Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Layered Cake

Serves 12 Slices (Approximately)

Total Time 2 Hours

Ingredients

  • Chocolate Cake
    • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (substitute all-purpose flour)
    • 3 / 4 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-processed preferred)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 / 4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 4 eggs, room temperature
    • 3 / 4 cup milk, room temperature
  • Peanut Butter Buttercream
    • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
    • 1 cup unsalted butter (soft, but slightly cooler than room temperature)
    • 6 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 / 2 cup heavy cream
  • Chocolate Ganache
    • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 3 / 4 cups heavy cream
  • For Decorating
    • 1 / 4 cup mini chocolate chips
    • mini peanut butter cups

Preparation

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trace and cut out parchment paper to line the bottoms of two 8 – inch cake pans. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream butter for 2 minutes until light in color and fluffy. Add granulated sugar and mix for approximately 3-4 minutes or until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

Starting with your dry ingredient mixture, begin alternating additions of dry ingredients and milk to the large mixing bowl. You should begin by adding 1/3 of your dry ingredient mixture and follow by adding 1/2 of your milk. Repeat these additions, mixing after each until just incorporated. Avoid over mixing.

Divide the cake batter equally between each of your cake pans. Place in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes (a dark cake pan will requirer the shorter cook time while a lighter colored cake pan will require the longer cook time) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the cake pans and place on a wire rack to let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in peanut butter and beat again until fully incorporated. Slowly begin to add in your powdered sugar, adding approximately one cup at a time. Begin adding in your heavy cream when the buttercream becomes too thick to beat and continue to mix until the buttercream is fully combined.

Chocolate Ganache

To a small bowl, pour your chocolate chips. Heat your heavy cream on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot and steaming. Avoid bringing the heavy cream to a boil. Pour the heavy cream over the top of the chocolate chips in the bowl. Let this sit for 4-5 minutes, then starting from the center of the bowl, begin stirring together the mixture. The chocolate chips should melt and form a smooth chocolate ganache. Set this aside for assembly.

Cake Assembly

Once your cakes have completely cooled, use a large knife to level off the tops. This will create an flat layer that will make stacking and assembly easier.

To a cake stand or large plate, spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting.

Place one of the cake layers onto the stand. Spread an even layer of buttercream frosting about 1/2 inch thick. This should use approximately 1 cup of your peanut buttercream.

Use about 1/2 cup of chocolate ganache and spread another even layer across the entire layer of peanut buttercream.

Place your other cake layer on top, flipping this cake layer upside down so that the top of your cake has a flat bottom. Press down gently.

Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream frosting. Smooth out the sides. This will be your crumb coat. Chill the cake for at least 20 minutes before using additional buttercream to completely cover and frost the cake.

Use the remainder of the chocolate ganache to spread an even layer oven the top of the cake. Optional: Use a spoon to create drips down the side of the cake with the chocolate ganache.

Top the cake with mini peanut butter cups, mini chocolate chips, and swirls of peanut buttercream. See picture for reference.

Let the chocolate completely set before slicing. This cake should serve approximately 12 people and is best consumed the day it is made. Store remaining leftovers in an airtight container. Enjoy!

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