February 27, 2013

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake (or: Oh, Yup!)

Now I just *know* that I have mentioned this cool-beyond-cool lady before, right? Right?! I love her. I love her blog. I love her podcast with Tracy from Shutterbean.com. All of it. It's like I'm in the kitchen with her and she's talking to me while she's making food which gives me those warm fuzzy feelings because it reminds me of being in the kitchen with my mom and sisters and talking about *everything* while we did whatever.

 When I found out that the library had her cookbook I was so excited! It is currently in my kitchen with a good dozen or so sticky-note tabs marking recipes that I want to try. The first recipe that I got around to making simply blew me away. It was so tasty!

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake
It really did taste as good as it looks! The peanut butter cream cheese frosting was so tangy, and the cake itself tasted like a spoonful of peanut butter. Yum.

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown)
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans.
     In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
     In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together peanut butter, butter, and sugars until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
     Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary.
    With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Slowly pour in all of the buttermilk. When mixture just starts to come together, add the remaining flour mixture, beating on low speed until mixture just begins to come together. Remove the bowl from the mixture and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula.
   Divide the batter between the 2 baking pans. Place on 2 racks in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the cake pans to alternating racks and continue to bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
   Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
   Frost cakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. (Cake will last, wrapped, in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you let it!)

This cake would not be the same thing without the frosting, so I've typed up that recipe as well.


Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

   Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese for about 1 minute, ensuring that it is soft and pliable. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the batter to the bowl. Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute until thoroughly combined.
   Add 1/3 cup of peanut butter to the cream cheese mixture. Beat for 30 seconds on medium speed, until well combined. Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and powdered sugar followed by the vanilla. Beat until almost incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat on medium speed until all of the powdered sugar has disappeared and the mixture is velvety soft. 
  If using immediately, dollop 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into the finished cream cheese and fold in with a spatula. Don't completely mix, leave streaks of peanut butter throughout the frosting. Use immediately to frost a cake or cupcakes.
  If storing for later use, spoon frosting into an airtight container, add peanut butter, swirl into the frosting and store in the fridge until ready to use. Bring the frosting to room temperature before frosting a cake or cupcakes. Frosting will last, in the airtight container, in the fridge for up to 7 days.

I highly recommend planning on having company, or scheduling yourself to go to a party where cake would be welcome at, reasonably close to the time you make this cake/frosting combo. It's much too dangerous to keep in the house with you, and your peanut butter loving self, for any extended period of time.

Even if you don't make this cake, go check out Joy's blog. She's awesome. (Joy, if you ever read this, I want to be your friend!)

Happy Wednesday y'all, get to cake makin'!

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