Chocolate peanut butter cake

My birthday is coming up in about a week and last weekend we had a shared family birthday celebration with my parents and cousins. I volunteered to bake my own birthday cake because I have been wanting to make this cake for a long while now. My husband (among other people though I can’t understand this at all) isn’t a big fan of peanut butter and chocolate, so I decided the only fair time for me to insist on this cake would be my birthday.

img_2316This cake wasn’t at all difficult to make, in fact it was quite easy – just time-consuming since you need to bake three layers, make a large batch of frosting and then make a ganache. You’ll want to chill the cake at a few different points, too.

If you have a go-to chocolate cake recipe that will give you enough batter for three layers, I say go ahead and make it. This recipe is kind of fiddly due to the relatively large amount of water – things can get pretty sloppy, especially when you are trying to get the batter into three different cake pans. The payoff is fine, nothing spectacular. (Mine came out, if we’re being honest, a bit underbaked.) So use whatever chocolate cake recipe you like – the only tip I would offer is to not use anything super-intense because the frosting and ganache are incredibly rich.

I didn’t have any issues with the frosting or glaze. I toyed with the idea of just doing a plain dark chocolate ganache instead of the semi-sweet chocolate and peanut butter version in the recipe but ultimately I stuck to the rules as written and it was fine. If you’ll notice in the many pictures of this cake online the glaze can have some little blobs of peanut butter in it – I didn’t have this issue due to, I assume, a lot of whisking. The ganache is also very thick so if you want picturesque drizzles instead of great hulking blobs you will need to make a thinner version.img_2330

This is the first time I used my new rotating cake stand and it really did make frosting the cake much easier. I did a crumb coat, chilled the cake for 30 minutes and then did the top coat. No crumbs showing through!

I love how much this cake reminded me of homemade buckeyes (if you’re not familiar, get involved please). It’s true that a very little bit of this goes a long way but it’s birthday cake!

So have a piece and don’t feel bad.

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