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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Layered Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Dave doesn't ask for much... football on Sundays, a good beer and The Amazing Malted Milk Ball Cake once a year on his birthday.  This year, Ed Debevic's would not sell me the malt powder I use to create this unbelievably fudgey, delectably grainy, giant malted milk ball cake.

It was too late to order the malt powder online, and unfortunately it's not something that is for sale in a regular grocery store... and I needed to make the cake that day. So Dave's 2nd choice was for a chocolate peanut butter cake...sounds doable. Starting with the malt cake base, I modified a bit here and there and came up with this 4 layer chocolate peanut butter cake with two layers of milk chocolate, a layer of meringue, a layer of krispie peanut butter and a dark chocolate ganache to finish off it off.  Yum.

To be fair, neither Dave nor I (nor Mitch) thought it surpassed the Malt Cake but we still ate it. In fact a few people from our Thanksgiving Left Overs party have already asked for the recipe- so it doesn't suck!

Seriously, this is a super decadent cake with a nice chocolate and peanut butter mix. Moral of the story is that when you can't count on someone else for an ingredient, punt and make a great cake anyway. Give it whirl for your next big fat and happy occasion.

Tips and Techniques: I've slightly modified the recipe below from my original recipe to help this cake be slightly lighter and fluffier. Let me know how it works out for you!

Layered Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

2 egg whites,
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Whip the egg whites on medium until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar and the vanilla, continue to whip on high until the whites are shiny with stiff peaks

Spread the whites on the parchment paper in a circle the size of the cake pans. Bake for about 2 hours until the meringue is dried out.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup boiling water

Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together.  Cream the sugar, butter and the peanut butter together.  Add in the eggs (one at a time), the buttermilk and the vanilla.  Combine the dry ingredients with the butter mixture.

Carefully add the boiling water to mixing bowl, mix to combine.  Grease 2  round cake pans, divide the mixture in half.  Bake for about 15 minutes on 375 degrees, or until a toothpick come out just clean.  Careful not to over-bake. Remove from oven and cool.

Peanut Butter Frosting Layer
1 cup peanut butter, creamy
1 1/2 cup powder sugar
1 1/2 cup rice krispies

Whip the peanut butter and the powder sugar together until fluffy.  Gently fold in the rice krispies.

Milk Chocolate Frosting Layer
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 -2 Tbls cream
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup powder sugar

Warm the milk chocolate chips in a bowl over steaming water (or for few seconds in the microwave, but be very careful not to burn the chocolate).  Add in the cream cheese, the cream and the powder sugar; whip until fluffy. Add in more cream if the frosting is too thick.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
1 cup dark chocolate (pick a good dark chocolate bar, chopped, or chips)
1/2 cup heavy cream

Assemble the cake first and then make this ganache so you can pour over the cake while the ganache is still warm.  Put the chocolate in a bowl and heat the cream until it is steaming but do not boil.  Pour over the chocolate and allow it to melt the chocolate for a minute.  Mix it all together until smooth. Add more cream if the mixture is too thick.

Putting the cake and frosting layers together

Remove the cakes from the cake pan, slice the cakes horizontally so that you have 4 layers.  Place one layer on a cake tray, slather half of the milk chocolate frosting on top.  Place another cake layer on top of the chocolate frosting, top with the meringue and then top with the peanut butter frosting.

Add another layer of chocolate cake, the remaining chocolate frosting and then the final chocolate cake layer.  The final step is to drizzle the warm ganache over the top of the cake, allowing some of the ganache to drizzle down the sides.


  1. I made this cake.....the whole family loved it. I will be making this cake for my daughters grad cake next week. Thanks so much!!

  2. Glad it worked out for you! Congrats to your daughter.

  3. I'd like to try your cake this week.Looking at the temperatures mentioned in your recipe, I assume its given in Fahrenheit, right?

  4. correct; good luck with the cake!

  5. I am in the process of making this beautiful cake now. I have never made meringue before but clearly I left it in the oven too long. It stuck to the parchment paper And the pan below it.
    I left it in the oven longer than the two hours because the center was still a bit soft. Maybe I should have taken it out then anyhow And I had it on the lower rack? Is it suppose to be crunchy when it is placed on the cake?

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