The Best Peanut Butter Buttercream

Peanut butter is one of my favorite flavors. I add it to my oatmeal, my yogurt (Strange, I know! But I swear it’s delicious with honey!!), and I love baking with it! I’ve made several cakes with peanut butter in the past, including my next level honey roasted peanut butter cake, and my PB&J cake!!

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While I’ve used peanut butter buttercream on a lot of my cakes, I’ve never really shared my go to recipe! It’s really just adding some peanut butter to my classic american buttercream, but the peanut butter really thickens the frosting! I add in some additional heavy cream and egg whites as well, to make it more spreadable, and easier to frost with.

The Best Peanut Butter Frosting

This is my go to peanut butter buttercream recipe! It’s really just adding some peanut butter to my classic american buttercream, but the peanut butter really thickens the frosting! I add a touch more heavy cream and a tiny bit of egg whites to thin it out, and make it nice and smooth.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp pasteurized egg whites (room temperature)

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and peanut butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. 

  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. 

  3. Once fully mixed, add in the egg whites and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 

  4. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Recipe Notes

If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

When using this to frost my go-to chocolate layer cake recipe (which can be used to make four 7 inch or 8 inch cake layers) I usually make 1.5 – 2 batches, depending on how I’m decorating the cake.

Banoffee Cake

Banana cakes are so underrated!! They’re one of my favorite types of cake, but sadly I don’t make very often! I’ve made a few different banana cakes in the past, but wanted to do something different with this one.

I recently tried Banoffee pie for the first time, and realized it would make the perfect cake flavor!! It’s made with a delicious soft toffee filling, bananas, and whipped cream. I’ve incorporated all of these elements into this cake!

Instructions:

To speed up this process, make the “toffee filling” a day in advance!! Place the can on its side in a large pot. Fill the pot with water, making sure the water level is at least 2 inches above the can. Set pot over high heat and allow to come to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours; check the pot every 30 minutes to ensure the water level stays above the can, adding boiling water as necessary to top it up.

Carefully remove the can from the water using tongs or a large spoon, and set on a wire rack to FULLY cool to room temperature. It is very important that the can is fully cooled before opening, otherwise the can may explode due to the heat and pressure!

The following day, make the banana cake layers. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and line four round 8 inch cake pans. Set aside.

Mash the bananas (you can use a fork or a mixer for this) and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on high speed until smooth (about 1 minute).

Use a spatula to scrape the sides and  bottom of the bowl as needed. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla. Beat on medium speed until combined, then beat in the mashed bananas, and lemon juice. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three installments, alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Carefully fold in the mini chocolate chips. Do not overmix. The batter will be on the thick side, and there might be a few lumps of banana!

Divide batter evenly between 4 pans. Bake for about 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out (relatively) clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to fully cool in the pan.

Next, prepare the whipped vanilla buttercream. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a whisk attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  Alternate with small splashes of cream. Scrap the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure all the powdered sugar is mixed in. Add in any remaining heavy cream, then whip on high for about 1 minute.

Pour in the egg whites, and beat on high again for about 30 seconds. Add in the vanilla and salt, and mix until fully incorporated. The frosting should be rather thick, like whipped topping!

Stack and frost layers on a 10 inch, grease-proof, cardboard cake round. Frost a ring of whipped vanilla buttercream around the perimeter of the layer, and add a generous scoop of the toffee filling into the center of the layer.

banoffee dulce de leche add

Spread evenly over the cake layer, and top with slices of fresh bananas. Repeat with remaining layers, being sure it the toffee filling and bananas stay within the frosting boarder.

banoffee blog bananers

Cover the cake in a thin crumb coat with the vanilla frosting, and chill in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes.

bannoffee crumb coat

Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, add a second layer of frosting. Smooth using a bench scraper. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.

Once smooth, spread a thin ring of toffee around the base of the cake, and then use a large offset spatula to drag the toffee up the side of a cake. Try to keep the angle of each frosting drag the same, to give the cake a cohesive look. I ended up going around the cake twice, to really blend together all my toffee swoops.

banoffee toffee swipes

Once the sides of the cake are completed, smooth any over hanging frosting at the top of the cake into the center, using a bench scraper. Top the cake with a circle of freshly slice bananas, and a drizzle of warmed leftover toffee (I heated the toffee in the microwave for about 15 seconds).

banoffee toffee drizzle

I’ve really been loving  simple cake tops lately, so I was obsessed with the finished look of this cake. If you don’t plan to eat this cake immediately, the bananas on the top of the cake will brown! To trouble shoot, you can either brush the bananas with lemon juice to prevent browning, or use banana chips. This cake is truly delicious, and such a fun spin on a banana cake!!

banoffee cake sliced

Banana Cake Layer Recipe (adapted from one of my FAVORITE bakers Sally’s Baking Addiction)

  • 3 large ripe bananas (1 and 1/2 cups mashed)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (not shown in pictures, but i added them to my livestream version of this cake and they totally make it!!)

Toffee Filling / Dulce to Leche (sourced from Serious Eats)

  • 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk, label removed

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Recipe:

  • 4 sticks or 2 cups (434 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups (907 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp  salt
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Additional Decorations:

  • 3-4 fresh bananas (optional) or banana chips for decoration

Lemon Meringue Cake

One cake flavor I’ve been dying to make is lemon meringue! Since it’s finally starting to feel like summer, I figured it was time to test it out. To make this cake reminiscent of a lemon meringue pie, I filled it with lemon curd, frosted it with a lemon buttercream, and topped it with toasted meringue. The decorations on this cake is really easy and simple, making it the perfect cake to whip together for a summer get together.

This cake is much smaller compared to my normal cakes! It is made using a half batch of my go-to layer cake recipe, and feed around 12 people.

Lemon Cake Batter:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 egg whites)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • juice 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Lemon Buttercream Frosting: 

  • 4 sticks or 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp  salt
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • juice 1/2 large lemon

Yellow Ganache Drips:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (9 oz.)
  • yellow gel food coloring

Lemon Curd (sourced from the Food Network):

  • 4 large egg yolks (reserve the egg whites for the meringue)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), room temperature

Meringue (sourced from the Food Network):

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 7” round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest, and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-37 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Once the layers have fully cooled, trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife.

As the cake layers bake, prepare the lemon curd. With a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in each egg one at a time, allowing them to mix completely before beating in another egg. Beat in the lemon juice and zest, until incorporated. Over medium heat, in a double boiler, stir the mixture. Stir mixture frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken (about 15 minutes). Pour into bowl and let cool in fridge. If you have any left overs, place them in an air tight container, and use within a week.

Next, make the lemon buttercream frosting. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of the cream and lemon juice. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla, lemon zest, and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Make the yellow ganache drips next, to allow the mixture to cool before adding to the cake.  Heat heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds-1 minute, until bubbling. Gently pour white chocolate chips into the heavy cream, making sure they are fully covered with cream. Allow mixture to sit for 2 minutes. Stir slowly until the cream and white chocolate are combined, then heat again for 20 seconds and stir. Repeat as necessary until all the chocolate bits are fully melted and incorporated. Then add gel food coloring if desired. Allow to cool until desired viscosity is reached.

If it seems too thin or thick, you can add a touch more chocolate chips or heavy cream! The type of cream and white chocolate that you use can affect the consistency, so feel free to adjust as needed. I like to put my ganache into plastic squirt bottles when decorating cakes, but you can also use a spoon to drizzle it over cakes.

The last component is the meringue. Whisk the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) until the mixture is warm and the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan; add the cream of tartar and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stack and frost layers on a 10 inch, grease-proof, cardboard cake round. Frost a ring of lemon buttercream around the perimeter of the layer, and add a generous scoop of lemon curd into the center of the layer. Spread evenly over the cake layer, then repeat with remaining layers, being sure it stays within the frosting boarder.

lemon merinuge adding lemon curd

Cover the cake in a thin crumb coat with remaining lemon frosting, and chill in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes. Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, add a second layer of frosting. Smooth using a bench scraper. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.

smoothing lemon cake

Once the frosting is chilled, add on the yellow colored white chocolate ganache drips.  Always be sure to do a test drip, to ensure that your ganache is at the right temperature. Scoop meringue onto the top of the cake, shaping into a swirling mound using a small offset spatula.

toasting the merginue lemon cake

Brown the meringue using a kitchen torch, then enjoy!

me with lemon cake

Chocolate Raspberry Mother’s Day Cake

Mom’s deserve something special. They deserve something just as sweet and wonderful as they are! This cake is inspired by my Mom, who is a big fan of both chocolate and fresh berries.

To this day, my Mom still grows the most delicious strawberries and raspberries in our garden. I can’t see a berry and not think of my Mom! I wanted to make a cake that was packed with fresh raspberries and chocolate, but wasn’t too sweet or heavy. I ended up making a chocolate sponge cake, filled with a whipped chocolate buttercream and fresh raspberries, and frosted with a dark chocolate ganache. The recipe and some more Mother’s Day cake inspiration can be found below:

Make the dark chocolate ganache first, as it needs at least a few hours to cool and set. To make, simply place the chocolate (about 2 bags of dark chocolate chips) and heavy cream in a heat proof bowl, and heat it for 30 second increments (stirring between). Usually after about 2 minutes of heat, all the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, place plastic wrap over the top of the ganache, and let it sit at room temperature. Before adding the room temperature ganache to a cake, I give it a slow stir with a spatula.

I also recommend making the chocolate simple syrup in advance. It needs time to cool before it can be used, and preparing it ahead of time makes the following day a  bit easier. Place the sugar and water in a pot, and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, mix in the cocoa, and turn  off the heat. Place in a sealed Tupperware container in the fridge overnight.

Bake 4, 8-inch round cake layers using my chocolate cake recipe and instructions. I baked my 8 inch layers for about 32 minutes. Allow layers to cool fully before leveling with a serrated knife. Place pans into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process, and lock in the moisture.

While the layers bake, make the whipped chocolate buttercream. Begin by melting the cup of chocolate chips. Heat it in the microwave for 1 minute at half power in large heat proof bowl, or over a double boiler. Stir until smooth, then set aside briefly to allow it to cool just a bit (not more than 5 minutes).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a whisk attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  Alternate with small splashes of cream. Scrap the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure all the powdered sugar is mixed in. Add in any remaining heavy cream, then whip on high for about 1 minute. Next, add in the melted chocolate. Beat on high again, until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Pour in the egg whites, and beat on high again for about 30 seconds. Add in the vanilla and salt, and mix until fully incorporated. The frosting should be rather thick, like whipped topping!

After the cake layers are baked and fully cooled, level the cakes by cutting off the tops using a serrated knife. I like to “taste test” the cake tops with any left over frosting or ganache once I’ve decorated the cake! The cake tops can also be used to make cake balls. Use a large, sterile paint brush to douse the cake layers with a generous coat of chocolate simple syrup.

Next, it’s time to assemble the cake! Place the ganache into a piping bag, and pipe a ring around the perimeter of the cake layer.

blackout ganache boarded piping

Scoop a few spatulas of whipped buttercream into the center of the cake layer, and use an offset spatula to evenly spread it out to the ganache boarder.

mothers day adding in whipped filling

Press a generous amount of raspberries into the whipped chocolate frosting. Repeat until all layers are stacked.

mothers day adding rasp

Repeat this process with the remaining cake layers. Once stacked, cover the cake with a thick layer of chocolate ganache, and smooth with a patterned bench scrapper (I got these Wilton “icing combs” on amazon).

mother's day adding exterior

Pipe a boarder around the top of the cake using a small French tip, and fill the top of the cake with remaining whipped chocolate buttercream.

adding topping mother's day cake

This cake is just as delicious as it looks! It feeds about 16 people, so be sure to gather your whole family around to enjoy it. Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing mother’s out there!!

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Recipes:

My Go-To Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

I have used a few different chocolate cake recipes over the years, and each on has it’s own merit. My moist chocolate cake recipe is so soft and fluffy, I love the way it tastes!! It’s great for beginning bakers and is really easy to make, but it isn’t the easiest to stack and frost with perfectly smooth sides! When I was first getting into baking, taste was my #1 priority, so this didn’t bother me much.

As I became more into decorating (and obsessed with frosting cakes with smooth sides), I found it was so much easier to frost cake layers that have a bit more structure, like my favorite vanilla layer cake recipe. I fell in love with the strength of the layers, how well they help up while being frosted. I altered the recipe to a make a chocolate version, and used this as my chocolate layer cake recipe for a while.

The only downside is that I like to trim away the carmelization on the sides, in additional to leveling the top of the cake. This means an extra step in the process, and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the texture of the layers.

This lead me to continue to try out new chocolate cake recipes, and experiment. I really loved using Yolanda Gampps chocolate sponge cake recipe, but didn’t like that they baked with such huge domes!! I felt like i was cutting off 2/3 of each layer when I leveled them. However, the layers tasted great with simple syrup, and had great structure.

I decided to use Yolanda’s recipe as the starting point, but combined my favorite elements from all my past chocolate cake recipes. I chose to use black cocoa (I love the taste and color it creates), swapped some of the water for buttermilk, added slightly more flour, and used less baking soda.

The result?? A soft, tender chocolate cake that can handle a splash of simple syrup, yet still hold up while being frosted. I’m obsessed with this recipe, and hope you all will be too!

dirt cup cake - with dirt cup

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line four 7 inch or 8 inch pans with parchment rounds, and spray with non-stick spray.

Add the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on high for 1 minute. The mixture should become light in color. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Then add baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on high for another minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the cup of hot water, and cup of buttermilk. Pour in the cup of black cocoa, and whisk until no clumps remain.

Next, add 1 cup of flour into the butter /egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure the flour is fully incorporated. Pour in half of the buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and gently pulse the mixture to incorporate the liquid (if you don’t, you’ll end up splattering the cocoa mixture all over you kitchen! Please learn from my mistakes :P). Mix in the 2nd cup of flour, at a medium speed. Pour in the remaining buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and again gently pulse, then mix on low until fully combined. Add in the last cup of flour, and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Mix on high for 30 additional seconds, to incorporate a bit more air into the batter.

Evenly divide between the four prepared pans . I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure each pan has exactly the same amount of batter. Bake according to the size of pan. For 7 inch layers, bake for 35-37 minutes. For 8 inch layers, bake for 32-33 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow layers to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the edge of the pans to help separate the layers from the pans. Place the pans in the freezer for about 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers. Use a serrate knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

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Chocolate Cake Recipe:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup buttermilk (1.5% milk fat), room temp
  • 1 cup black cocoa (I order mine on amazon)

The Best Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I’ve shared my go to vanilla american buttercream recipe, but frequently get asked if have a chocolate frosting recipe! Whenever I make a chocolate cake, I usually cover it in ganache. Since ganache is rather rich, I like to fill the cake with a lighter filling. This whipped chocolate buttercream is the perfect cake filling! It’s light, fluffy, and not too sweet (or at least not as sweet as my classic American buttercream). This frosting also can be used to cover a cake.

This tried and true whipped chocolate buttercream recipe uses my vanilla buttercream recipe as a base, but adds in some melted chocolate, and a bit more heavy cream, and pasteurized egg whites (sounds crazy, but give the frosting a really silky, fluffy texture!). The full recipe and tutorial can be found below:

Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients: 

  • 4 sticks or 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips (roughly 6 oz)
  • 8 cups (2 lbs) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of pasteurized egg whites (from a carton)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Begin by melting the cup of chocolate chips. Heat it in the microwave for 1 minute at half power in large heat proof bowl, or over a double boiler. Stir until smooth, then set aside briefly to allow it to cool just a bit (not more than 5 minutes).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a whisk attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  Alternate with small splashes of cream. Scrap the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure all the powdered sugar is mixed in. Add in any remaining heavy cream, then whip on high for about 1 minute. Next, add in the melted chocolate. Beat on high again, until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Pour in the egg whites, and beat on high again for about 30 seconds. Add in the vanilla and salt, and mix until fully incorporated. The frosting should be rather thick, like whipped topping!

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If yours isn’t as thick as you’d like, place the bowl in the freezer for about 5 minutes, then beat on high again for about 1 minute.

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When using this to fill my favorite layer cake recipe , I add a very generous filling between four 7 inch or 8 inch cake layers. I usually have a bit leftover, and either incorporate it into the decoration of the cake, or eat it with fresh fruit 😛 Leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.