Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Josh asked for a Red Wings cake for his birthday. Hmmm..... I got to thinking, and really, I didn't want to make this too complicated. I settled on just putting the winged wheel on top of a layer cake - which was tricky enough. To do this, I printed out a copy of the logo, and traced the reverse outline with some piping gel. I then flipped this over on the cake the get the outline, and filled in the design freehand. I started with a white background, then filled in the detail with red and outlined the whole design in red. I think I used a #2 tip for the design, and used Wilton buttercream for the red and white icing. I thinned it a bit too much - the red started to bleed a little when it got warm.

As for the cake - Josh loves Reese's, so I knew I wanted to find a chocolate-peanut butter recipe. I settled on this one from Smitten Kitchen, but only used the cake and peanut butter filling parts, since I needed a firmer icing on my cake. I went with my stand-by chocolate frosting to pack in as many calories per slice as possible ;) It was absolutely delicious. Small slices and glass of milk required.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Filling
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
I made a 9" double layer cake; serves 12 to 16

For the cake:
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper. (I just buttered and floured the pans.)

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. (Whisk is an interesting verb here - it is thick at this point!) Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 2 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
(Makes about 5 cups - I only made 1/2 this recipe since I only used it as the filling between layers)
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 c. smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

For the frosting:
1 recipe Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting, or Frosting of your choice
** For the piping design, I used 1/4 recipe Wilton buttercream icing, thin consistency with a little piping gel mixed in

5. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Place the second layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate frosting.

6. Decorate the cake as you wish!REVIEW:
Yes, this cake is rich. Yes, I know this cake is not healthy. It is a special birthday treat. And it was very good. And in some ways I am glad my in-laws didn't take seconds and left Josh and I with plenty of leftovers. Happy 29th Birthday babe! Sorry I ate so much of your cake!


  1. GO WINGS!!! What a great cake!!!! Awesome job.

  2. fantastic job! GO WINGS and happy bday to him!

  3. You did an amazing job!! Who cares if its not healthy, its a birthday treat!

  4. Love the decor job and lucky Josh to enjoy such a cake! Great job!!