Food & Drink

Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

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Last month, Ian celebrated his THIRTIETH birthday.  To celebrate, I baked him a 4-tiered, peanut butter cup cake.  A lot of recipes online simply did chocolate cake with a peanut butter frosting.  But I wanted the cake itself to have chocolate & peanut butter combo.  The result?  Peanut butter goodness.

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Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
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Ingredients

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tb vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Toppings

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 Reese’s peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two 6-inch deep cake pans with unsalted butter.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour.  Gently rotate and tap the pan, until the entire pan is lightly coated with flour.  Tap out the excess.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add eggs, buttercream, sour cream, peanut butter, oil, and vanilla extract.  Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.  Gently stir in boiling water until combined.  Pour cake into prepared pans and bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes.
  3. Remove cakes and place on wire racks until completely cool.  Turn cakes out.  Slice each cake in the middle horizontally so you have 4 layers in total.
  4. While the cakes are baking, make the buttercream by whipping unsalted butter on high speed until light and fluffy.  Add the peanut butter and continue to whip until creamy.  Slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time,  whipping on low speed until each addition is incorporated.  Add salt, vanilla extract and whip until fluffy.  Slowly add milk until desired consistency.
  5. Make the ganache – melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a double boiler,  stirring occasionally until glossy.  Set aside to let cool slightly.  (You could also make the ganache in a microwave by microwaving in 30-second intervals)
  6. Assemble the cake – put one cake layer on a cake board.  Add some buttercream and smooth out.  Repeat with additional layers until the final layer of cake is adhered.  Spread the remaining buttercream on top and sides of cake,  smooth out the cake as needed.  Spoon cooled ganache over the top of the cake, and use a spoon to encourage the ganache to drip down the sides.  Top with chopped peanut butter cups.

Food & Drink

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bombs

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Recently, I was perusing Pinterest when I read about these “fat bombs”.  To be honest, the name didn’t sound super appetizing.  These “bombs” are basically made from a high-fat source – coconut oil, cocoa butter, cream cheese, etc.  They are mixed with other natural flavors – berries, chocolate, nuts, etc.  You form them into bite-sized shapes and they make for a great snack for that mid-morning boost of energy.  It’s supposedly a really great snack for people on low-carb or ketogenic diets.

Honestly, I was interested because I do not need an excuse to eat cream cheese.  One of my favorite desserts is cheesecake.  For this recipe, I wanted to replicate the flavor and texture of a cheesecake crossed with a peanut butter cup.  It comes together super quickly, and makes for a great snack!  It’s not overwhelmingly sweet, and the cacao nibs add a sophisticated bitterness to evens out the sweetness from the cream cheese and peanut butter.  Just make sure to pace yourself – they are small so you’ll want to eat all of them in one sitting.

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Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bombs

  • Servings: 15
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Ingredients

  • 8oz cream cheese (1 block), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used one of those peanut butter grinders at the grocery store and I chose the honey roasted peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cacao nibs
  • Optional: sweetener (sugar, honey, agave, stevia, etc.)

Method

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater or a hand mixer, cream together cream cheese and peanut butter on low until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in cocoa powder.  Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes so it hardens and is easier to work with.
  2. Using a cookie scoop or 2 spoons, scoop out mixture and form into tablespoon-sized balls.  Roll each ball in cacao nibs until generously coated.  Serve chilled.

Recipe notes

  • Because I used a honey roasted peanut butter, I did not find that I needed additional sweeteners.  Taste the cream cheese mixture before refrigerating to make sure it’s to your liking.  If necessary, add sweetener of choice, 1 tsp at a time.