The ultimate comfort cake

It's rainy, it's Friday and it's about to get cold. We need cake. There are few flavor combinations as beloved as chocolate and peanut butter. The rich, velvety goodness of chocolate perfectly complements the creamy, nutty taste of peanut butter. When these two flavors come together in a cake, you're in for a treat that's nothing short of divine. This delectable chocolate peanut butter cake recipe came to me via an amazing junior baker and dear family friend (shout out to Stella!). I'm going to be honest and say that this is not a quick bake and demands a bit of patience waiting for things to cool but IT IS WORTH IT!!  It will have your taste buds dancing with delight. So get baking and enjoy the fruits of your labour with a cuppa and your favourite Kitty Holmes napkin by your side. You will need it to wipe the ganache off your face! 


**For the Chocolate Cake:**

  • -1 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • -1 3/4 cups (220g) granulated sugar
  • - 3/4 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • - 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • - 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • - 1 tsp salt
  • - 2 large eggs
  • - 3/4 cup (180g) sour cream
  • - 1/2 (120ml) cup canola or vegetable oil
  • - 1/2 (120ml) cup buttermilk (you can make buttermilk just by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk and let it sit there for a few mins to thicken
  • - 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • - 1/2 cup (120ml) hot black coffee or hot water - this doesn't make the cake taste like coffee - it just enhances the flavour of the cake
  • - 1 cup (170g) choc chips or chopped chocolate if you don't have choc chips to hand

**For the Peanut Butter Frosting:** (This is a huge amount. I make it and freeze half to use another time. It freezes well!) 

  • - 1 3/4 cup (440g) smooth creamy peanut butter (the cheap stuff works best, I think!)
  • - 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • - 1 3/4 cup (210g) icing sugar
  • - 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • - 3 tablespoons double cream

**For the Chocolate Ganache:**

  • - 3/4 cup (225g) very finely chopped dark chocolate (I use 70% dark choc)
  • - 1 cup double cream


**For the Chocolate Cake:**

  1. Preheat your oven to 175°C (fan). Grease and flour three  9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the eggs, sour cream vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined and then add the buttermilk. 
  4. Stir in the coffee/boiling water. The batter will be thin, but that's okay. Then add the chocolate chips. 
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to completely cool in the pans. They might sink a bit in the middle but that's fine. Please really do be patient here and let them cool until they are stone cold otherwise you don't get the full effect of the frosting deliciousness. 

**For the Peanut Butter Frosting:**

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and softened butter until creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the peanut butter until they are completely combined and it will seem thin but hold your nerve! 
  2. Using your mixer at low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and then add the double cream. Beat until the frosting is smooth. If it still seems too thin, you can add a bit more icing sugar until the desired thickness for spreading all over a cake. 

**For the Ganache ** Make this just before you're ready to use it once the cake is assembled and has been chilling for at least half an hour! 

  1. Place the VERY finely chopped chocolate in a medium sized heat proof bowl. 
  2. Heat the double cream in a small saucepan on medium heat until it starts to simmer. Do NOT let it boil. 
  3. Pour the hot cream all over your finely chopped chocolate and let it sit there for a minute to melt and then stir, stir, stir until you've got a lovely glossy ganache.

**Assemble and crumb coat:**

  1. Place one of the cooled chocolate cake layers on a serving plate.
  2. Spread a generous layer of peanut butter frosting on top and then repeat with the second and third layers. 
  3. Frost the entire cake with more peanut butter frosting so that it's a thin crumb coat. 
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins but I try to make it 3 hours. I told you this wasn't a quick bake but all good things come to those who wait. 
  5. Pour the ganache (recipe above!) all over the chilled cake. Use a spatula to smooth the ganache all over the cake. This is messy and I have to confess that my cake never looks that pretty but it tastes amazing. You can either serve it as is or let it chill a bit in the fridge (which is what I do) before serving....with a soft Kitty Holmes napkin on your lap. 

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