I get to make a lot of fun things, but cakes? Cakes are something special. When I realized that our rescheduled soup swap was the same day as a friend’s birthday, I was pumped to make something special to celebrate her!
Her only request? Something chocolate. That I can do!
Of course, I went with my personal favorite and paired that chocolate with peanut butter! This beauty is an adaption of a cake I made a few years back. This version is prettier – and easier.
The icing swirls make this bakery-case worthy, but they’re actually really simple to do – and quicker than trying to smooth out frosting over a whole cake. The best part? Swirls in the middle of the cake are the perfect practice spot. By the time you get to the top, you’re already a pro! Also, feel free to cover any goofs with extra peanut butter cups – no one ever objected to more chocolate!
Peanut Butter Cup Cake
For the cake:
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9″ round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Whisk to make sure they’re well combined. Whisk in the vegetable oil and sour cream. Slowly beat in the water. Stir in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide the batter between the three prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, on the same oven rack if possible – without the pans touching. Let the cakes cool for 20 minutes before removing to cooling racks to cool completely.
For the frosting:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 sticks butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Milk – if needed
In a stand mixer, beat together the peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar a bit at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla and salt.
If too thick, beat in a little milk. If too thin, beat in additional powdered sugar.
Completely cooled cake
Peanut butter frosting
4 Reese’s peanut butter cups, roughly chopped
Place a layer of cake on a serving plate or cake stand. Using a piping bag and star tip, pipe swirls over the top of the cake. Repeat with the second layer.
Top with the third later. Using a knife, spread a little frosting over the top of the cake. Use the remaining to pipe tall swirls along the edge of the cake. Sprinkle the chopped peanut butter cups over the center of the cake.
The cake cake be prepped the day before and stored in the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.
adapted from this cake