Confession. I don’t like peanut butter. At all. However, my husband and kids are peanut butter and chocolate addicts so I decided to to be nice and make them a treat they’d really enjoy. I even enlisted the help of my two little sous chefs to help pull this recipe together because they both love to be in the kitchen and bake. Keeping their hands out of the bowl and off the beaters was definitely a challenge!
This recipe was from one of my most favorite dessert cookbooks, “Sally’s Baking Addiction“. As I mentioned in my cookbook review there really isn’t a bad recipe in this cookbook and this one was no exception. Everyone loved it and it was very simple and quick to pull together. If you want a great cookbook to add to your collection I highly recommend Sally’s, you can get it right on Amazon.
For the cake
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp milk
For the frosting
- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tbs unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 6 tbs heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- salt (optional)
- 1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces candy
- 1/4 cup peanut butter, for drizzling
Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 9″ springform pan (or a 9X9X2″ cake pan) with non-stick cooking spray.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions and mix to combine. The batter will be thick. Add the milk and mix until just combined, do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 32-35 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil about halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together. Set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add in the the sifted sugar/cocoa alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Adjust as need, add more powdered sugar if the frosting is too dark for your taste or add a pinch of salt if it’s too sweet.
To finish the cake frost, drizzle with peanut butter, and sprinkle with Reese’s Pieces candy. To make the peanut butter drizzle, melt the peanut butter in a small bowl for 20-30 seconds in the microwave. Cover and store a room temperature for 4 days or in the fridge for up to 6 days.