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Peanut Butter Cake

March 22nd, 2011 · 2 Comments · Recipes

Let me tell you a story.  Way back in like 1996 I delivered my first child and became a stay at home mom.  Let me clarify, a stay at home mom working with a VERY tight-so-tight-it’s-painful grocery budget.  I knew that in order for this arrangement to work I was going to have to learn to cook everything from scratch and cook it well because there’s one thing about my husband and that is that the man can seriously eat.  I’m telling you what, Ed likes his food and he likes a lot of it but it needs to be good food, not just anything slapped together.  Not only that but I had a little one to please and three stepchildren coming on weekend visits plus I constantly invited family over.  In short, there was always something cooking in my kitchen and I’m pleased to say that most of the time, it was pretty darn good.

Well I was always on the lookout for new recipes and so when my dear Aunt Joy (Grammy’s sister) told me about Taste of Home magazine, I checked a few out from her to be sure it was worth spending some of my grocery budget on to sign up for a subscription.  It was.  So I did.  {But I was going to get my nieces all subscriptions this year so I bought one at the store and it’s CHANGED!  Oh no, it’s awful now, don’t get it.}

Well I would read those newly arrived magazines and just soak in every delicious recipe.  Sometimes Ed would point one out to me and suggest it for the weekend family dinner or something but I’m telling you, they were almost all just wonderful.  And then I saw the recipe for Peanut Butter Cake.  A double layer of thick, dense peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting swirled over the whole damn thing.  But not just chocolate frosting because in between the layers it said to take some frosting and mix it with chopped up peanut butter cups.  How can that just not be heaven-on-a-plate I ask you?

Well I made it once.  Once.  Everyone loved it, just loved it and I decided that it was definitely a keeper.  And then I got pregnant, we moved to Newton, I purged my magazines, and a tornado known as my-middle-child-Kenny arrived in our home so pretty much nothing has been organized or easily found since then.

I’d lost the recipe.

For years, YEARS, I have searched this house in every box, book, binder, attic, drawer, everywhere and I’ve never been able to find it.  I went so far as to email Taste of Home and begged them to tell me the issue it was in so I could get it off ebay or at least tell some of the folks who said they had years of magazines sitting around but no such luck.  Well recently I was moving some old binders that I’d left upstairs on the shelves in Vincent’s room when it was my office and I noticed that one of them had some printed out recipes from a time when I belonged to an online forum with a group of mom’s.  ”Didn’t I post that peanut butter cake recipe in the forums one time?” I wondered.  So I fingered through the pages and there it was.

I yelped.

How stupid is that?  I KNOW!  But I did.  I let out a whoop and a holler and told Ed that I was making that peanut butter cake he loved so much.  Ed then looked at me like I’d lost my mind because he can’t remember if I’d told him we won the lottery so how the hell could he remember a freaking cake I’d made 15 years ago.  To be honest, I kinda see his point, but anyway, I rushed into the kitchen and I had all but one ingredient – the peanut butter cups, and I figured we could skip those just this once.

I’ll shut up now and get to the good stuff!  You’ll need –

  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 2 tsp bkg powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter at room temp (I never use salted for anything! Yuck!)
  • 1 1/3 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C creamy peanut butter (I use natural but regular works)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C milk
  • 2 grease and floured round cake pans
  • Oven preheated to 350


Sift the dry ingredients TWICE

Beat eggs & sugar in the mixing bowl, turn it on high, walk off for about 5 minutes.

Add the butter and mix well, then add the pb and vanilla, mixing well after.  On low speed, add in the milk and flour alternating between them, in three additions.

Divide into your two cake pans and bake for 25 minutes.  Cool on wire racks for about 10 minutes.

Slide a knife around the pan and turn them out to cool completely.

At this point my camera battery died so that’s about it for pictures. LOL

For the frosting you’ll need –

  • 1/2 C butter at room temp
  • 6 Tblsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp instant coffee disolved in 1 Tblsp hot water (I used about a tablespoon of leftover STRONG hazelnut coffee that I’d made for Ed)
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa (dutch process, if you can)
  • 4 C powdered sugar
  • 6 peanut butter cups, chopped small

Mix all the ingredients except pb cups until smooth.  Remove 3/4 C frosting and mix with pb cups in a small bowl and use as the filling between the layers.

Pure heaven people!  Pure heaven!  Please make this for your family.  Please, please, please!

Unfortunately, this was pretty much the last time I saw this little masterpiece….

Guess I’ll have to make another one. :)



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