Friday, April 17, 2009

Cocoa Buttermilk Birthday Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

What happens when a delicious chocolate cake by Dorie Greenspan meets some creamy PB frosting from the Barefoot Contessa? Magic.
You have probably seen some version of this cake floating around on the internet or food blogs. And there is a reason why. It is amazing.
I first saw it on Tara's blog- Smells Like Home and then read on her blog that she found it over at Slow Like Honey.
I made this recipe in the fall and turned the cake into cupcakes and decided then that this is probably my favorite frosting. I have doubled the frosting both times that I have made this recipe, just to make sure there is enough. :)
I was making a couple of cakes for an event and already had a lemony one and a pumpkin one, so I figured the only thing missing was chocolate.
I picked this recipe because I knew it was delicious and sometimes it is nice to be able to whip up a cake that you have already tasted before, so you know that it will be a success. Don't get me wrong, I love trying new things, but every once in awhile, I make the same thing twice. Especially when it is this good.
I have had multiple requests for the recipe and I am sure if you try it and have the heart to share, you will too. Enjoy!

Cocoa Buttermilk Birthday Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
source: Baking: From My Home to Yours-by Dorie Greenspan and Barefoot Contessa
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)
Countless amounts of miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups, smashed or cut up.
Peanut Butter frosting, recipe follows
Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
To make the cake: Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, then the yolks one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); mix only until each new batch is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and, if you want, add the melted chocolate, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the cake pans.
Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (Once the layers are cooled, they can be wrapped airtight and left at room temperature overnight or kept frozen for up to 2 months.)
To Assemble the Cake: Place one layer top side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Frost the top of the layer, and sprinkle the smashed up peanut butter cups inside. Be careful to not overload the inside with peanut butter cups or else it will look uneven when you place the top layer.
Next, cover with the second layer, top side down. Frost the sides and top of the cake, either smoothing the frosting for a sleek look or using a spatula, knife or spoon to swirl it for a more exuberant look. Press the remaining peanut butter cups around the sides of the frosted cake, and if you want you can sprinkle them on top too.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour (or for up to 1 day, if that’s more convenient) to set the frosting, then bring it to room temperature before serving.
Peanut Butter Frosting
from The Barefoot Contessa- Ina Garten
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Coming for the Weekend- Feta-Stuffed Tomatoes


home product said...

wow its delicious! i really love cake,more recipes i want to learn,this is good blog for thus who love to bake cake!thank

Steph said...

The cake looks gorgeous! I wish I could have a taste. I love how you decorated it too!

Engineer Baker said...

Oh that's just unfair. That looks absolutely stunning and delicious, and I had already decided what I was going to bake this weekend. Plans might be changing...

Pamela said...

Oh, yum!! Just yum!

vibi said...

Beautiful, Mare! ...and a wise choice to have added a chocolate one! (I think! LOL LOL LOL) Love what you did with the pb cups!

Aussiemuminthekitchen said...

I love your presentation of the cake. It is beautiful!

Meghan said...

Your decoration of the cake is so great!! What a cute idea to put the frosting accents on the peanut butter cups!

Anonymous said...

Yes! This is the perfect cake. I love the way you decorated it.

Teanna said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH My favorite. You always kill me with deliciousness!

~~louise~~ said...

Scrumptious looking, I just know it melts in your mouth. I would like to be absolutely sure, may I have a piece PLEASE!!!

Thanks for sharing, Mary Ann:)

P.S. I just had to go grab a Resse's that will have to do for now:)

Maria said...

I usually don't make the same thing twice, the hubs hates that, but I know I would have to make this again and again! Have a fun weekend!

oneordinaryday said...

Wow. This looks gorgeous and delish.

The Blonde Duck said...

How can you not love cake with PB icing????

Marie Rayner said...

That is one pretty dangerous looking cake Mary Ann! I doubt I could prevent myself from eating the whole thing!!

Laura said...

That is one beautiful cake!!!!!

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EmmyJMommy said...

Beautiful Cake! I love your blog and am a frequent reader! Love seeing what you are cooking and getting some of your ideas to share with my family!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Every now and then it's so nice to return to an old favorite, isn't it? Especially when your favorite looks this fresh and wonderful. Chocolate and pb are a magic combination, and it sounds like you have found a perfect recipe pairing!

Aimei said...

Oh my! Peanut butter is my favourite! This looks so yummy. Hope to find a good reason to bake this some day. :)

Eliana said...

This cake looks fabulous. I love when cakes aren't iced on the sides. It makes them look so elegant.

Sweet as Coco said...

all I can say is...OMG! This just looks incredible!

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

I have tried a wide variety of cake recipes but none compare to this cake. The texture is so moist, delicate and fluffy!! It has always been a hit and I continue to make it over and over again!