything is going by. Excluding the possibility of failing any classes, these will be my last Christmas exams before I get my degree & finish college. I’m not ready to be a real grown-up with real grown-up responsibilities & problems.
As it is, I can barely deal with my pretend-grown-up responsibilities & problems. The examples are numerous – I am responsible for getting myself to college on time everyday, the problem is the warmth of my bed in the mornings; it is my responsibility to do my assignments & get them submitted on time, the problem is that I’d much rather (& usually do) spend my time baking. When I finish college I’ll have to be a real grown-up, someone who gets out of bed when their alarm goes off & does all of their work for their (gasp) full-time steady job. Ew. Let’s just slow time way down & stay where we are for the moment, deal? Deal. I knew you’d understand.
We’re in a good place right now. The kind of place you can ignore your assignments, sit down with a nice steaming cup of coffee, & plan out the birthday cake you’re going to make for one of your absolute closest bestest friends. One who knows every single little thing about you (even the bad things), the one you’ve been through everything with, the one you said always with all those years ago, the one you would do anything for. Yep, that friend. You all have one, right? Well, I can guarantee none of yours are as good as mine is.
Together we used to dream of our own little utopia & although this cake might not have as many books or handy man servants to carry us to bed after a few too many drinks as we’d once dreamed of, it’s all I could muster up in the days prior to your birthday (man servants are more expensive than I was expecting). & if I may say so, this cake is a damn delicious second choice. This is the kind of cake our man servant would have baked for us whenever we wanted. You know, after he cleaned the house & took care of everything else while we lazed around. Wait.. Real grown-ups have their own utopias, don’t they?
This cake was perfect for the occasion. Like, absolutely the best cake I ever could have baked & I have no idea how I’m going to outbake myself next year. See, this friend of mine can regularly be found in bed with a jar of peanut butter & a spoon. She also buys jumbo bags of peanuts to carry around in her bag for snacking on. I mean, how could I not make a her a peanut butter cake? So I did. A Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, to be exact. Oh, & did I mention that I made some homemade bunting to decorate the cake? Yeah, no biggie. Guess who’s in the running for best friend ever.
The end product was better than my wildest dreams had ever imagined. The cake was, to put it simply, delicious. It was nothing like I expected it to be – it was unbelievably light, crumbly, moist, melt in your mouth perfection. Seriously. It is without a doubt the best cake I’ve ever baked & probably will be for some time to come. It was so good I made it twice within a two week span. & don’t get me started on the frosting. It was the same frosting that I used for my Chocolate Fudge Brownies – silky smooth & perfect. No words are good enough to describe this cake: delicious, mouth-watering, perfect, irresistible, unbelievably simple, the list is endless & yet none will ever be good enough.
Siofra? Happy birthday.
Makes one 2 layer 9-inch cake (Adapted from Joy the Baker)
For the cake:
- 2 ¼ cups of plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of crunchy peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons of butter, softened
- ½ of caster sugar
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup & 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
For the frosting:
- 226g of cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup of butter, softened
- ½ cup of cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups of icing sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk
- First, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 165°C & grease & flour two 9-inch cake tins & set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, & salt.
- In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter, & sugars with an electric mixer until light & fluffy, roughly 3-5 minutes.
- Add the eggs into the peanut butter mixture one at a time, beating thoroughly in between each addition. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
- Add half of the flour mixture into the large bowl & mix on a low speed. Then slowly add in all of the yogurt. & then the rest of the flour mixture, beating until it just starts to come together. Finish incorporating all of the ingredients by hand with a spatula.
- Divide the batter into your prepared tins & place on the top two racks in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, switch the cakes onto opposite racks & continue to bake for 15-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tines for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Now, the frosting. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until soft & slightly fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula once satisfied. Then add the butter into the bowl & beat on a medium speed until thoroughly combined.
- Add the cocoa powder into the mix & beat until incorporated. Then add the salt, icing sugar, vanilla extract & milk, beating until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl & continue to beat the mixture on a low speed until all of the icing sugar has blended in. (It should end up being silky smooth & delicious.)
- Once the cakes are completely cooled down, spread a generous layer of the frosting on one cake, top with the other cake & frost the entire outside of the cake.
– Cake is best eaten within four days.
– Leftover frosting should be kept in the fridge for up to a week.