Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

Today, I turn 34 years young, and I have the most serious of serious questions to ask. Does this mean I’m now in my mid-30’s? If the answer is yes, don’t tell me. It dumbfounds me to think that at 34 years old, my mom already had a 9-year-old and a 7-year-old. I barely feel like a grown-up, save for the mortgage payments and general responsibilities that come with not being 18 anymore.

If time is going to keep on moving, we might as well welcome it with open arms and some phenomenal cake, right? I have had this cake on the brain for months, but decided to shelve it and save it for my birthday. I couldn’t think of anything more perfect for me than an overdose of chocolate and peanut butter to the highest degree.

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

I basically took my favorite chocolate cake, my favorite peanut butter frosting, tons of peanut butter cups, and smooshed it all together into one of the most fabulous cakes I have made to date.

For someone who could eat chocolate and peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this cake is a dream come true.

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

The cake is the same one I used for my Snickers cake last year; do you remember how much I went on and on about how it’s the best chocolate cake ever?

Well, it’s still the best chocolate cake ever.

Case closed.

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

The peanut butter frosting is a double batch from my chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes, and I love it because it’s silky smooth, super peanut butter-y and not at all too sugar-y. I would love to just eat it from a bowl with a spoon. However, I’ll settle for it on this cake along with tons of chopped peanut butter cups, because, of course, there needs to be peanut butter cups.

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

I plan to spend my birthday relaxing, going to a hockey game, and eating a ridiculous amount of dessert.

That’s what birthdays are for, right?

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

One year ago: Italian Easter Pie
Three years ago: Tiramisu Cupcakes
Four years ago: Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Six years ago: Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 32 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

A sinfully rich three-layer chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, chopped peanut butter cups and a chocolate ganache.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup heavy cream

For the Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream

30 miniature peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped, divided

Directions:

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you're using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Peanut Butter Frosting: Place the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the heavy cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth (do not overbeat).

6. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with 1 cup of the peanut butter frosting and sprinkle 10 of the chopped peanut butter cups over the frosting. Top with a second cake layer and cover with another 1 cup of the peanut butter frosting, and top with another 10 chopped peanut butter cups. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the remaining peanut butter frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

7. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a 4-cup measuring cup; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

8. Garnish the Cake: If the ganache was mixed in a bowl, transfer it to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Top with the remaining 10 chopped peanut butter cups. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

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208 Responses to “Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake”

  1. Jenna on March 25, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Happy birthday to you.. happy birthday to you..
    happy birthday happy birthday
    happy birthday to YOU!
    The cake looks like heaven! can’t wait to try it! Have a nice birthday :)

    Reply

  2. Marcie on March 25, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Happy birthday! :) You’re in your low 30’s for one more year, so live it up! haha With this cake, you’re doing just that. Enjoy your hockey game and your day. And you’re still much younger than me. :)

    Reply

  3. AndreaL on March 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope you have a fantastic day and many blessings in the year ahead!

    I can’t wait to try this. After I read the recipe & finished drooling, I saw this article about “9 Amazing Cakes To Make For Birthdays” and was sooooo excited to see you on there. Congratlations!!!

    http://www.philly.com/philly/food/20140325_Parade_9_Amazing_Cakes_to_Make_for_Birthdays.html

    Reply

  4. Katie G on March 25, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Happy Birthday Michelle! Hope you have a great day with your pups and CCC :)

    That cake looks absolutely amazing, is it available for order?!

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 29th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Katie, Thank you! I do not do any baking orders, I’m sorry!

      Reply

  5. Patti Burgess on March 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    Reply

  6. Julie H on March 25, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Happy Birthday! Keep all the great recipes coming & enjoy your birthday! It’s just a number; you’re only as old as you feel!

    Reply

  7. Shikha @ Shikha la mode on March 25, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Woahhh that cake is a masterpiece. Happy birthday! You spent the day exactly as you should – relaxing, eating, and doing what you love. Keep doing you!

    Reply

  8. Auntiepatch on March 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Happy Birthday; the best is yet to come!

    Reply

  9. Vicki Pieranunzi on March 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    LOL! As soon as I saw the picture, I knew exactly why you made this. Happy, happy birthday!

    Reply

  10. Danielle B on March 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    This chocolate cake really is the best chocolate cake ever. It is the only one I make.

    Reply

  11. Christine C on March 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Happy Birthday Michelle! Your cake and photography get me in the Cake Mood! I am Not a cake person, rather a pie girl so Kudos to You! Your age is only how you feel and what people perceive! You are young and young at heart and will probably look & feel young when you are in your 70’s! Enjoy life and your loved ones!

    Reply

  12. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on March 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Happy birthday, Michelle! This is the perfect way to celebrate. This cake looks SOOO amazing. I am going to bookmark this to make for my husband’s birthday in May – this is a dream cake for a choco pb lover! Hope you have a fabulous day!

    Reply

  13. Megan on March 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    This looks so freaking amazing. Making this ASAP! Happy Birthday!!

    Reply

  14. Jamie on March 25, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Happy Birthday!!! I know exactly what you mean about barely feeling like you’re grown up. I’m 31 and sometimes I really have to think when someone asks how old I am because I still feel like I’m still in my early 20’s! I hope you have a great birthday!! That cake looks absolutely AMAZING!!!!

    Reply

  15. Bonnie on March 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Happy birthday to you. I bet you’re the only person in your life that bakes like you do, otherwise somebody could have made you a cake for once :-P I mean that in a good way, because this blog is amazing.

    Reply

  16. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on March 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I would definitely want this as my birthday cake! Happy Birthday Michelle!

    Reply

  17. Maria on March 25, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Happy Birthday friend! I am drooling over this cake. The best way to celebrate! xo

    Reply

  18. safia on March 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Hi :) its my husbands this weekend and I really want to try baking this cake, I have one question, would it be OK to replace the buttermilk with yoghurt? I usually find it difficult to get hold of buttermilk :) thanks for the amazing recipe

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 29th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Safia, I have not tried to make that substitution and am not sure how it would affect the batter, so unfortunately I can’t say one way or the other. You can always make your own buttermilk with regular milk and lemon juice: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/substitutions/

      Reply

  19. Jodi4372 on March 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    34 years young! Happy happy birthday! Thank you for sharing this amazing cake, I think I will “save” it for hubby’s birthday in October!

    Reply

  20. Sarah on March 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Happy birthday, Michelle! If this cake tastes anything close to as good as it looks, I want to eat the entire thing right now!

    Reply

  21. Katie on March 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Happy birthday! I’ll be 18 in a couple of days and this looks like a serious contender for my cake…

    Reply

  22. Samantha H on March 25, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Happy birthday! I may just request this cake for my own birthday next week! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  23. Kelsey on March 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Happy Birthday! It’s like you know I’ve been obsessed with making three layer cakes, or else why would you post this delicious recipe to tempt me?? Unfortunately my kitchen is being renovated so baking anything right now is a huge hassle. I’ve been on a chocolate cake kick, trying a bunch of different recipes. I’ve found two others that were very good, so I’m excited to try this one as well. The frosting you used for this cake is actually my go-to peanut butter frosting! It can’t be beat.

    Reply

  24. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough on March 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Happy birthday, Michelle! This cake is the PERFECT way to celebrate. I might just have to make it this weekend to celebrate my own birthday… a month and a half early. ;)

    Reply

  25. Dawn on March 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Happy Birthday to you!! The cake looks Delicious! Thank you for having one of my very favorite food blogs. I sure do appreciate all you do for us foodies. 34 is young, and it sounds like you feel that way. Wishing you many more.

    Reply

  26. Elena on March 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    First of all, happy birthday! Secondly, this looks AMAZING!! But, unfortunately I can’t have it, because I gave up chocolate for lent. I know,I know, I’m crazy, but I’ve gotten used to it. After Good Friday this is definitely on my to-bake list! I hope you have wonderful birthday!!

    Reply

  27. Allison on March 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day. :) Your blog is one that I read every day- thank you for all that you do. This looks delicious!

    Reply

  28. Mason Canyon on March 25, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Happy Birthday, Michelle. Your cake is perfect for the occasion (as well as any day of the week). ;) It looks so yummy. Hope you have a wonderful day.

    Reply

  29. Emily on March 25, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Happy Birthday, Michelle! Hope your day and upcoming year are full of joyful surprises! Thanks for all the delightful recipes, especially this amazing cake!
    :)

    Reply

  30. Martha in KS on March 25, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Happy “29th” Birthday! You’re as young/old as you feel. No labels.

    Reply

    • Martha in KS on March 25th, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      Just saw your cake on PARADE website. How exciting!

      Reply

  31. Sarah on March 25, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    This looks delish! How strong is the coffee flavor? I do not like coffee. Wondering if I could leave it out of the cake recipe? Happy Birthday!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 29th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Sarah, You can’t taste the coffee at all! I don’t recommend leaving it out as it helps to add moistness and enhances the chocolate flavor.

      Reply

  32. madelynn on March 25, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Is there any way i can omit the coffe ???

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 29th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Madelynn, I really don’t recommend it; it’s a key ingredient in the cake, adding moisture and enhancing the chocolate flavor. You can’t taste it at all.

      Reply

      • Elena on March 30th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

        So I don’t drink coffee for religious reasons but this cake looks amazing, so I was wondering if you could think of any subsitutes? I know that coffee is commonly used with really chocolatey things so if you know a good subsitute that would be really helpful in general.

        Reply

        • Michelle on April 1st, 2014 at 5:09 pm

          Hi Elena, Is it due to the caffeine content? If so, you can certainly use decaf. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a suitable replacement since water would dilute the flavor, milk would add extra fat, possibly affecting the texture of the cake, and hot chocolate would add extra sugar.

          Reply

        • Tracy on May 16th, 2014 at 11:48 am

          Elena- I don’t drink coffee either. I’ve used coffee flavored Postum or Pero in other recipes and that’s worked. I’ll be making this cake later today and will be doing that substitution. I’ll post back with the results.

          Reply

    • Janine on June 25th, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      I made it with water in place of coffee. I can’t say how it compares, but I can say it was delicious and still very chocolatey. It doesn’t taste like it’s missing anything to me, and unless you had a side-by-side comparison, I don’t think anyone would complain.

      Reply

  33. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on March 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    This cake is so full of deliciousness! I love this recipe!

    Reply

  34. Aimee on March 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Happy birthday! My birthday is Saturday and I think I will need to make myself this cake. We are celebrating with a Red Wings game next week. And don’t worry about 34 being mid-thirties. I am convinced 36 is still mid-thirties too!

    Reply

  35. Catherine on March 25, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Happy Birthday!! I found my sons birthday cake for when he turns 18 next month. Thank you and enjoy your day!!

    Reply

  36. Gina on March 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Happy Birthday! That cake looks amazing. I love chocolate and peanut butter! Can’t wait to make it.

    Reply

  37. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on March 25, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Happy, happy birthday!! I’m kind of jealous that you get to spend it with this cake – it looks phenomenal!!

    Reply

  38. Sandy on March 25, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Happy Birthday! Mine was yesterday! I’m looking forward to making this as EVERYONE in my office loves chocolate and peanut butter. I know this will be a big hit!. Thanks for all the amazing recipes!

    Reply

  39. Meriem @ Culinary Couture on March 25, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Now THIS I need to try!

    Reply

  40. Steph in Lex on March 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Happy birthday! You are almost exactly eight months older than me, so mid-thirties or not, I’m close behind you. I don’t have kids as old as your mom did at this age, but I do have two kids in addition to the mortgage and other adult-ish responsibilities, and trust me, kids do nothing to make you feel more like an adult!
    I actually do not like chocolate cake–but this one looks like it’s fudgy enough that it would be good for me (the thing I dislike about chocolate cake is the light, spongy nature of so many of them) and I can usually eat chocolate cake if it’s covered in frosting that is peanut buttery or minty. Chocolate + peanut butter is always a winner!

    Reply

  41. Tracy | Pale Yellow on March 25, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Happy Birthday! I can’t think of a better way to spend a birthday than with this cake, fantastic!

    Reply

  42. Barbara Louise on March 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    It almost hurts to look at this beautiful piece of art! It’s simply exquisite!

    Reply

  43. Melissa on March 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Awesome Cake! Happy Birthday!

    Reply

  44. Tieghan on March 25, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Happy, Happy Birthday!!! This is a cake I would so make for my birthday too. Nothing beats this combo and chocolate cakes all the way!! Hope you had a great day!

    Reply

  45. Chichi on March 26, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Happy Belated Birthday. Delicious looking cake

    Reply

  46. Emily @ Life on Food on March 26, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Enjoy your birthday week! This cake is a fantastic way to celebrate. And haven’t you heard 34 is the new 24.

    Reply

  47. Beth on March 26, 2014 at 10:39 am
  48. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures on March 26, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Happy Birthday! You’re definately still in your early thirties.

    Reply

  49. Jacquie on March 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Happy Birthday, Michelle!!! This cake looks amazing. I just HAVE to make it now. Haha. Thanks so much for this recipe!!

    Reply

  50. MyThy Huynh as in "Mighty" on March 27, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Ok, you’ve ruined me. I’ve been wanting to bake a cake for best male guy friend and then I was going to make Smitten Kitchen’s cake: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/08/chocolate-peanut-butter-cake/

    AND THEN YOU POSTED THIS!!! Now I’m going to have to make 2 cakes.

    One for him, and one to celebrate your belated Bday. Happy Birthday! I turn 34 this yr too. And I’ve got no kids. I better get started (on this cake) huh?

    Reply

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