Friday, August 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cake



Peanut butter cup brownie cake, a.k.a. the richest thing I have ever made. 

There's no doubt in my mind, this cake will feed a crowd! Just a small slice will satisfy the biggest chocolate-peanut butter craving. Those of you who have made the homemade version of Reece's peanut butter eggs (popular at Easter-time) may find the recipe for the peanut butter layers very familiar.  

Oh yes, I did.


The brownie layers are very moist and dense, and just a small amount of lightly sweet chocolate frosting holds it all together.



One recommendation? Serve with a tall glass of milk.  Or many.


Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cake
Yield: One 9-inch cake; serves approximately 25-30 
                                                                                                                  [click for printable recipe]
Make this cake for family reunions and large gatherings- it serves many!  It's richness can be cut with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  You can also half the recipe for the peanut butter layers.
My husband loves a slice of this heated in the microwave with a scoop of ice cream on top. 

Brownie layers:
1 1/2 cups butter
6 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.  Whisk in vanilla, flour, salt and baking soda.
  2. Pour into three greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 23-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.  Wrap in plastic wrap or store in air-tight containers until needed.

 Peanut butter layers:
6 cups powdered sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup (maybe more) heavy cream
  1. Mix together the powdered sugar, peanut butter and melted butter in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mixture will be crumbly.  Add cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes a consistent workable dough.  It should not be crumbly or stick to your fingers.  The mixture should hold together easily when a small amount is squeezed tight in the palm of your hand.
  2. Divide the dough into two even portions.  Spray one (or two if you have them) 9-inch spring-form pans with cooking spray or line two 9-inch pans with parchment rounds.  Press peanut butter dough into the bottom of the pans evenly, forming the peanut butter layers.  Turn the layers out onto two cookie sheets and place in freezer until frozen solid.

Chocolate frosting:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. espresso powder
  1. Beat softened butter and powdered sugar together in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again until creamy.  Add cocoa powder and vanilla extract; beat well.  Add espresso powder and beat for 1-2 minutes longer until thoroughly incorporated.
(Note: I use King Arthur espresso powder, but you could substitute finely ground instant coffee)


Assembly:
8 peanut butter cups, each cut in half
3 tsp. chocolate shavings
  1. Remove peanut butter layers from the freezer.  Thinly frost a brownie layer and top with a peanut butter layer; frost peanut butter layer and top with a brownie layer.  Repeat steps until all layers are frosted and stacked.  Thinly frost the entire cake.  Pipe 11 frosting rosettes around the top edge of the cake with a large French piping tip; pipe one rosette in the middle of the cake.  Top each rosette on the outer edge of the cake with a peanut butter cup half.  Place four peanut butter cup halves, fanned, on the middle rosette.  Sprinkle top of cake with chocolate shavings. 
  2. If using the gold sugar, place the cake (on the cake stand or serving platter) in a clean kitchen sink and toss sprinkles onto the sides of the cake.   Sprinkle a little on top of the cake, too. Keep cake covered tightly in plastic wrap to prevent loss of moisture.


104 comments:

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Oh my actual goodness!! drooling at my screen here, this looks out of this world amazing! Your photos are so gorgeous too! You are one very talented baker!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG, that cake is absolutely after my heart!!! I'm such a sucker for that flavor combination.

Cheers,

Rosa xx

Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie said...

WOW - this looks incredible!

The BearFoot Baker said...

I think I just when to Chocolate & Peanut butter heaven!

cookies and cups said...

Yes, this is major. Mayyyy-jarrrrrr!

cookies and cups said...

Yes, this is major. Mayyyy-jarrrrrr!

Heather said...

Now that, my friend, is scientific mass. Poetry and science in one. It's gorgeous, too.

marla said...

Oh Heather!!! This seriously might be one of the most fabulous cakes I have ever seen.

Averie @ Averie Cooks said...

Heather this is just absolutely stunning AND those layers and I love PB cups and I love how you shot it INSIDE that cupboard (holy lighting challenges with shadows and dark patches - and you didn't miss a beat - you're so talented!!!)

Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking said...

Oh! My! Goodness! This cake looks insanely delicious! I love chocolate and peanut butter and this cake is definitely made by my tooth cravings

Stephanie said...

Holy. Heck. This looks AMAZING. Definitely super decadent, but what a treat. I'll have to give this one a try the next time a big party pops up. Thanks for sharing!

Maggie @ A Bitchin Kitchen said...

It is just not fair that I'm looking at this and can't have any! This looks amazing!

Sarah Bulmer said...

This is pure and simple chocolate peanut butter heaven!! I love that there's no fancy frills to the recipe but it still looks so beautiful and artistic. I know a lot of people who'd love this cake. :)

Anonymous said...

7 sticks of butter...HOLY CRAP!!!!!

SprinkleBakes said...

It's a big cake.

Tiffany said...

Great now I am craving peanut butter cups and brownies before 9am.

Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray said...

...my jaw is on the floor. I think that if someone made this cake for me, I would never ask for anything else again, ever.

Can I be in love with a cake? Is that possible?

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Oh, Heather! Oh, Heather! Oh, Heather!

Oh my goodness. I have no more words. I'm hypnotized by that cake!!!

Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes said...

Woah.
Woah.
Woah.
Woah.
This cake is blowing my mind and winning my heart all at once. Your photos, as always, are gorgeous, and I just know I need this cake in my life. Like, NOW.

Suzy said...

Holy CRAP that looks amazing...I could only hope to make one half as gorgeous as yours!!!

María said...

Un verdadero espectaculo de tarta, mas que divina. Besicos

Sandra Lee said...

You are killing me girl!!!!

Colleen said...

Oh YUMMY! There goes my diet right out the window. I'm going have to walk a few extra miles after eating a slice of this.
I don't even want to think how many calories there are in just 1 slice.
Heck with it; enjoy it today and worry about it tomorrow :}
ColleenB.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts said...

I saw this all over Pinterest today. It looks amazing! Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic combination for a reason :)

wallflourgirl said...

Not that I don't love your recipes and photos, but I would've bookmarked this even if I hadn't read beyond the title. The recipe and photos just made it that much more certain that everyone in my household will be undergoing a massive sugar rush for the next, oh, 22 hours or so (assuming the cake lasts that long). Thanks for sharing!

Janine (sugarkissed.net) said...

This sounds delicious and looks amazing! I was wondering if the espresso powder in the icing gives it a coffee flavor?

Marina {Yummy Mummy) said...

This has to be the most perfect cake I could imagine! Pinning it immediately and making asap. Yum!

Tiffany said...

Oh my, oh my! This is Heaven on a cake platter! And so beautiful, too. Love it.

Nikki @ Tikkido said...

Wow, this looks spectacular, and incredibly decadent. It might even give my favorite Doboschtorte recipe a run for most-rich. Though I did send a Doboschtorte in to work once with my husband. An uninitiated coworker cut a regular sized slice, took a bite, and exclaimed "Oh my god, this is good! Really good! (bite) Mmm, it's really rich, though. (bite) Uh, REALLY rich. (bite) I might be sick. (bite) I should probably stop eating this."

Anne @ Have a Cookie! said...

I still think your Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Chocolate Cake Cheesecake "takes the cake" if you you don't mind my pun. I made a half-sized version of that using a brownie as the chocolate cake layer and it was TO DIE FOR!!! I didn't make the ganache frosting, I just poured it over the top of the cake once the chocolate mixture had cooled and thickened a bit. I did make the peanut butter frosting and garnished the top with piped swirls of the frosting and topped each with a peanut butter cup. I think I need to make another one now. It was beyond delicious!

Becca said...

Oh my god, I think I just gained about 5 lbs. just looking at this cake. It looks so rich and decadent! It's amazing! :)

Lexi @ You, Me, and A World to See said...

Oh my goodness...yes times a million!

Amanda said...

W.O.W. That I have no words for. *faint*

ItalianGirlCooks said...

What a beauty...I'm speechless!

Tamara said...

this is really a beautiful cake

SweetSugarBelle said...

Lol...every time you post something new I decide it's going to be my next birthday treat...this is it. So far!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

Oh, I so want to make this for my birthday in a couple of weeks:-)

Natalie said...

Oh my golly gosh! That looks like heaven :)

Tasha @thatssoyummy said...

That looks absolutely sinful! YUMMY!!!!!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

How do you do it?!! I love this! Amazing!

ally said...

you are the definition of talented. this is so perfect!
xo
http://allykayler.blogspot.ca/

rosettasweettreats said...

BeAuTiFul! Absolutely BeAuTiFuL!

Salomé said...

Tremenda! Me tomaría un buen trozo con un litro de leche fría por lo menos.... Besos

Christina Marie said...

Now that's a cake!! The topping looks incredible. Such an artist! :)

I'm having a fun little West Elm GIVEAWAY. Come check it out.
http://www.becauseofmadalene.com/2012/08/wednesday-giveaway.html

Christina

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) said...

So gorgeous and indulgent! My boyfriend actually made me a delicious peanut butter and chocolate cake for my birthday this past month--and this kinda reminds me of it. This is giving me a craving for another one :)

Deb said...

Absolutely dazzling! A wondrous celebratory cake, perfection for those peanut butter cup lovers! And the rest of us lucky folks who might get a slice!

Suzanne Perazzini said...

You have created a beautiful cake and styled it delightfully.

Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet said...

I am mesmerized by the delicious layers on this cake! The topping - be still my heart!

angeliamah said...

this looks so good! you got an amazingly clean cut on the slice! I don't usually like peanut butter cups or peanut butter chocolates but this looks so delicious!!

Anonymous said...

Peanut butter? Chocolate? I'm in!

Bellenza Bistro said...

Everyone above has said it all! This is one amazing (and clearly delicious) creation with 2 of my favorites: cohcolate and peanut butter!

Amber Potter said...

Oh my goodness, this looks amaaaazing! Gotta love a good chocolate candy cake. This is one for the books!

Aikko said...

This is absolutely divine! I can almost taste the cake! :)

Tracy {Pale Yellow} said...

Over the top, but beautiful! I love your husband's suggestion of heating and then topping with vanilla ice cream!

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Im speechless. Im literally sitting here with my mouth open. There may or may not be drool :D YUM!!!!

Jennifer @ Delicieux said...

Oh my Heather this cake looks amazing! How do you cut such clean slices? I always end up with cake smeared in the frosting no matter how careful I am.

Rebecca Polston said...

Oh, this sounds wonderful! My Dad loves peanut butter & chocolate, so I'll probably use this for his birthday on August 31st. Thanks for the recipe! :)

Sue said...

I would love to serve this and see people's eyes widen and mouths drop open! An amazing showstopper!

Tanya said...

I would like to make this for my anniversary. Would it be possible to make this over the course of two days? I have two little ones and a cake this time consuming just wouldn't be possible lol

Gerry @Foodness Gracious said...

Geez, your killing me. I just used your peanut butter frosting recently but this seems like it would even top that...what am I going to do? I need both right now....

stronglikemycoffee said...

Now that is a PERFECT slice of cake! Seriously - how did you get everything so straight and even?!

Beth Michelle said...

Oh. My. God. This is killing me right now. I am so upset that I dont have a slice in front of me. Looks DELICIOUS!

Marianne said...

Is the cake left to come to room temperature prior to serving? I'm not sure since the layers of peanut butter are frozen. It's just beautiful and looks delicious.....as do all of your recipes.Thanks!

SprinkleBakes said...

Definitely let it come to room temperature. The peanut butter layers would be way to hard to cut frozen.

Thanks!

Marianne said...

Thanks Heather.....I appreciate your quick reply!

Leslie said...

I am TOTALLY in love with these photos!!!!

Sandra Batista said...

Lindo...lindo...lindo!!
Até dá pena desmanchar uma perfeição destas...
Beijinho

Nealey @ Dixie Caviar said...

Swoon, a thousand times, swoon!!!!

Sarah from 20something cupcakes said...

I'm not usually one for chocolate and PB in a dessert other than Reese's, but this looks insane!

amy c @ thisheartofmineblog.com said...

wow. like the comment above, this does look insane. it does look maddingly rich. well done.

kklosinski said...

This is a lovely cake! I made it last weekend for a birthday party with a slight modification. Instead of the chocolate frosting, I made a whipped ganache using semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream. It was a nice balance with a little less butter :) We had 10 people at the party and I sent everyone home with an additional wedge and we still had a large amount left over! It definitely serves a crowd! The brownie layer was delicious and this will definitely be a go-to recipe for future brownie ventures. I made the layers the day before and frosted it the day of the party and it was perfect! I also used gold fondant powder as decoration since I could not find the gold sugar in time. I dusted it around the cake and the plate and it turned out very pretty! Thanks for this great recipe Heather!

Pamela Heiligenthal @ Enobytes said...

Oh man, this looks good! I bet this would pair great with a port or cabernet. Gotta try it!

Shelli said...

JuSt made the cake for my sons 22 birthday. It was amazing!

Lili said...

That would take care of some serious cravings right there! Oh boy, it's going to be hard to get that out of my mind tonight! xo ~Lili

Anonymous said...

I am currently making this cake, I'm scared as to how we will get through it but then i look at the pictures...i'm sure we'll finish it

Heather said...

After reading that Food Network interview of you, now I just want to make the peanut butter layer and eat it with a spoon.

Karyl said...

Only 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar for the chocolate frosting? Even with the thinnest of layers, I can't get it to cover this cake, let alone have leftovers for the rosettes. I'm making a second batch now, but I'm wondering if the ratios are off.

Karyl said...

Oops! Never mind. I was using the paddle attachment instead of the whisk. Important safety tip: never trust your reading and comprehension skills on a Saturday morning. But it turned out delicious both ways!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the cake inspiration! I used my own dark chocolate brownie recipe and chocolate frosting, but followed your recipe for the peanut butter layer and added in some crushed peanut butter cups! Mmmm. http://www.secretmarmalade.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-brownie-cake/

Heather Joy said...

Love this idea for a cake! Thank you for the inspiration! I actually followed your recipe for the peanut butter layer and combined it with my son's favorite brownies for my son's birthday cake. I shared both your recipe and my creation on my blog too.
http://butterflyangelcreations.blogspot.com/2012/11/SpecialBirthdayCake

Gale said...

Made this cake for a Thanksgiving potluck at work, and it was a hit. Soooo yummy. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Magdalena M said...

It is a wonderful<3

Bronwyn A said...

I made this cake for my birthday and it was awesome!
Since eating this cake, two friends of mine asked me to make their wedding cake - woah!!
Thanks so much for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I am hand writting a recipe kbook for my sister of all things chocolate and HAD to include this!! She's going to be so excited. I put a note on the recipe saying she has to come check out your amazing site!

Angie Barrett said...

I was wondering how you made the peanut butter layers so perfect haha, now I know. awesome cake!

Anonymous said...

I made this for my boyfriend's birthday and everyone loved it. Its exremely rich so a little bit goes a long way!

Anonymous said...

I just love all your recipes!
I am really looking forward to making this cake for my boyfriends birthday since he just loves chocolate and peanut butter. My only concern is that there is only going to be 6 of us. Is there any way to make a smaller version of this cake? If so, how would you recommend doing it?
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just started to make this for Easter weekend...it looks amazing! I'm in the process of making the brownie layers and noticed in the ingredients list, you mention 1 1/2 cups of flour but you don't say when to add it? At what point during the mixing of everything for the brownies does the flour get added in? Do you add it all at once? Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Nevermind about the flour comment! I swear I read it like 10 times and never noticed the word "flour"! I guess that's what happens when you attempt this first thing in the morning!

Sarah Garrett said...

Can you make the cake a day in advanced and freeze the whole cake?

Heather Baird said...

Absolutely!

Anonymous said...

Do you think it would work to half the brownie recipe and peanut butter recipe and make it three 8 inch layers?

Heather Baird said...

If you could get two good 8-inch layers if you half the recipe. If you did three the layers may be a little thin but it would still work. You'd just need to reduce the bake time for 3 8-inch layers.

Sarah Garrett said...

Thank-you!!! :)

Sarah Garrett said...

Thank-you!!! :)

Anonymous said...

how long do you freeze the peanut butter layers?

Heather Baird said...

Freeze them about two hours or until they are solid.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Heather. This turned out beautifully, both in looks and taste. I made it for a co-worker's birthday and was able to swipe enough of the ingredients to make a small one for my family. It was a great hit all the way around. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I will be making this on a regular basis.:)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I read the directions to wrap the cake with plastic wrap (I think you said tightly?) how can I do this and not ruin the look of this beautiful cake?

Thanks so much,
Shell

Heather Baird said...

Hi Shell!
If you let the cake stand at room temperature for a few hours, uncovered, the frosting will crust. The plastic wrap shouldn't stick to the frosting at all. An alternative would be, if you have one of those plastic air-tight cake carries, you could store it in there without fear of marring the appearance.

Hope this helps!

xo
h

irlene said...

I made this cake as a Groom's Cake for my son's wedding. I made it as a 13X15 rectangular cake, still 5 layers, to serve 99 in 1/4 by 3 inch pieces. I made a couple trial ones first, to the delight of my coworkers, to learn how to make it work that large. It weighed over 20 lbs! People were just crazy about it. Since the wedding was in Florida (that was an adventure in itself!) and we live in Illinois, we had a large reception here after their honeymoon and arrival at their new home. I made it again, same size, for that reception. I have YOU to thank for all the amazing comments I got about the cake!

shireen-anwar said...

Aaahhhh…yeah I’m try this one!!! Looks delicious!!!

Lisa|Slow Cooker Recipes said...

Thank you for the recipe for this Bakes Recipe I visit here First time and now book Mark and cannot wait to try this recipe...

Mir said...

A student made me this cake a while back and I haven't been able to forget about it! And now my son (who hates chocolate, oh no!) wanted a peanut butter cup cake for his birthday this week, so I'm using part of this recipe for that. I have the peanut butter layers freezing right now, and I'll use yellow cake with little peanut butter cups mixed in instead, as much as it hurts. What we do for those we love...but you can be sure I'll make it your way when my birthday rolls around! Thanks for sharing!

Post a Comment

To better meet your needs and answer pertinent questions, all comments are now moderated. My replies are not threaded so be sure to check all comments below yours for my reply.

xo
H

Related Posts with Thumbnails