Great for occasions when you don’t want to pull out your stand mixer, this dense cake is a birthday classic—especially when coated in our favorite velvety chocolate frosting.
Peanut Butter Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
- 1½ cups (330 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (128 grams) peanut butter*
- ½ cup (112 grams) vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- 1½ cups (360 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
- Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
- Garnish: sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
- In a large bowl, stir together brown sugar, peanut butter, and oil until combined and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring just until combined.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, stirring just until combined after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
- On an even work surface (a turntable works best), place the first cake layer on a cardboard cake round that matches the size of the cake. Starting in the center of the cake, pipe Chocolate Buttercream in a spiral out toward the edge.
- Add the next cake layer. Use the overflow of frosting from between the layers to coat the outside of the bottom layer.
- Cover the top of the cake with frosting, using an offset spatula to smooth it out while bringing frosting down from the top to the sides of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator or freezer for 30 minutes. (The frosting in your crumb coat does not need to be perfectly smooth, but try to keep it even.)
- Apply Chocolate Buttercream to top of cake with a large metal spoon. Use the back of the spoon to spread frosting down sides, moving spoon in small semicircle motions to create gentle swoops. Garnish with sprinkles, if desired.
*Use regular, smooth, prepackaged peanut butter.
Makes about 4 cups
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 4 tablespoons (60 grams) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cocoa at low speed until well combined. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup (120 grams) at a time, alternately with cream, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, beating until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium-high. Beat until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and salt, beating until combined. Use immediately.