My cousin and I were born about 3 months apart and we share most things in common, except for his love of anything with chocolate and peanut butter. For whatever reason, I’ve never been one to order peanut butter flavored anything on the dessert menu. I seem to be a rarity as I find myself surrounded by many friends who like to eat the stuff straight from the jar. Don’t get me wrong- I love a good PB&J sandwich, but I don’t reach for the spoon when a jar of Jif is around. The cake pictured above that I made for my cousin’s 28th birthday, however, has possibly made me a convert.
Mark’s boyfriend asked me if I would make the cake for his party this past weekend so of course I started scouring the internet for anything and everything chocolate peanut butter. When I saw the photo of this recipe on Smitten Kitchen I knew this was the one. Upon further googling, I discovered a great gluten free version of it on Fire and Salt! With a slight adjustment, I created a cake that made Mark light up just as I’d hoped. The rest of the party seemed to be drooling as well and after taking a bite myself, I was sold on this chocolate peanut butter craze.
This cake was perfectly moist and flavorful. As promised to people at the party, here is the recipe from Fire & Salt (note: I replaced the corn syrup with agave)…
2 cups gluten free flour mix
2-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups water
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
Peanut Butter Frosting:
10 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
4-5 cups powder sugar (sifted)
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze:
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tbs creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs light corn syrup (I used agave)
1/2 cup half & half
Makes a three layer eight inch cake
Bake cakes at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes
For the cake: Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer bowl. Stir in oil and sour cream. Gradually beat in the water. Mix in vinegar and vanilla. Finally, whisk in the eggs and beat until thoroughly mixed.
Grease three 8 inch cake pans with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Divide the batter equally between the three pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is in the oven, it’s a good time to make the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix slowly at first to avoid sending sugar all throughout your house. Taste the frosting for sweetness after about the third cup of sugar. Sweeten to your liking. Finally, mix in the peanut butter until thoroughly combined.
When the cake is done baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack or a large cookie sheet. I would suggest lining the wire rack or cookie sheet with parchment prior to inverting the cakes to avoid the cake sticking to the rack or pan.
Once the cakes have cooled completely, the frosting can begin. Check out the smitten kitchen for some great tips and techniques for frosting the cake. Begin with one layer, use about 2/3 cup frosting to frost the layer. Add the next layer and repeat. Add the third layer and (you guessed it) repeat. Frost the sides of the cake. You may have some frosting left over. Place the cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes which will allow the glaze to solidify as it is poured over the top.
To make the chocolate glaze, combine chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup in a double boiler. Whisk frequently until melted and combined. Remove from heat and whisk in half and half until smooth. Pour the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides.