Is there anything better than chocolate and peanut butter? I highly doubt it.
I was curious about the genius who created the most iconic chocolate peanut butter combo, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. (Genius might be an understatement.) According to Wikipedia,
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were created in 1923 by H. B. Reese, a former dairy farmer and shipping foreman for Milton S. Hershey. Reese was inspired by Hershey, so he left the dairy farm to start his own candy business. The H. B. Reese Candy Co. was established in the basement of Reese’s house in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and used Hershey chocolate in his confections. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were his most popular candy, and Reese eventually discontinued his other lines. Several years after his death, Reese’s company was sold to The Hershey Company, then known as Hershey Foods Corporation, in 1963 for $23.5 million.
I’d say those little babies are worth $23.5 mil, wouldn’t you?
Anyways, we had a birthday at work last week, and I decided to tackle the cake. I briefly considered a few fruity flavors before deciding that cake is not really cake if it doesn’t involve chocolate. Peanut butter was the next logical step.
Chocolate Cake Recipe
(adapted from King Arthur)
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup brewed coffee
- 4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9×13 pan. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar together into a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter and mix with an electric mixer at low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sand.
Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee, and add all at once. Mix for 1 minute at low speed, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds more.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between each egg. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, and mix for 1 minute more. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
Bake for 30-34 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack to cool before removing it from the pan.
Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 10 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Combine peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl and cream with electric mixer on high speed until combined. Add sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Once combined, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
I frosted my cake, and topped it with chopped peanut butter cups.
I got distracted and overbaked my cake a tiny bit, but it was still more than edible. 😉 The cake was a hit, and though there were only 4 of us eating it, we made a pretty good dent in it. I brought home some of the leftovers and they obviously didn’t last long. Next time I might try baking some peanut butter cups right into the cake for extra peanut buttery goodness!
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