Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

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November is shaping up to be one of my busiest birthday months, but I’m feeling prepared with the recipe for this delicious cake. My aunt Grace made it over the summer for our family reunion and we were all emailing her begging for the recipe!

The instructions for this decadent cake are as follows…

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
(original recipe from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles)

// Chocolate Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
6 T. cocoa
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup olive oil
2 T. vinegar
2 cups cold water
2 tsp. vanilla

01. Preheat oven to 350°.

02. Prepare two 9″ round cake pans. Grease the pans well, making sure you cover the entire interior surface. Cut two pieces of wax paper and fit one inside of each pan. Set aside.

03. Measure all dry ingredients into bowl and whisk to combine. Make 3 large holes in the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil and vinegar. Pour this into the 3 holes. Pour the water over entire mixture. Mix with a fork. Add vanilla and stir. Divide evenly into the two cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, removing from the oven as soon as a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool in their pans on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Then run a thin knife around the edge of each pan and invert the cakes onto your rack to cool. Let cool completely before assembling.

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// Peanut Butter Frosting

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2  tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. powdered sugar

Place the peanut butter, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-low speed, just until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining ingredients and combine again. Then turn the speed up to high and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes, until frosting is light, airy, and fluffy.

// Chocolate Frosting 

1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 T. unsalted butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Mix milk and sugar in small saucepan. Add butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then remove pan from heat. Add chocolate chips to the pan. Using wire whisk, mix until smooth.

// Assembly

*Additional ingredient needed: 10 to 12 small peanut butter cups*

Place one chocolate cake on a plate or platter. Using a spatula, apply a thick, even layer of peanut butter frosting on top of the cake. Place the second layer of chocolate cake on top of the layer of peanut butter frosting. If needed, fill in the frosting gap between the cake layers with an additional piping of frosting, somewhat “smooshing” it in as you go around the cake, to give a flattened look. If you already have enough frosting bulging out from between the cake layers, simply “flatten” it out by running the long side of an offset spatula or knife carefully around the cake’s side, flattening the frosting as you go.

Give your chocolate frosting a good whisking, making sure that it’s smooth and spreadable. You want your frosting to be a bit warm so it has the right consistency for spreading. If it’s too hot, it will spread too quickly, and possibly run off the sides of your cake, so let it cool a bit. Pour the frosting onto the center of the cake and then gently swirl it to the outside perimeter. Let the chocolate frosting set for about 30 minutes before adding the peanut butter circles on top.

Once the chocolate frosting is set, pipe 10 to 12 circles of peanut butter frosting onto the top perimeter of the cake. Then top each circle with a small peanut butter cup.

gm_ChocolatePeanutButterCake_3And enjoy 🙂

 

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Gorgeous Birthday Cakes

With an upcoming birthday tomorrow (hint, it’s Reg’s!), we’ve got cake on the brain! While we dabble in baking, coming up with a beautiful and creative cake is harder than it looks… we make homely cakes. But today we’re gonna admire the beautiful cakes of others and hope that someday we have the courage to attempt something this gorgeous.

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// Classic Ice Cream Cake 

50b8f3bbabe10d535d8a2f6a32725940// Oreo Olallieberry Chocolate Layer Cake

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// Inside-out S’mores Cake

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// Brown Butter Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing and Salted Caramel

carrotcake

// Carrot Cake with Cardamom

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// Malted Milk Cake

 

And we can’t forget the cupcakes!…

peaches

// Peaches & Cream Oat Cupcakes

Cinnamon and Orange Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting1

// Orange Cinnamon Cupcakes

blueb

// Blueberry Preserve Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies

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It should come as no surprise by now that Christa and I both have a serious sweet tooth, so any time I can put a healthy spin a baked treat without sacrificing taste, I’m in. This past weekend was terribly grey and rainy in Boston, so I cuddled up to watch Gossip Girl on Netflix (zero shame) and made these paleo/gluten free cookies. My roommate had one before I could tell her that they were healthy(ish), and she didn’t believe me. No butter or flour? No. Freaking. Way.

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You’ll need:

1 cup of unsalted creamy almond butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks

 

To make:

01. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

02. In a medium sized bowl (or stand mixer) add almond butter. Stir in the sugar, baking soda, salt and vanilla until combined.

03. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs together. Add to almond mix until thoroughly blended. Turn mixer off and fold in chocolate chips/chunks.

04. Measure 2 packed tablespoons per cookie and place on parchment paper. Leave about 2 1/2 inches in between each cookie, because they spread very wide. This should leave six cookies per sheet.

05. Bake for 10-14 minutes. The less time, the chewier (but also more pale). Allow to cool about 5 minutes before moving to a drying rack.

06. Sit down with a glass of milk, dip, and watch Gossip Girl.

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Recipe via

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rkv

Simple Banana Bread

So about two months ago, my lovely new roommate Liz moved in. Not only did she bring her sparkling personality, but also a stand mixer. I’ve never fully been “team stand mixer,” because I’ve always thought they seem like a lot of work to clean and more trouble than they’re worth. Boy was I wrong – this thing is wonderful! It made the process so easy and I will most certainly be getting one eventually.

Since I had some bananas aging at a rapid pace, the first thing I decided to bake with it was some simple banana bread. I was in a purist mood and chose to just make a classic plain loaf, but you can easily throw some chocolate chips, blueberries, orange zest in it for some extra flavor, or my favorite, a streusel topping.

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Ingredients:

– 3 ripe medium bananas

– 2 tbsp of vegetable oil (or apple sauce for a lighter version)

– 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour

– 3/4 tsp baking soda

– 2 tbsp butter, softened

– 1/2 cup light brown sugar, unpacked

– 1 large egg, 1 large egg white

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp vanilla

– baking spray

– 1/2 tsp quick-cook oats (for garnish)

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To make:

01. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a loaf pan with baking spray or butter.

02. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.

03. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs, bananas, oil (or apple sauce) and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

04. Add flour mixture and blend at low speed until combined, do not over mix.

05. Pour into loaf pan, sprinkle with oats, and bake for 40-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

06. Allow to fully cool, then slice.

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{recipe adapted from Skinnytaste)

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rkv

 

Oatmeal Raspberry Crumble Bars

raspberry bar 6 copyLately I’ve been on a bit of a health kick by trying to eat a little better and exercise at least a couple of days a week. However, most days I find myself needing a little sweet treat to keep me satisfied so my brain doesn’t go haywire and binge at midnight. Usually I’ll start my morning off with some plain Greek yogurt and blueberries, or a veggie scramble with toast, but I love to have a baked companion for my coffee. This weekend I decided to prep a little something to bring to work – it’s a little sweet, and a lot crumbly.raspberry bar 1 raspberry bar 3 raspberry bar 2 raspberry bar 4 raspberry bar 5

// Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

– 1 cup flour

– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

– 1/8 teaspoon of salt

– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

– 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

– 1 cup rolled oats

– 1 stick (aka 1/2 cup) of butter, softened

– 1 cup raspberry jam, seeded or seedless

// To make:

01. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking tin.

02. Combine sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oats in a medium bowl. With hands or a pastry blender, combine dry ingredients with the butter until you’ve formed a crumbly mixture.

03. Scoop 2 cups of the mixture onto the baking sheet, and press firmly with the back of a wooden spoon or your knuckles to create the bottom crust. Be sure to press the edges well.

04. Spread the jam on top of the crust, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges (this will prevent them from browning too much).

05. Scoop the rest of the crumble on top, lightly pressing down.

06. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.

07. Allow to cool, then eat up!

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rkv