Monday, March 8, 2010

Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

This cake was made in celebration of E's birthday that just past last night. I decided to make it earlier and rename it congratulations-on-finishing-your-paper-cake. Both of us are in university and we both had papers to complete and we did. She was more concerned about finishing her paper so this cake was really well-deserved. Anyway, one of her favorite, if not her favorite flavor combinations is the classic, peanut butter and chocolate. Immediately, this cake from Sky High: Triple Layer Cakes came to mind. I remember seeing it also on Smitten Kitchen. Her review was nothing short of glowing so I knew this would be a winner. The cake couldnt have been easier to put together. All it required was a bowl and a whisk. The batter is quite thin, which I think in addition to the sour cream is responsible for its extremely moist, almost sticky, texture. (I think I might reduce the amount of water next time to give the cake a bit more body and sturdiness.) I loved the PB frosting for a bunch of reasons. Firstly, it got rid of some cream cheese that I had laying around. It was also easy to prepare and for all the sugar it contained, it wasnt too sweet. And its spread like a dream. I upped the PB until it was as nutty as I wanted it to be. I omitted the glaze as I thought it would be too much and I was right as this cake was extremely decadent. But boy was it good. Even I would admit this was a divine creation. The cake made its way down to the office. I know this because I received a text from our dorm mother saying, Your cake is the reason the the earth rotates on its axis. Enough said. Make this cake. Now.

Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
from Sky High: Triple Layer Cakes

2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup dutched cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat your oven to 350. Line three 8 inch pans with parchment paper. Grease the paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add the oil and sour cream,
and blend.
Add the water,
and mix to make a very thin batter.
Add the eggs and vanilla,
and mix.
Evenly distribute the batter among the three pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. After twenty minutes, remove from the pans and peel back the parchment paper. Let them finish cooling.
To make the frosting, place the cheese and margarine in a bowl. Beat until light and fluffy.
Somewhat light, not so much fluffy.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Your mixture should look something like this.
Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
To assemble, place one cake layer on your plate.
Top with a nice amount of frosting and spread to the edges of the cake layer.
Repeat with the remaining layers.
Frost the sides and smooth the edges. Decorate as you please.. or just dig in! Refrigerate any remaining cake... Should there be any..

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