Chocolate and peanut is one of my favourite flavour combinations, and I particularly love the peanut butter cup cake flavour of Ben & Jerry’s. My aim was to capture that deliciousness in this cake recipe.
If you have a peanut allergy or simply don’t like peanuts, then absolutely stay away from this recipe; it is incredibly peanutty. But if that’s your kind of thing you’ll be in heaven here!
Instead of using peanut butter I used a peanut butter powder instead. It’s a little tricky to get hold of, but you can buy tubs from Amazon or Holland & Barrett and it can be used in a variety of recipes, both sweet and savoury. I decided to see how well it would work in a cake batter, and thankfully the result was an incredibly moist and delicious chocolate peanut cake!
250g plain flour
2½ tsp baking powder
1¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g peanut butter powder
A pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter
350g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp walnut oil (or similar alternative, e.g. sunflower oil)
450ml chocolate brownie milk (can be bought in Tesco, but regular chocolate milk will work)
100g Reese’s Extra Large Bar
200g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
1tsp peanut butter powder
1tsp cocoa powder
1tbsp chocolate brownie milk
Cocoa powder for dusting (I use glitter cocoa powder; you can buy this at Hobbycraft)
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup 5 pack
Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease and line the base and sides of two 8½/9-inch cake tins.
Sieve the flour into a medium sized bowl then combine with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, peanut butter powder and pinch of salt.
Set the dry ingredients aside, and in a larger bowl cream the butter for a minute. Add the sugar and continue to beat for another minute.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Beat in the two tablespoons of oil.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl, as well as half of the chocolate milk, and then beat for a minute until fully integrated. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and chocolate milk and beat a further minute.
Evenly divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 40 minutes.
Once baked, leave the cakes in their tins for 10 minutes then remove onto a cooling rack.
While the cakes are cooling you can prepare the buttercream.
Melt the Reese’s chocolate in the microwave. Begin by heating it for 30 seconds, then give it a little stir. Keep heating and stirring in 10 second intervals until you have a smooth consistency.
In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until you have a thick icing.
Beat in the melted chocolate. Add the peanut butter powder, cocoa powder and chocolate milk, then beat until smooth and consistent.
To decorate the cake pick which of the two cakes you’d like as your base. Have the flat side facing upwards. Spoon over a third of the buttercream, then, using a knife or palette knife, smooth it over to the edges of the cake so you have an even layer.
Once you are happy, place the second cake on top (flat side over the buttercream).
Spoon on the rest of the buttercream in intervals. You’ll need to gradually ease it over the side of the cake. Distribute it evenly around the top and sides, and once all the buttercream is on, use a knife or palette knife to smooth it over.
To decorate, I sprinkled cocoa glitter over the top, although you could use chocolate shavings. As a final touch, I cut four peanut butter cups in half and pressed them in. Reese’s Pieces would probably work really well too if you can get a hold of those!
Serve this Peanut Butter Cup Cake recipe on its own or with cream as a dessert.
Recipe by Andy Porter