Chocolate Peanut Butter Lover’s Cake

Chocolate and peanut butter are just one of those universal combinations that people seem to go nuts over…which is probably why Reese’s peanut butter cups are so stinkin’ popular.  Well, I decided to make this into a cake, for your drooling pleasure.  I made this cake for a big family reunion that we recently went to.  In fact, I wasn’t even going to make a cake this year for the reunion, but one of my mom’s cousins emailed her, asking if her daughter was going to make one of her amazing cakes.  Um, yeah, that plastered an ear-to-ear smile across my face…so I decided to make this one.  This is a 9 inch 3 layer dark chocolate cake with peanut butter chips, peanut butter icing in between the layers, and covered with chocolate icing.  Oh, and then decorated with MORE peanut butter icing, chocolate syrup, and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups.  After I decorated this, I stood in the kitchen, staring at it and saying out loud,  “Wow.  Just, wow.”

chocolate pb lover's cake 1

At the reunion when people started getting in line for the food, I noticed several people avoiding that long lunch line and heading straight for the dessert table, picking out what they wanted.  Within five minutes, I looked over and saw that almost half of this cake was gone.  So, my mom and I went to find her cousin that emailed her to let her know that she may want to go ahead and get a piece of the cake, especially since she was the reason I made it in the first place.  She hurried over to the table and grabbed a piece.  The sister cupcake to this cake would be the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cupcakes, which is one of the most popular flavored cupcakes that I make.

chocolate pb lover's cake 2

At this reunion, there is a quite large dessert table, and every year that large dessert table is packed.  Packed!  Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies, cobblers, cake balls…you name it, and it’s probably there.  I also made some Candy Sushi and took that as well.  The end result?  Both of them were polished off…and I mean completely gone.  Wiped out.  The cake board was only left with bits of crumbs and a little bit of icing…and the candy sushi platter was totally empty.  No evidence of any sushi existing on this platter here, folks.  This made me happy, especially considering the fact that I already told my mom I wasn’t taking any of this stuff home if there were leftovers.  Problem solved!

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This was the cake I made for last year’s reunion.  It was huge.  And Neapolitan.  It’s a 12 inch 3 layer cake, the bottom is chocolate, the middle is strawberry, and the top is vanilla.  The numbers and letters are made out of chocolate, and the flowers are made out of royal icing.  It’s layered and covered with cream cheese icing.  I think next year for the reunion, I may make an Oreo Cake, or maybe the White Almond Cake with Bavarian Crème Filling and Truffle Icing.  Decisions, decisions.

For the Cake:

1 box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix

1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup milk

4 eggs

8 oz. sour cream

1 bag peanut butter chips

1 bag unwrapped mini Reese’s peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine first six ingredients in medium bowl, beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in peanut butter chips.  Divide evenly between greased three 9 inch round cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on cooling racks in pans for 10-15 minutes, turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before layering, covering and decorating.

For the Peanut Butter Icing:

2 lbs. powdered sugar

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup shortening

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup water

combine first three ingredients and beat with electric mixer at medium speed for about 2-3 minutes, until mixture is creamy and smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and continue to beat at medium speed for another 3-4 minutes until creamy.  Spoon half of mixture between cake layers, use remaining peanut butter icing to decorate bottom and top of cake.

For the Chocolate Icing:

2 cans Duncan Hines Classic Chocolate Icing

For the Chocolate Syrup:

Take a little big of leftover chocolate icing and add a small amount of chocolate syrup, stirring to desired consistency.  Pipe or drizzle over cake.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Dark chocolate.  Peanut butter cream cheese filling.  Peanut butter icing.  Chocolate chips.  Hello!!!  I’ve been wanting to make these for a while, had the recipe rattling around in my brain, and finally decided to try them out…with much success.

First, make the chocolate cake batter and distribute evenly into baking cups using an ice cream scoop.  Make the peanut butter cream cheese filling, and pipe into each cup.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, then let cool completely on cooling racks.

This was by far the best peanut butter icing I’ve ever tasted.  It was just the right amount of peanut butter, and it’s oh so creamy!

Here’s a picture of the inside of the cupcake, with the peanut butter filling.  Such a sweet delight!  I was very happy with how these cupcakes turned out.  Peanut butter cup cupcake??  I think so.

Peanut Butter Filling:

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

Combine all ingredients and beat well, using electric mixer.  Add 1 cup miniature chocolate chips, stir in.  Pipe filling into center of chocolate cupcake batter.

Peanut Butter Icing:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 stick butter

3/4 cup milk

2 lbs confectioners sugar

In standing mixer, beat first 3 ingredients for about 4 minutes at medium speed.  Add sugar and milk, beat for another 5 minutes.  This icing does NOT need to be stored in the refrigerator.