Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

I have this theory that all men love peanut butter and chocolate together. It’s not an exclusive observation — there are many women that do, too (and I’m one of them!), but I swear the vast majority of the male population, at least that I’ve encountered in my life, goes crazy for this combo. Because I like to bake for the special people in my life, and because I, too, love those two flavors together, I feel like I am constantly thinking about or making creations that marry chocolate and peanut butter.

If it sounds like I’m complaining, I most certainly am not. Quite honestly, I love any excuse to make chocolate desserts with peanut butter in the mix, or vis versa. I came across this recipe from Bon Appetit, and the picture alone totally sold me on making it. The cake looked incredibly moist, the frosting fluffy and cloud-like, and the top was loaded with a sprinkling of crunchy toppings, which is always a bonus.

Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting - Sweetly Serendipity

Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting - Sweetly Serendipity

The verdict? This cake tastes even better than it looks. The best kind of recipe! The cake is midnight black, which is a pretty contrast to the fluffy golden frosting. For a basic sheet cake, it makes for a nice presentation. I added peanut butter chips to my batter, because I wanted to weave the peanut butter flavor throughout the cake, and I omitted the peanuts on top mostly because I didn’t have them on hand. I used my favorite Traders Joes Pound Plus dark chocolate bar for the chocolate garnish on top — it’s the perfect amount of sweet.

Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting - Sweetly Serendipity

This cake is totally wonderful, and if you want to impress someone, need to get back into someone’s good graces (I am definitely not above bribery with food), or simply want to create a really out of this world dessert — you have to try this cake. I shared a few pieces of it, but for the most part devoured the entire pan myself, and felt pretty darn okay with that. It’s the best pick-me-up after a long day, or, you know, after the most epically long, cold, and snowy winter we’ve ever experienced!

Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting - Sweetly Serendipity

The frosting takes a bit of time to make and isn’t quite as easy as a basic buttercream, but it’s not overly challenging, and the cake is an absolute breeze. I had no trouble putting this together in one evening — baked it, frosted it, and devoured it! Incredible.

What have you been creating in the kitchen lately?

Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients

    Chocolate cake
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter chips
  • Peanut Butter Buttercream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (from about 2 large eggs)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, optional

Directions

    Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray, and line bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Add the oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups water, then whisk until smooth.
  3. Fold in peanut butter and chocolate chips, and then pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake until the cake is set, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan set on a wire rack.
  4. Peanut Butter Buttercream
  5. Place a medium metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the egg whites and sugar, and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Remove bowl from heat, and with an electric mixer, beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and cool, about 5-6 minutes. Add in the vanilla and peanut butter, then beat again to combine.
  7. With the mixer running on low/medium, add a few chunks of butter at a time, beating well between each addition. Add a pinch of salt and beat one more time to combine.
  8. Assembly
  9. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to release the cake, then invert onto a serving platter. Spread frosting evenly over the cooled cake, then garnish with chopped chocolate and peanuts, if using. Slice and serve!
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