Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yellow Birthday Cake with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Filling

I often crave chocolate and peanut butter.Like A LOT. Such an amazing combo. Lucky for my arteries, I was making this cake for my friend Jennifer's birthday. Is it healthy to channel my cravings into gifts for other people? It's OK she liked it too!

I have had my eye on this recipe from Bree for sometime and was waiting for the right time to make it. J told me she likes yellow cake, so I made Bree's recipe for the peanut butter chocolate chip filling and the milk chocolate butter cream and coupled with this moist and delicious yellow cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Simply divine. I did try a piece, and I have to say it was quite tasty.

The chocolate really takes a backseat here though. One thing to note is that the PB filing is not quite as rich as a PB icing since its made with whipped cream. Honestly, it wasn't as peanut buttery as I was imagining, but it was still good. The PB flavor really seeps into the layers. I stored in the fridge (due to the cream), which made it taste more dense and cold. If you left the cake out or warmed it up it might have a different consistency. Still, I think this is a birthday cake anyone would love! Oh and the cake batter, SO AMAZING that I shamelessly licked the entire spatula clean! OK- maybe the bowl too...

Moist and Buttery Yellow Cake

  • 4 cups & 2 TBSP cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
*If you don't have buttermilk, start with 2 TBSP (1 TBSP per cup of milk) fresh lemon juice and fill up to the 2 cup line with milk.

Preheat oven to 350. Line two 9 inch round cake pans with parchment circles and then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy.

Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down bowl after each. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled- that's OK!).

Add flour mixture in three batches, until each batch is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in both pans, rapping on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (About 25-40 minutes- OK I can't remember how long I baked mine for). Cool in pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert cakes on rack.

Discard parchment and cool completely- around 1 hour.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Filling

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (not the natural kind)
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini are best, but I only had regular)

When your cake is like 5 seconds away from being cool, whip the heavy cream and set aside.

Cream together peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add vanilla.

Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

It will spread best when at room temperature, but if you need to make ahead of time, keep in fridge and remove 15 minutes before you "fill" the cake, stirring until it warms up a little.

To fill your cake, place one layer on your cake stand/cake carrier etc. and place large dollop of filling on top, spread evenly and place second layer on top.

Keep in mind that this is only used for the filling, so you may have some extra if you don't give this cake a generous filling. I won't tell if you eat it with your spatula too! I may have saved a couple scoops and eaten with a spoon for dessert...maybe... :)

Use the side of your spatula to "seal" the layers together with the remaining filling and place in fridge for 2 hours to chill and firm.

Milk Chocolate Buttercream

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 TBSP heavy cream

* The chocolate flavor in this frosting is mild due to the milk chocolate. I added the cocoa powder to make it a bit richer, but if you want to go all out, then I would use 1/2 cup cocoa powder instead of the chips and powder listed above. You could also go with a dark chocolate.

Make this right before you're cake is finished "chilling" in the fridge. Cream butter and sugar. Gradually add cocoa powder and then melted chocolate. Add just enough cream to get the consistency for spreading. Add vanilla. Now you're ready to put the finishing touches on your cake!

To ice your cake, start by icing the top. It helps to have a handy dandy icing spatula like mine. It's OK to push the extra icing the edges. This will help us ice the sides.

What a mess! Next, slowly add icing to sides in small batches and using excess from top, smooth sides. Once you're done, carefully hold back of sspatula at an angle against edges and run around to remove excess icing.

Put remaining icing in an icing bag with a star tip and pipe around top and bottom edges for decorations. This effect will cause people to "Ooh" and "Aah." It's amazing! :)

Dig in and enjoy (with your birthday friend of course) with a glass of milk....or champagne! :) Both in our case.

On a side note- we spotted these white peacocks at J's birthday brunch at Green Pastures in Austin. All of us were chasing them around trying to take photos- haha so cute!

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?


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