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Monday, September 26, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Each year, the school that I teach at holds a fundraising auction which includes a dessert auction. For last year's auction, I was asked to make a dessert. I had been wanting to try cake decorating for awhile, especially after reading i am baker. After looking through many cake recipes from many websites, I settled on this one. I also found a recipe for peanut butter cream cheese frosting. I wish I could remember what website that recipe came from. I'll do some more searching and post it if I find it.
My grandparents ended up buying the cake, so I got a bite of it. It was delicious! Very moist and flavorful. I made this cake a second time for my brother's birthday. I'll include tips about how I decorated each one below the pictures.

Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder {I used Hershey's.}
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt {I used regular salt.}
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature {99% sure that I used large eggs because that's what we had.}
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee {You can't taste coffee in the cake, but I think it helps keep it moist.}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. {Anyone know how to make the degrees sign??} Prepare your cake pans. {I used two round cake pans, 8 inches I believe, but you could use whatever you want.}
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and mix until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pans, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Then, decorate however you wish!

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (I have no idea if this is the same recipe that I used, but it's pretty similar. It came from here. If I find the actual one, I will post it.)

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter {I bet crunchy would be good, too, but maybe harder to spread!}
2-3 cups confectioner's sugar {aka powdered sugar}
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.
Add one cup of the confectioner's sugar and beat, then beat in a second cup of the sugar and the vanilla. Add more sugar, beating until desired consistency.
You may need to add a few drops of milk or water if your frosting is too thick.
You are now ready to frost your cake, cupcakes, or whatever you are decorating!

This is the cake for the school auction.  I used some of the frosting as a filling and also included a layer of chocolate covered pretzels with the filling. The stars were made with my Pampered Chef EZ Accent Decorator, and I used more chocolate covered pretzels. The letters (UCA - United Christian Academy) were made by melting chocolate chips, piping the letters, and freezing them until solid.  This was another great idea from i am baker (find it here). You have to work quickly with the letters because the heat from your hands will melt them pretty fast.

This second cake was made for my brother's birthday. This isn't the greatest picture, but it's the only one that I found (thanks, Josh!) For this cake, I decided to forego the chocolate covered pretzels and use Reese's Pieces. I sorted the candy by color {Did you know that there's way more orange than yellow or brown?} and then made vertical lines on the cake. It would have worked better if I had refrigerated the cake first so the frosting had set some. I found that the candy gradually began sliding down the side of the cake. I used the melted chocolate chips again, but it didn't work as well. They melted really fast. The 20 was made with the candles. 

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  1. This cakes sounds so tasty! I am sure that this frosting must be delicious!

  2. It really was tasty! The frosting is wonderful.