Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie Cake

Who else loves peanut butter blossom cookies?? They're one of my favorite holiday treats, and were the first thing I baked on my own when I began experimenting in my kitchen. I always make them with Jif® Peanut Butter , and they never disappoint!

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To mix things up this year, I decided to kick off my holiday baking with a cake inspired by these classic treats.  I used Jif to make peanut butter frosting and cake layers, which gave my cake the same fresh-roasted peanut taste that makes the sweet and salty cookies so delicious! I decided to add some Christmas lights too, since Christmas is just around the corner.

To make this cake look just like these delectable cookies, the bottom tier is made with two massive 10-inch peanut butter cake layers. The top tier is made with chocolate cake layers, frosted with peanut butter chocolate buttercream. I also carved some lines into the base of the cake, and added a sprinkle of granulated sugar to stay true to each delicious component of this cookie.

Peanut Butter Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
  • ½ cup creamy Jif Peanut Butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (or about 7 egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

Chocolate Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

Peanut Butter Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup Jif creamy peanut butter
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup of unsweetened baking cocoa (to be added at the end to ½ of the finished buttercream)

Additional decorations:

  • Candy coated chocolate almonds
  • Green gel food coloring
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Begin by making the peanut butter cake layers:

  1. Line two, 10-inch round cake pans with parchment rounds, and place a flower nail upside in the center of each pan (helps the layers bake more evenly and quickly). Grease the sides of the pan and the flower nail with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until fully combined.
  3. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter and the Jif Peanut Butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until the mixture looks crumbly.
  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla 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.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake for 35-37 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean). 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 30 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Carefully invert the pans, and remove the layers from the pans onto a wire rack, to finish cooling.
  7. Once fully cooled, level one of the cake layers using a serrate knife. Leave the second cake layer with a dome. Set aside.

Next, make the chocolate cake layers:

  1. Line two 6-inch pans and two 4-inch pans with parchment rounds, and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. 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.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Then add baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on high for another minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the hot water, and buttermilk. Pour in the black cocoa, and whisk until no clumps remain.
  5. Next, add 1/2 cup of flour into the butter/egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure the flour is fully incorporated.
  6. 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 your kitchen!
  7. Repeat this process, ending by mixing in the last ½ cup of flour.
  8. Divide the batter between the pans, filling each pan at least 1 inch high with batter.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  10. 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.
  11. Place the pans in the freezer for about 30 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.
  12. Once the layers are fully cooled, use a serrate knife to level the tops of the layers.

As the cake layers cool, prepare the peanut butter and chocolate buttercream.

  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 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 tablespoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  5. Place ½ of the frosting into a separate bowl, and mix in ½ cup of unsweetened baking cocoa and an extra tablespoon of heavy cream to make chocolate peanut butter buttercream for the top tier of the cake. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
  6. Place ½ cup of peanut butter buttercream into a small bowl, and add forest green gel food coloring. Mix until evenly colored, then place in a small piping bag. Snip a small (less than ½ cm) opening at the tip of the bag, and set aside.

Now assemble the cake!

Spread a small dab of buttercream in the center of a 12-inch, grease-proof cake board. Center the leveled, peanut butter cake layer on the cake board, and top with a generous, even layer of peanut butter buttercream. Place the un-trimmed peanut butter cake layer on top of this. Cover the cake layers in a crumb coat, and place in fridge to chill.

frosting PB cake layer

Next, begin to make the chocolate portion of the cake. Using a 6-inch cardboard cake round, stack and frost the chocolate cake layers with the chocolate peanut butter buttercream. Smooth any overhanging frosting, and then use a serrated knife to trim the cake into a cone-like shape. Cover in a thin crumb coat, and place in the fridge to chill.

cutting choco cake layers

Remove the peanut butter cake from the fridge, and add a second, thicker layer of peanut butter frosting. Use an acetate sheet to create rounded sides on the cake, to emulate the shape of a peanut butter cookie. Carefully add granulated sugar onto the peanut butter frosting, to emulate the sugar that peanut butter blossom cookies are rolled in before they are baked.

adding granulated sugar

Trace the shape of a 6-inch circle on top of the cake (using the cake pan or a 6-inch cake round), and scoop out the circle using a spoon (removing about 1 inch from the top of the cake). This will help make it look like the chocolate portion of cake was pressed into the peanut butter layer, just like a peanut butter blossom cookie fresh out of the oven. Set aside.

scooping out PB cake

Remove the chocolate cake from the fridge, and add a second, thicker layer of frosting using the chocolate peanut butter buttercream. Use an acetate sheet to create slightly curved sides around the base of the cake. Once the frosting is smooth, carefully place on top of the peanut butter cake layer, into the carved area on top of the cake.

frosting chocolate cake

Use a small knife to carve some lines into the frosting, to resemble the cracks that peanut butter blossom cookies have when once they’re baked.

adding cracks to PB cake

The finishing touch is to use the green buttercream to pipe a line around the chocolate cake, and place the candy-coated chocolate almonds beneath it, to look like Christmas lights!

adding on lights to cake

The last step is to gather your friends and family around, and slice into this cake! This cake feeds about 25 people.

sliced PB clossom ake

Reese’s Fudge Ripple Cake

I don’t even need to say anything about this cake, it speaks for itself. It starts with a rich, chocolate fudge cake, and is topped with a fluffy peanut butter buttercream frosting, smooth chocolate icing, and of course Reece’s peanut butter cups. To me, it sounds like a little slice of heaven! To make this cake, you will need:

Sour Cream Fudge CakeThis is a perfect cake for stacking and sculpting because of its tight crumb and firm structure (makes two 9″ rounds)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup regular sour cream
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups hot coffee

Chocolate Frosting
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 12 oz. packages Reese’s minis, unwrapped and chopped (for middle layer and garnish)

I know it seems like a lot of ingredients, but I bet you already have a majority of them in your pantry! I also want to say that this recipe is pure genius, and that I knew it would be a winner when I saw that it included coffee and sour cream in the batter.

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For the Sour Cream Fudge Cake, I started off preheating my oven to 350 degrees, buttering my 9 inch cake pans, lining them with parchment paper rounds, and buttering the paper. I then dusted the entire interior of each pan with cocoa powder. Then I got started on the actual cake batter, and sifted the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar into my mixing bowl. In a separate bowl I mixed my wet ingredients, which included the eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, cooled coffee, and vanilla. I then added my wets to my drys in three installments, and beat until everything was incorporated. I poured the batter into the two pans and let them bake for about 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick came a clean. I then let them cool in the pans for about 20 minutes, and removed them to let them finish cooling on a wire rack.

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As the cakes were baking, I got started on the frosting. I made the chocolate frosting first, and mixed together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, and salt until it was smooth. I then added the corn syrup (this gives the frosting it’s luscious gloss) and vanilla and process until just combined. The last step was to pour in the melted chocolate, and mix until smooth and creamy.

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For the peanut butter frosting, I whipped the cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, and salt on a low speed until it was combined. I then added the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time. Once all the sugar had been incorporated, I bought the speed up to high and whipped until it was light and fluffy.  Note: The ingredients may appear to separate at first, but it’s ok! Continue to whip air into the frosting to emulsify the fats and achieve a smooth, fluffy texture; it can take up to five minutes.

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Then came the fun part, the assembly!! I cut each cake in half for four even layers.  I placed one of the bottom layers on a tray I would be using to transport the cake to work. I spread half of the chocolate frosting evenly on the first layer, then set the second layer on top. On second layer, I spread 1/2″ of peanut butter frosting.  I then sprinkled the entire surface of frosting layer with chopped Reese’s.  I lightly pressed the candy into the frosting. Next I placed the third layer on top, and evenly spread the remaining chocolate frosting onto it.  I then placed the final layer of cake on top.  I recommend using one of the “bottom” pieces of cake and flipping it over so that the smooth bottom becomes the top of the cake.

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I then frosted the exterior of the cake with the peanut butter icing.  I pressed slivers of chopped Reese’s along the bottom rim of the cake, and then sprinkled the remaining Reese’s peanut  butter cups on the top of the cake. Next I put the remaining chocolate frosting into a piping bag, and drizzled it in a ring around the top of the cake. I then placed some Reese’s Pieces on top of the chocolate drizzle! Then the REALLY hard part came. I had to let the cake sit in my fridge overnight until work the next day. It was definitely a winner!!

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