Thursday, March 31, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Cheesecake


Last week I got an email from a kind reader asking if I would consider developing a recipe for one of her favorite "factory-made" desserts.  The minute I clicked the link she provided, I knew I wanted to make her cheesecake dreams come true. 

I had concerns about how this cake would translate to real world baking.  No doubt it is mass-produced with industrial equipment since it is sold nationwide at a popular restaurant chain. I knew I would have to simplify each of the recipe's elements and keep the baking equipment simple.  With its many layers, the recipe I came up with is time consuming, but it will not be difficult for the home baker to execute.


One other thing.  This cake weighs in excess of 10 lbs.  What accounts for the girth?  It has four layers, two of which are dense cheesecakes filled with peanut butter cups, layered with a caramel made with two cans of sweetened condensed milk and a whopping 80 caramels (amongst other things... ahem...lots of butter).  Sandwiched between the caramel layers are salty peanuts that provide a nice contrast to the sweetness, and a light as air whipped chocolate ganache frosting wraps the whole thing up.  It is topped with an easy to make peanut butter frosting and garnished with more peanut butter cups and chocolate curls.

Of course, the chocolate curls are optional, but just in case you want to make them I'm including a how-to video for them in this post.








Below are many of the steps illustrated in pictures.  Should you choose to indulge your time and waistline in this veritable peanut butter and chocolate opus, you may find them helpful.


The recipe has notes that correspond with the numbered pictures.  This may help you to visualize the steps as you read the recipe.

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Cheesecake
Serves 500  15-20 at least                                                                                          [click to print]

Note: Plan ahead, this cake should be made over the course of 2-3 days.  Please read this recipe in its entirety before making. I have included lots of helpful notes throughout the text.

Edit:  Also, please note that this cheesecake should be stored in the freezer and is easier to cut when still partially frozen.

Crustless Cheesecake portion:
30 mini peanut butter cups, each one quartered
2 sticks (16 tbsp) softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4- 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1- 3 oz. package cook and serve vanilla pudding
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two 9" pans with shortening, line the pans with parchment and then grease the parchment.  Lightly flour the pans and tap out excess over the sink.  Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add cream cheese a little at a time until smooth.  Scrape bowl down and beat again on medium speed, adding eggs one at a time.  Add remaining ingredients except peanut butter cups.  Mix again until smooth.

With a rubber spatula, fold in quartered peanut butter cups.  Divide batter evenly between pans.  You should have 8 cups of batter, so 4 cups in each pan.  Smooth batter with offset spatula (Fig.1) and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour.  Cheesecake will puff up during baking, then deflate when taken out.

Do not turn out cheesecakes when they are finished baking.  Put them directly in the freezer, and leave until frozen solid. 

Turn out frozen cheesecake layers and peel parchment from the bottoms.  Line the pan they were in with enough parchment or wax paper to hang over the sides of the pan (Fig. 3).  Place the cheesecakes back in the pans.  This makes removal FAR more easy after caramel layer has been added.  Place cheesecakes back into the freezer while you make the caramel layer.

Caramel for cake layers:
 2-14 oz cans of sweetened condensed milk
10 tbsp. butter
80 caramels
Scant cup of salted peanut halves

Important note: This recipe is made in two batches, so all of the ingredients are divided.

In a large microwaveable bowl, place 1- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 5 tbsp. butter, and 40 caramels.  Heat at 1 minute intervals until smooth.  My household microwave at full power took about 4 minutes.

Pour caramel evenly over frozen layers of cheesecakes.  Be careful to not let much of the caramel drip over the sides.  Sprinkle each layer with 3-4 tbsp. of salted peanut halves.  Return cheesecake layers to freezer.

Chocolate cake portion:
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup of coffee - must be hot!

Grease 2- 9" pans with shortening and line with parchment.  Grease parchment and lightly flour pan, tapping out excess.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  In a 4 cup glass measure, mix all the wet ingredients except hot coffee!

Turn mixer on low speed and gradually add wet ingredients to dry.  Stop and scrape down the bowl, making sure to scrape the bottom where dregs tend to gather.  Return mixer to low speed and beat in hot coffee.  Mixture will be very thin.

Divide batter evenly between the two pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes (check at 35).  Cake is ready when toothpick tester comes out clean.  Cool slightly in pans.  Run knife around the edge of cakes and turn them out.  Let them rest on a cooling rack.

When cool, level cakes with a serrated knife or cake leveler.  Line cake pans with parchment or wax paper, enough to hang over the edges (just like previously with the cheesecake layers).  Return cake layers to parchment lined pans.

Make 2nd batch of caramel as directed for the cheesecake layer.  Pour caramel evenly over both chocolate cake layers (Fig. 4), sprinkle with 3-4 tbsp. salted peanut halves.  Place caramel covered cakes in freezer until caramel has hardened a bit (about 15 minutes).

Remove all cake layers from freezer.  Remove all cake layers from pans using the parchment overhang to pull them out.  Stack layers beginning with 1 layer of chocolate cake as the bottom, then cheesecake layer, then chocolate layer, and last cheesecake layer will be on top (Fig.5).  Wrap layers in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.  You'll frost your cake the next day.

Chocolate ganache frosting:
13 oz. or 1 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tbsp. corn syrup


Note: Remove cheesecake layers from freezer and unwrap.  Choose your serving plate and line it with wax paper strips.  Place cake over strips.  Now you're ready to frost.

Put chocolate chips in a medium bowl or 4 cup measure.  Heat cream in a saucepan over medium high heat until very hot but not boiling.  Pour hot cream over chips and stir until smooth.  Remove 2/3 cup chocolate mixture and pour into a small bowl.  Add 1/2 tbsp. corn syrup and stir.  When combined, immediately pour over top of cake (Fig. 6), creating a shiny dark topping and taking care that most remains on top of the cake and doesn't spill down the edges (Fig.7).  Return cake, uncovered this time,  to freezer.

Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment.  Pour remaining chocolate ganache into the stand mixer bowl and whip on the highest speed for 5-10 minutes (I set my timer for 7 minutes) until icing is light and fluffy.  Icing is ready when it is thick and can be pulled into a stiff peak (Fig. 8).

Remove cake layers from freezer and frost sides with chocolate ganache using an offset spatula.  The whipped frosting should grab on to the frozen cakes well.  Use all the ganache frosting, evening the cake's surface as you work.


Chocolate curls:
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips -semisweet

Equipment:
11x14 cookie sheet
Small brownie spatula with a sharp edge - like this one

Melt chocolate chips at 30 second intervals in the microwave; stir until smooth.  Pour onto cookie sheet and spread evenly with an offset spatula.   Place in refrigerator for 5-7 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm and has a matte appearance.

Remove from refrigerator and let stand for a few minutes (3-5ish) at room temperature.  With a small, sharp spatula, begin scraping chocolate at one edge in a thin strip.  If chocolate breaks into pieces it is too cold, so allow it to stand a few minutes more at room temp.  Chocolate should curl easily as you run your spatula under the chocolate and down the length of the cookie sheet.  Place curls in a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready for use.

To garnish cake with chocolate curls, let cake stand at room temperature for a few minutes, then remove curls from refrigerator and gently press into the sides of the cake.


Peanut Butter Frosting and Garnish:
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
8 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
9 mini peanut butter cups

Cream peanut butter and butter together in stand mixer with whisk attachment.  Gradually add powdered sugar.  Whip on high speed until light and fluffy.

Transfer icing to a piping bag fitted with a large french piping tip.  Pipe 8 large swirls around the top edge of cake, and pipe one swirl in the middle.  Garnish each swirl with a peanut butter cup.

Notes:

  • This cake should be sliced and served cold, not frozen.   ***Edit: I'm being told from some of you that it is easier to slice partially frozen.  Store in freezer.
  • Using the exact same pans for both cheesecakes and chocolate cakes will keep you from having to trim the edges when stacking all layers together.  (I had to trim the cheesecake edges a little, see Fig.7)
  • The caramel is very gooey and when cold can be a little resistant to slicing. Run a knife under hot water and dry it off, then cut the cake with the warm knife for a nice even slice.

Thank you Debbie for the excellent post idea!  I loved writing this recipe and  taste-testing the results!

228 comments:

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A.D.M. said...

LOVE IT!!!

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

Please deliver this to me ASAP! It looks fabulous!

Jennifurla said...

Oh my you have all sorts of out done yourself...now I need to come up with a challenge for you, they obviously suit you! Really great job with the curls, really adds an over the top elegance

Caelyn said...

This is GORGEOUS. I'm amazed at how attractive it is. 1000x more attractive than their version.

Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy. said...

This is quite possibly the most sinful dessert I have ever laid my eyes on! I love all the different layers of chocolate, caramel and nuts. I would love to have slice of this right now. Those chocolate curls are amazing!

snippets of thyme said...

Spectacular! I am going to try a cake this weekend that calls for chocolate curls on the side! THANKYOU! for the video. That must have been a feat to accomplish for sure and your results are outstanding!

Cara said...

That looks just stunning. Where did you find your cake stand? I love it!

Marisa said...

I gained 3lbs just looking at these photos. Opus indeed!

DessertForTwo said...

I enjoyed your video! Such a cute song :)

Sue said...

Oh my heavens! I think you've outdone yourself, Heather! This has got to be THE ultimate cheesecake! It's such a treat for the senses! SO beautiful! I love the video(audio and visual)~thanks for including it. Time to post this on facebook:)

Couldn't Be Parve said...

Wow! I am speechless. This is the most beautiful, delicious looking cake
I have seen in a long time. Amazing!

Kelsey@RedefiningDomestic said...

Oh heaven help my skinny jeans!

Mon said...

Oh. My. God. THAT looks utterly amazing.

Candy Crusader said...

This looks waay decadent!! delish! Love the chocolate curl detail!

Jenny said...

I really, really, really love sweets, but I can't see how someone could eat that. Even a little bit. Not trying to be a hater. I love this blog. I'm just saying. Holy mackerel.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I would love to taste it. Gonna have to put on my list of things to make.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, this cake is amazing, beautiful and so tempting! A heavenly combination of flavors. Devilishly scrumptious.

Cheers,

Rosa

Lora said...

This is a masterpiece. I have he biggest weakness for peanut butter cups. This cake will surely do me in. Fantastic! Love the video, btw ;-)

Annika said...

Oooooh, looking at this makes me go weak in the knees. Will have to give the recipe a try!

Frances said...

GORGEOUS

warmvanillasugar said...

Holy crap. This cake is beyond amazing. I'm freaking drooling!!

Jami said...

I did something similar to this for my husband's birthday in February. Having to make up the recipe as I went along I made a chocolate chip flecked cheesecake and then brownies as the "cake" layer and used some leftover chocolate fondue and combined it with your cream cheese frosting recipe for in between the layers and the outside. Definitely very rich and dense and it took us both sharing it almost a week and a half to polish it off. Also, made it using a single 6 in round cake pan. With it being such a small pan, it was easy enough to bake off a full batch and cut it in half for the layers once it cooled. I may have to use this recipe for a dinner party coming up though!

amanda @ fake ginger said...

OMG. Please send me a pound or so of this bad boy. Looks amazing! :)

Kim said...

WOW! This cake is totally awesome!

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOODNESS....I NEED A CIGARETTE!!!! PATTI B.

Misc Momma said...

I want to know what this cost to make! This sounds delicious to me, but I don't know if i know enough people who like the peanut butter/chocolate combo to eat this... I bet it could easily be swapped for a snickers version.

cookies and cups said...

This is everything that's right in the world all rolled into one dessert.

Amanda said...

You're making me drool... And I don't even like cheesecake!

The Blue-Eyed Bakers said...

Oh gosh, oh wow, ok. We are obsessing, in love, amazed, drooling. This looks totally, insanely delicious! GAH!

FromTheHeartsOf said...

Oh my god, I've died and gone to heaven!! This is just too much!

Kaitlin said...

Stunning cake! It's absolutely beautiful and I bet it tastes amazing. You're so awesome!

We Are Not Martha said...

OMG this is my dream come true!! Lots of steps, but I have a feeling it's worth it! Bookmarked :)

Sues

Erin said...

Oh. My. God. That might be the prettiest cake I've ever seen. It'd almost be a shame to cut into it, except I bet it tastes absolutely AMAZING.

chocolatesanddreams said...

Yum yum yum ....
Look at that lovely. Can u make that for my birthday ! ! N i just love that cake stand. So different ...

Ali said...

Seriously! You're desserts are just plain stunning!! Can I come over for a cup of joe?!

The Cafe Sucre Farine said...

That is the most stunning cheesecake I've ever seen! I just love what you did with the chocolate curls - thanks for an amazing looking recipe some great tips!

Audra said...

Heather- you are a brilliant artist and baker. You inspire me.

Steph@PlainChicken.com said...

Holy cow - that looks amazing!!! I'd love a piece right now!

I'll have to give this a try one weekend. I know I'd love it.

Heidi D said...

Oh! My! God!

I truly haven't seen anything this appealing in years! I wants it!

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef said...

That is just gorgeous! Beautiful job in creating the "factory" cake.

Chels said...

Oh my word, My husband my possibly be indebted to me all the days of his life if I made this. It probably wouldn't look nearly as gorgeous as yours though. Your Pictures are so beautiful!

Caroline @ chocolate and carrots said...

This is truly amazing. Absolutely beautiful!!! I would hope to someday make something remotely as beautiful and delicious as this cake. :-D

oh, buckets' blog said...

oh, my goodness - YUM!
I love your wirey cake stand - would you mind sharing where it's from?!

Evelyn said...

OMG!!!!! Water is running in my mouth right now! It looks so yummy! I HAVE to make it one day but I'm afraid I will eat it all myself... lol.
The cake looks really beautifull with all the layers and the chocolate curls. I love it!

linda said...

heather…heather…heather…OMG!…outrageous, fab! this cake is a masterpiece!!!!!!
shout out to debbie!
treadmill & pushups forever...

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said...

This is fabulous! What a masterpiece. I should send this post to my friend to pass them a hint on what I want on my birthday!

Paula said...

WOW! No doubt I'd gain more than the 10 pounds this cheesecake weighs should I eat it but something tells me it sure would be worth every ounce!

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

What I wouldn't do for a piece right NOW! I think you have the luckiest hubby in the whole wide world. Seriously.

andreagroves said...

This looks so heavenly delicious! I would have to make it at a time when it's guaranteed to dissapear...or else I would end up eating 3 pieces...which wouldn't be so good (for my weight.)

sweet_tooth said...

OMG! Looks absolutely AMAZING!!! I have to try this!

colleen said...

OH MY!! I am going to have to make this ASAP! I make a chocolate cake with a cream cheese mousse and rasberry with chocolate ganache but this no pun intended takes the cake!

Kankana said...

you cakes are gorgeous .. thanks for that video .. have to try that next time :) Following you in twitter now !

Anonymous said...

oh my god, that looks heavenly.

Te Ata said...

Wow- truly a masterpiece. I have to say I adore the song you picked to accompany your demo video.. so cute!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

I am speechless Heather! This cake looks both beautiful and delicious. You have outdone yourself! And those curls are gorgeous! What a clever idea to put them on the sides instead of on top.

gaby_d said...

Oh my god!
Thank pewntru details! Bravo!
Sensational!!!

Mika said...

I really don't know what to write...this is amazing!!!!
A cheesecake filling chocolate cake with caramel and peanuts?!? this is too much...wonderful wonderful...

theboogieblog.net said...

thank you for the wonderful pictures and recipes and ESPECIALLY the video of the curly chocolate! will definitely be using that technique soon.

Susan said...

Ab Fab. Gorgeous looking cake and if you're going to eat dessert you might as go with one that's really fully of calories

livininthekitchen said...

This is brilliant! The chocolate curls definitely make it, too.
I nominated you for an award last night, I talked about it in my most recent post so if you have time, check it out!
Jess = )

Joy said...

The cheesecake looks wonderful

Kristen said...

Yours looks so much better than the original! It's stunning!

Emily said...

Oh my gosh! This site is absolutely gorgeous! I wish I could decorate cakes like that. Really beautiful work, can't wait to see what you continue to create!

NiamhG said...

Oh good god. That is . . . wow. It's a heart attack on a plate. A delicious, delightful heart attack.

Jenn said...

Will you please make this for me? Seriously? I cannot believe you came up with this cake all by yourself. It is seriously sinful.

Salome said...

Amazing! I love your blog...

CarinE said...

You're such an expert!! I love your tutorial, so detail! and your decorations are amazing! the chocolate curls look so easy for you, I don't know why can't I do it! You are so cool!!!!

a frog in the cottage said...

this is not human !! I want my share now !!

Hayden Greenawalt said...

no words can describe my feelings toward this cake. Cookbook, soon!!! please???

Salome said...

I've publised a link to your post in my weekenly report, I hope you to like it!

Kristan said...

Whaaaa....?? Is this a mirage? Is it real? It looks too good to be true.

Kiitty said...

Hi Heather,
was just wondering, can the chocolate swirls be done with white chocolate as well?

Lovely post ! Thanks for sharing.

Cookin' Canuck said...

"Wow!" doesn't even begin to sum up this cake. The flavor, the presentation - everything is incredible.

marla said...

Wow Heather! This cake is amazing!! 10 pounds of pure bliss. I always love your videos too. Can we put metal in the microwave? Is it because the intervals are short?

Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio) said...

Hi! That is a stunningly beautiful cake! I love your picture tutorial, and how simple it makes it look! Also, thanks for the video on the chocolate curls.

Heidi D said...

This will be my challenge for the Mathews Family Christmas Dinner. It's a big family dinner and the women show off what they got in the dessert round. This one's the WINNER!!! WOOT WOOT!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

The decoration of the cake alone is amazing!

Ken│hungry rabbit said...

Everything about this cake is so utterly BAD ... ASS that it's DIVINE. I bow to you, my cake goddess.

Federica said...

wowwwwwwwwwww che meraviglia!!!!!!!!complimenti!

foodiesonthefly said...

This cake looks insane! Great job and thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

Oh, my god. A 10 pound cake??? This is absolutely, ridiculously, insanely amazing. My mouth may have actually just dropped open.

Mara... said...

This seriously is the most amazing work of art I have ever seen. Not only are they my most favorite flavors in the whole world, but those chocolate curls are to die for!!! You never cease to amaze me, this is faaaaabulous!!!! I bet it's delicious, too!!!!!

Christi @ Love From The Oven said...

Holy heck, I bow down to you - this is AMAZING. It also combines my husbands all time favorite desserts (anything PB, chocolate cake and cheesecake). I am going to have to make this for him. I have a feeling I may not be able to sleep tonight because visions of this cake will be dancing in my head. Did I mention AMAZING????

Amanda said...

Love this! I featured it today on Today's Top 20!

Amanda
www.todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

Josh said...

Excellent recipe Heather! I think I'm going to have to try this one this weekend!

Lucy said...

Oh.Ma.Gah!

This looks sooooo good. I'm saving it immediately for the next birthday/special event I have. My mouth is watering!

Fresh and Foodie said...

Holy wow.

Kim c. said...

my mom and I are going to take on this challenge.
cannot wait

snacktive said...

You MADE this? It's an absolute masterpiece! Seriously impressed..and hungry.

Miller's Missions said...

Made this cake for a friend's birthday after reading your post, we ate it last night. Tasted amazing! But completely and totally fell apart. I live in the Philippines so it's really hot and humid and the caramel layer wouldn't stay put, it ran like mad even chilled and the layers fell off, and the ganache layer wouldn't stay put either. Don't have a freezer big enough so I just kept it in the ref. Big mistake. It fell apart just chilled, it was actually quite comical. One whole side fell off and stuck to the side of the ref. But great recipe and great instructions. Your version is beautiful, wish mine would have been. Thanks so much!!

ashumi said...

OMG!!!!!! this is just awesome.... i had a question to ask. i am vegetarian is there a way to bake any of ur desserts without eggs?? can u give me their substitutes! i would be very grateful!!

thanks,
ashumi

ashumi said...

forgot to pass my email id: shumishah@gmail.com

thanks again.

MeiQian said...

Hi, A stunning cake indeed. I'm planning to bake this over the weekend. May I know what temperature did you bake the chocolate cake layer?

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi MeiQuian, thanks for catching that - bake at 350 degrees.

To Miller's Missions - thanks for the feedback! So glad it was tasty, but hate to hear that it fell apart! I believe storing it in the freezer would have helped. Perhaps you can salvage it by making it into a trifle?

Kindest regards to you both.
-Heather

sallaboutme said...

Wow, how incredibly decadent and sinful. I love it! And I love the video for the chocolate curls.

Heather Ozee said...

I'm foaming at the mouth! goodness girl. You have one lucky hubby to have stuff like that on the counter to munch on.
Can't wait to see you this summer. We'll be up sometime between June 25th and July 2nd. Will hubby share whatever is on your counter then? ;)

Maricela said...

this looks amazingly yummy!! i am soooo gonna try it at home. I am sure my husband will love to have a cake like this :) althought i'm not sure if i'll get any of it after he sees it hahaha

Memória said...

*APPLAUSE* WOW! What a lovely cheesecake! Goodness!! I must make this for myself if I ever graduate...or WHEN I graduate.

Thank you for the detailed photos. I have a question: Would homemade caramel be easier to work with than the store-bought kind? It seems it would be, but I'm not sure.

Farrah said...

OMG magnificent!!!!!You HAVE to take a bow! This looks so time consuming but so worth it!

Anonymous said...

This cake looks amazing! I watched the video--also awesome btw--but can you tell me how you got the chocolate curls to stay on the sides of the cake? Do they just stick to the frosting or did you do something else to hold them up? Thanks! :)

Megan said...

What a delight this would be at my Easter party. This is magnificent and so impressive.

alice said...

Beautiful idea and fantastic execution. I especially live the rustic feel the cake has from the colours and the chocolate curls.

Darla @ Bakingdom said...

Jackpot! My husband's birthday is very soon and this is all of his favorite things rolled into one irresistible dessert! Thank you for taking the thinking out of what to make him this year!! :)

P.S. Could you have made this more gorgeous? Love it!

Erin said...

Wow! I'm speechless! And I need a slice of this right now for breakfast!!!

Mike said...

WOW! What a cake! It looks great! And kudos to you for taking the time to document the entire process with your incredible photos. Fantastic post.

Your Sissy, Amy said...

Oh Heather! You've really outdone yourself with this cake. You know that peanut butter desserts are my favorite, right. What are the chances this will be on the table at Christmas eve (Please, Please, Pretty please lol)?
Love the video too. Noah started dancing and Hannah came over immediately to see where the music was coming from. I love you Sissy (and your awesome desserts)!

Shaina said...

I couldn't help laughing when I saw this. So perfect, I can't even begin to tell you. I love that your cheesecake looks a million times better than the "factory-made" variety that inspired it. Plus, I've been on a peanut butter and chocolate binge for a month, so perfect timing to further lead me down that sinful path.

Katie Mar said...

oh. my. gosh!!!!
this is THE prettiest cake i've ever seen!!
so delicious looking and you take beautiful pictures!!
p.s. i'm happy to be your 2000th follower!!

Heather McMullin said...

Wowzers!!! This looks simply amazing!! I am going to add a link to your blog on my blog. Someone with this kind of talent deserves it!! If you don't mind I would love to do a post about your blog and this cake. Let me know if that is ok.

Thanks a bunch!
Heather
email: heathermmcmullin@gmail.com
blog: www.madefamousby.blogspot.com

Joanne said...

My roommate has a pretty big birthday coming up and I think I would be absolutely remiss in not making this for her. I think she'd have the rights to move out and disown me, in fact. Off to the kitchen I go!

Anonymous said...

I made this for my husbands birthday and it was amazing!!! Thank you so much for this blog!!

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

Wow, just... I can't stop staring at this :O Well done! :)

Allison said...

Oh my goodness this cake is extravagant!! You did such an amazing job!

Swee San @ TheSweetSpot said...

goodness!! So sinful, so rich and so extravagant!! I am ever so tempted to make it

cailen ascher said...

my mouth is watering. i love cheesecake and i love pb & chocolate. what could be better than putting them together?! genius!

Lili said...

What a fabulous "over the top" dessert Heather! What an exciting masterpiece to behold. I love that wire cake pedestal. Your video was so awesome, you made it look effortless and I loved the background music. I'm just so curious how much of that cake you and your husband could even eat! This would be so fun to make for a crowd, it certainly has a huge WOW factor! xo ~Lili

Debbie said...

I am almost speechless...almost...but this is MY favorite cheesecake at "the factory" and you have made my homemade cheesecake dreams come true. This looks even more beautiful than their cake and I bet it tastes even better. Nice work!

Sara said...

My friend's mother made this cake for her birthday, it took her all weekend but it was beyond gorgeous AND delicious!(they guessed it at 15 pounds) I reposted the pictures of her version of the cake (sans chocolate curlicue's) on my lifestyle blog: www.goodiesandgarbs.com. Your blog is great, thanks!

jaselle van Gestel said...

hey im hoping to make this recipe but im from australia and have no idea what "cook and serve vanilla pudding" is. is there anything else i could use to replace this ingredient?

Real Housewife said...

OK, so I need help. I made the cheesecake last night and cannot get it out of the pan. I greased the pan, added wax paper (only on the bottom) and greased and floured it before adding the batter. I will admit I allowed the cheesecake to cool in the pan for a little bit before putting it in the freezer (because I didn't want the hot pan to melt anything in there)
Where did I go wrong and how can I get it out without it breaking into a million pieces? Help please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Practically Spent said...

I don't even know what to say. I'm just in awe....drooling. Probably the most impressive non-fondant cake I have ever seen.

Kayla said...

I made this for my family to have yesterday. It was a huge hit! Thank you so so much.

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

This might be the most amazing looking dessert I have ever seen! You did an incredible job- better than any Cheesecake Factory version could be!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

Hi Heather- I was wondering what the chocolate mixture is that you are pouring in photo 6. Is that another ganache?

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Lauren!

That is the ganache frosting un-whipped. You remove a portion of the ganache, pour it over the cake and then whip the remaining portion in a stand mixer.

Hope this helps!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

Yes it does! Thanks for the fast response! I am loving your blog:-)

Marisa said...

So I made half of this tonight and so far it is super easy! My only complaint is the cake part. I will say first that I might have done something wrong, but it tasted weird...almost like those dense flourless cakes. It was also super gummy in the middle no matter how long I cooked it. Again...I may have done something wrong, or perhaps something was left out of the recipe. I ended up using a chocolate cake recipe that I have had a long time from Hershey and the only difference in the recipe is it contains 2 eggs and baking soda. I don't see how that could have made such a difference, but it did. Just a little FYI.

Kristen said...

This cake is amazing!!! I am making it now and so far, so good! This is my boyfriend's dream cake and will hopefully make the best birthday cake I have made to date!

Maggie said...

Oh oh oh!! I don't care what else I achieve this year - I want those chocolate curls!

denali said...

This recipe has my mother's name all over it! I'm half tempted to try it for Mother's Day :) She might hate me for it, though. Hmmm.

Only one thing - she doesn't do coffee. At all. I wonder if I could use chai tea instead? Might be yummy.

Thank you for all the cake gorgeousness!

Brétema said...

This cake is amazing. I love it!

blushingstrawberries said...

Oh My Goodness!!

carla said...

truly stunning. one of the most incredibly gorgeous confections I've ever had the pleasure of ogling. fabtacular and fantabulous all wrapped into one!

RecipeGirl said...

This is like the most delicious thing I've ever seen. Bravo! And congrats on the Saveur nom!

Joy in Missoui said...

So......all of my layers are stacked and in the freezer! Ready to frost today! My mother likes to send me challenges over stumble upon and this was her latest! So here I am in the final stages and I really cant wait to finish! The cool thing is that we have family that has been in europe home for the summer. They just got in a couple days ago so I am thinking this is a real "welcome home" treat!

Sarah said...

I made this cake with the help of a friend in less than 24 hours. I loved the process and the end result is amazing. I think I've found the only dessert that can put me in a coma. Thanks for creating this recipe! What a decadent treat.

Lisa said...

For the cheesecake, do we add the cook and serve pudding as a powder or do we have to prepare it first before adding it to the mix?
thanks!

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Lisa, add it as powder - super easy!

*cupcake* said...

i have absoloutly no reason to make this other than the intense desire to! but seems like a lot of money/ingredients for me just to have a peice or to of !

Lisa said...

Maybe it's because I don't have a stand mixer, but I beat the ganache frosting on the highest setting for like 30 minutes and it's just not stiffening. I'm leaving it in the fridge over night to see if it will thicken enough but I'm not very hopeful.
Do you have any suggestions of another chocolate frosting recipe that would go well? I already put the ganache on top of the cake (which was too runny and flowed down the sides - I don't know what I did wrong! =( )
thanks!

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Lisa,

Sorry to hear you are having a spot of trouble with the cake. I would use the chocolate version of this whipped cream recipe (below). It is pretty simple, and you don't need a stand mixer.

http://www.joyofbaking.com/WhippedCreamFrosting.html

Lisa said...

Just letting you know that the chocolate whipped cream recipe worked out well. The cake came out great, although not as pretty looking as yours. I made it for my boyfriend's birthday this past weekend and he literally said "this is the best cake I've ever had"! thanks!!

Anne said...

I sent this page to my sister and asked her to make this for my birthday (in 3 months) - it will be the big 60 for me and what better way to celebrate than with this work of art??? It's beautiful. Thank you for creating and sharing this.

Heather A said...

Thankyou for the inspiration - I used this idea to make layers of flourless mocha cake and baileys cheesecake with caramel and macadamia filling. Thankyou, from Melbourne (Aus), other Heather!

Stephanie C said...

Hi Heather, I am currently on day one of baking this amazing cake for my boyfriend's birthday (this sunday!) and I put my beautiful cheesecakes in the freezer about an hour ago. Do you have any time frame for how long they take to completely freeze so that I can either stay up a bit longer to prep the caramel sauce, or go to bed and make it tomorrow? I tried to Google but had no luck. I can't wait to see this as a final project. All of my friends and family are very excited and proud of me for attempting such a professional cake!! Thank you for the inspiration. I can't wait for your book!

HeatherS said...

Gorgeous cake. I am inspired to make something similar for my friend's birthday next week. However, I was surprised to see no eggs in the chocolate cake layer. I have another recipe that is identical but contains 2 eggs. Might that be a typo?

Mrs. Olio said...

I just have to tell you that your cake is so much prettier than the one that inspired it! Very nice!

Mamie said...

Wow! That is all I can say! Love it.

tastytreatz said...

Thanks so much for this recipe. I just made it for my son's birthday (he's a reese's fanatic!) and it was a hit! Very delicious! And your directions were very easy to follow! thanks again!

Erin said...

That is a stunningly gorgeous cake! I think it would pain me to cut into it. It does sound amazingly delicious though!

Sandra said...

I'm speechless and can't find the words to tell you how gorgeous this is. I am determined to make this. Thank you so much for sharing this and inspiring me to take a little more time with the things I bake.

Kacey said...

Words can't describe. I can't wait for a free afternoon (and an occasion) so I can give this a shot.

Virginia Callister said...

Hi Heather, I am going to attempt this cake this weekend for my very loved son's birthday. Yours is beautiful and looks delicious. I will be satisfied if mine is delicious because I'm not so good at making food pretty. I have a question for you though, on the chocolate cake do I have to use coffee in it or can I substitute hot water or something else? What exactly does the coffee do for the cake? What is the consistency of the cake supposed to be like? Ok, maybe I had more than "a" question.

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Virginia!
You can't really taste the coffee in the cake, it just "wakes up" the flavor of the chocolate - intensifies it, I guess you could say. You could probably substitute hot water if you don't like the idea of coffee. The hot coffee dissolves the cocoa powder and hot water would do the same.

Best of luck with the cakes - it's a doozy!

Virginia Callister said...

Ok, I made it. I didn't do the chocolate curls just because it was unnecessary for our little family party. It was definately a doozy but oh so divine. It's so extremely rich and huge that even a sliver was too much for everyone. It will be a long time before I make it again. Thank you so very much for coming up with this recipe and the wonderful tutorial. It was super easy to follow. You are so very talented. BTW I did just use hot water instead of coffee and it turned out fine. Of course I don't know the difference because I have never tried it with the coffee.

Sassafras said...

We slayed it! The making of the cake that is....after we took a few bites it actually slayed us and put us into a sugar comma! But it was well worth it! An amazing feat for my mom and I actually. We began making it on Thursday and continued sections of the recipe along the way by freezing it....which worked out perfectly! It made for the best surprise birthday ever! Thanks for sharing Stephanie! I now know how to do chocolate curls and I will be using that peanut butter frosting on brownies for now on!
Cheers!

Hannah said...

After you frost the cake with the chocolate ganache frosting do you put it in the freezer till you serve it?

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Hannah!
Yes, you should store the cake in the freezer till time to serve.

:)

Matt Penner said...

This...looks...so bomb. I would attempt to make this but I would probably eat all of it since I only cook for myself...:(

Anonymous said...

I made this for Thanksgiving dinner(Canadian) with 16 people. It was a hit! All of the other three desserts provided were hardly touched.
I had looked at this recipe and thought it sounded way too large for one cake, so I made an 'overflow' cake with all my extras (Extra batter, caramel, etc.). So I got two cakes!! I'm sure I'll make this again!

Diane {Created by Diane} said...

looks so beautiful and sounds DELICIOUS!

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I made this cake for Thanksgiving dinner at his family's house. The site says it is not difficult for a home baker to execute, but still I was a little wary. I am a college student and have little experience in the kitchen (especially with baking). We followed the instructions almost exactly and our cake turned out wonderfully! The only things that I would have changed were that we did not properly level our layers so the cake did come out lopsided. We also burned the chocolate which we were going to use for chocolate curls so we did not get to add those. Instead we broke up some remaining peanut butter cups and sprinkled them pretty heavily across the cake. It still looked great! The cake did take some time, but it was a huge hit and ended up being worth the effort. Thank you! :)

P.S. - We did not have a stand mixer, so we had a hard time with the frosting. After about 20 minutes of whipping at the highest speed, we decided to put it in the fridge and left it there for 15 minutes or so. We took it out and whipped it for about 5 more minutes and it was perfect. :)

Karin said...

WOW! this looks amazing....and I bet is delicious as well....but I feel a bit terrified as I imagine each portion has like a trillion calories! :-O xx

Anonymous said...

What size of this cake?

Sarah said...

I made a version of this cake for my sister's birthday - it looked nothing like yours but it tasted amazing!! Thanks for the inspiration. I really enjoy reading your blog.

Here's my cake if you wanted to check it out:
http://cisforcheesecake.blogspot.com/2011/12/im-back-so-what-did-become-of-that-cake.html#more

Cookin' Mama said...

How tall does this cake stand when complete? It's beautiful.

K-Rex said...

My boyfriend and I attempted this hefty cake for a good friend's birthday. He was talking about a million layer cake as a joke after I made a few cheesecakes for the holidays. Shortly after, I stumbled upon this lovely blog and wanted to try a new challenge. He was very surprised to see this waiting for him when he came home. Thank you very much for the recipe and even more for this blog!

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa258/rampyloo/ReesesCheesecakeChocolateCake.jpg

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa258/rampyloo/ReesesCheesecakeChocolateCake2.jpg

thissweetwife said...

Absolutely gorgeous decadant layers. My son's bithday is coming up in a few days --this is the cake I've been looking for. Thank you for this amazing post;-) I can't wait to try it!

Josh Farnsworth said...

Whoa, I ordered this last week, and didn't even know that you had done it! Would you be so kind as to recreate "White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle"? It is like a heavenly dream.

Jess said...

I wanted to make a peanutbutter cup cheesecake for Valentine's Day and was just going to do a brownie base...but this is way better! I'm headed to the store in a second to embark on the extravagant (yet delicous) cake adventure! Thank you so much for the amazing tutorial. I'll have to come back with how it turned out *nervous* ha! Have a fantastic weekend!!
x0 Jess

Anonymous said...

I'm almost done making this cake for my grandmother-in-law's birthday. I recently lost 20 lbs, so this was the wrong cake to make. I can't help but lick my fingers!

Anonymous said...

I made this for my husband's birthday a week ago, and since his birthday was the day after Super Bowl, we took it as a dessert to a party. OMG. It was a HUGE hit. And FYI to anyone who plans on traveling with it...it was 9 inches tall so plan ahead. ;) It was absolutely DELICIOUS and so fun to make!!!!

Anonymous said...

I made a Snickers version of this cake last week. Using bite size Snickers in places of peanut butter cups and a swiss caramel butter cream for the swirls instead of peanut butter frosting. Outrageously wonderful. It was a huge hit. Thank you so much. Your site is a fantastic source of information and inspiration!

MrsPetey said...

As a whole this cake was pretty good. I have a couple of critiques though. First, my husband and  I neither one cared for the cakes with coffee in them. It just made it kinda gross. Second, the Cheesecake Factory makes one just like this that they claim has 500 calories for a 1/10 slice. I put THIS recipe in a nutrition calculator for 1/8 slice and it had...hold your breath...2453 calories!!! So I am DEFINITELY going to make some changes to this if I ever do it again. But thanks for posting this recipe.

SprinkleBakes said...

This is not a recipe for those counting calories. :)

Amanda said...

Heather, I love your response to that last comment! :) PS: I always defer to your genius, but just as a "replication" matter, I made my first batch of caramel per your instructions, but it ended up reaaaaaally really runny even though I tried transferring it to my stove to reduce it after suspecting the microwave wasn't cutting it. The second batch I made with 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup milk, 40 caramels, and the 5 tbsp. butter. I'm assuming my microwave is to blame, so maybe this can help others with similarly odd microwaves.

Amanda said...

Oops...I meant to also say that I added 4 tbsp. sugar to that last MacGyvered caramel recipe, and that it turned out thicker. We'll see if folks say it tastes terrible, though, which it totally could! :) Thanks again for the beautiful pictures - you're an amazing inspiration, and I hope that I can decorate mine to look half as great as yours!

Jeannie said...

I am making this recipe for Easter Dinner. There will be 11 of us and I will just split up the leftovers... it's just so beautiful that I have to give it a go... :-) I'll let you know how it works out!

Amber (bambi64) said...

Busy making this now for Easter Luncheon at our church. Only problem I will have is I can't freeze the entire thing after it is frosted till Sunday at church because the way my freezer is, I can't open the door wide enough to get the entire cake plus stand in! I hope it will be okay to put it in the fridge till I can freeze it on Sunday! Now, I'm a little worried.

Jenn said...

Hi!

What an amazing cake! May I ask where you found your cake stand? Thanks so much!

The Rebel Chick said...

This looks AMAZING!!

Kiki said...

Wow wow wow! This looks amazing!

Im from Australia, what could i use in place of corn syrup please?

SprinkleBakes said...

Thanks! You can omit the corn syrup. The ganache will still whip without it.

Anonymous said...

hoooooolllyyyyyyy moly this looks SOOO good! definitely have to make this one next :)

Anonymous said...

Just AmAzInG!!! EEEK!! I have a few choc cakes for a wedding coming up and this is such a great idea for the choc curl sides!! Bet you could do it with white choc chips too!! Thank you!

June2 said...

This is a textbook example ofhe concept - just because you can, doesn't mean you should. That said, it's also textbook for over-the-top! All those textbooks means it's probably the perfect cake to fuel a dorm room study session!

Anonymous said...

Used the tips to make a Snickers version. Huge hit :)

Anonymous said...

Does the cake have to have coffee in it? Or can I subsitute something for the coffee?

SprinkleBakes said...

You can use hot water instead of coffee. :)

Meagan said...

I'm planning WAY ahead here, but am beyond excited to surprise my husband with this for his birthday party (in a few months)! I'm halving the recipe to one of each layer, though, because for the group of people we'll have at the party, I know something as over-the-top as a four-plus layer cake will be way too much. Plus I think it might not fit in the freezer. :)

So, my question is this: in comments very recently, you assured Kiki: "You can omit the corn syrup. The ganache will still whip without it." My understanding was that the 1/2 tbsp. of corn syrup was used only in the 2/3 cup ganache that was poured over the top layer before frosting... and that the rest of the chocolate mixture would be whipped with no addition; as in, if (by some miracle of not over-pouring down the sides) I have some ganache left in my hand when I stop pouring onto the cake, that little bit of leftover shouldn't go back into what gets whipped. Or should it? And does it matter at all?
(Since I know my cake will be half as tall, I figured I could reduce - but not quite halve - the whipped ganache ingredients, but I determined that the corn syrup should NOT be halved. Please correct me if I'm wrong!)

Good god, I sound obsessive! But with a three-day baking adventure to look forward to, and a result hopefully (half) as impressive as this, I feel like it's best to have a thorough understanding of each step BEFORE I jump in head first! :)

Thanks in advance. I really can't wait!

Adelyn said...

Hi Heather, can I do without the vanilla pudding or substitute it something else?

Do you cool the cheesecakes before putting in the freezer? Am worried it might spoil the freezer and the food in there.

Also, where can I find caramels from? Can I make them instead?

Hope to hear from you soon!

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am having alot of problems with the curls, maybe because im in Florida and its so hot. But as soon as it comes out of the fridge i make one curl and its already to soft..

Kristin said...

I am in the process of making this cake and have a few days to go :) I have to say that your chocolate cake recipe is awesome!!! Whenever I make cakes I take a little of the batter and make a cupcake so that I can try the finished product without messing up the cake. This is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever had!!! If the cake portions is THIS good I can't wait to try the whole thing once it is done.

Douglas said...

I did a search on coffee and I see that you state you can use hot water... would hot chocolate be bad? Would the incrediants in the hot chocolate change the chemistry of the cake, or just enhance the chocolate flavor?

Angela said...

Hi Heather!

I made this cake last night and took it to school for teacher appreciation day today! I was a HUGE hit! Everyone loved it and kept talking about how beautiful and decadent it was! And quite a few asked for the recipe!

I also made a mini version for my husband's birthday tonight... I know he will LOVE it! Thank you so much for such a wonderful and beautiful recipe!

Angela

Jessica said...

Wow!!!! This cake is awesome! Definitely am looking forward to giving this a try! You did an excellent job!

Tamara said...

This cake is BANANAS!! Love the chocolate curl tutorial as well!!

Pinkys Cake said...

Do you have any secret for the ganache. You whipped it and It looks perfect in the picture, but when I tryed always keep thin and I couldn´t used it for frosting.
Help me!!1 I´m totally in love with this cake... And is for my mother´s bday.

Anonymous said...

I made this for my sisters 30th birthday, it was a HUGE hit and people are still calling it "the best cake ever hands down". It was worth the 3 days it took me to make, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I tried to make these chocolate curls and failed miserably! Where did I go wrong? Looking at this I think I may have spread the chocolate too thin. I ended up not putting it in the fridge at all and got ribbons - but not beautiful curls like this. It looks so simple yet it is tormenting me! I feel I have to keep trying. I was using white chocolate, would that make a difference?

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