When my boyfriend’s best friend celebrated his birthday over the weekend, I decided it was only fitting to bake him an extravagant, coma inducing cake to help distract him from the pain of aging. As a fan of Reese’s peanut butter cups, it seemed only fitting to reproduce the much loved confectionery into a five layered birthday cake. I wasn’t entirely sure how to do this, so spent the week leading up to his birthday analysing recipes I found online and having Ollie (the BF) help me pick the best sounding recipe. We settled on one and got to work.
Saturday morning was an early start and in no time my kitchen was covered in a mix of chocolate, peanut butter and icing sugar. It was a constant battle to restrain ourselves from eating the different cake mixtures straight out of the bowl – but somehow we managed to control ourselves for long enough to produce a pretty impressive birthday cake.
Now this cake really should come with a disclaimer, something along the lines of “the makers of this cake are in no way responsible for the hip, thigh and/or butt enlargement you may experience post consumption”. All jokes aside, this cake is a pure sugar high, food inducing coma of epic proportions – and I think that’s what ultimately makes it the star of the night!
As impressive as the finished product is, please don’t be deterred by its appearance – this cake is actually relatively straight forward to recreate. Yes its timely and involves a few ingredients, but the process isn’t overly complicated. In actual fact the hardest part is the washing up. Thankfully I had my number one assistant on hand to help clean as we went – resulting in a relatively mess free kitchen.
And for the cake itself? Sinfully deliciously. Seriously – this is sure to impress your guest of honour as much as it did ours. I was so pleased by the overwhelming appreciation of everyone’s comments after we divvied out piece after glorious piece of this wonderful birthday cake – its a real humbling experience to see the joy a simple birthday cake can bring to the faces of your friends. All in all – totally worth the calories, time and effort this monster cake took to create!
Serves 20 (generously)
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
180g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Peanut butter layers
6 cups icing sugar
2 cups smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs vanilla extract
3 Reese’s peanut butter cups, cut into quarters
Peanut butter layers
- Into a bench-top mixer, combine the sugar, peanut butter, and butter (mixture will be crumbly). Add in the cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes a consistent workable dough (It shouldn’t stick to your fingers or be crumbly).
- Divide the dough into two equal portions. Cover a 9-inch cake pan in baking paper. Press 1 portion of the dough into the pan and press evenly. Use another pan to repeat the process for the other layer. Freeze the peanut butter layers until solid.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the butter and chocolate. Stir until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of bench-top mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add in the sugar and combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Add in the vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt, and combine.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the three prepared pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a bench-top mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the cocoa and vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes until combined and creamy.
- Working on your cake stand, thinly frost the top of your brownie layer and top with a peanut butter layer. Repeat with another brownie layer, another peanut butter layer, and the final brownie layer. Thinly frost the entire cake. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Frost a final layer over the entire cake.
- Pipe six rosettes along the edge of the cake and one in the center. Top each of the rosettes with a Reese’s cup turned on its side
- Cake can be stored in fridge, allow to sit out for an hour or two before slicing.
More photos to come….
*Recipe adapted from Spache the Spatula (http://www.spachethespatula.com)