The Peanut Butter Cup

I am home from San Francisco and am enjoying going back through my pastry text books. The peanut butter cup was one of my favorites to make.  I love rich foods and sweet desserts….but this was ALMOST too sweet for me.  For you chocoholics out there, this is the cake for you!  Regardless of whether you are making it for yourself or to give as a gift, the peanut butter cup is an absolutely beautiful cake.

All of the cakes that we made in class were 6 inches.  I think that this is a perfect size for any cake…but especially a rich cake like the peanut butter cup.  The following recipe is for a 6 inch cake.  The weights are in grams (sorry guys….that’s how we did it in class).

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

  • 96 g Low Protein bread flour (or all purpose)
  • 60 g canola oil
  • 154 g sugar
  • 65 g eggs
  • 34 g cocoa powder
  • 4 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 180 g buttermilk
  • 3 g vanilla extract

For the cake, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and reserve. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract and reserve.  Blend the canola oil and sugar with the paddle attachment.  Slowly add the eggs.  Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the remaining wet ingredients.  Deposit into sprayed and papered pan and bake at 335F for about 45 minutes until skewer test is clean.  Cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes.  Then un-mold and cool fully on a rack.

Peanut Butter Icing

  • 189 g cream cheese
  • 484 g butter
  • 97 g powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 5 g vanilla extract
  • 5 g salt
  • 397 g creamy peanut butter
  • 24 g molasses

For the icing, combine the softened cream cheese and butter with the paddle attachment on medium speed until no lumps remain.  Add the remaining ingredients and whip on medium speed until slightly lightened in color and smooth, scraping occasionally.  Store at room temperature for up to 24 hours, refrigerated for 5 days or frozen for 3 months.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 204 g cream
  • 150 g 64% couverture chocolate

For the ganache, bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate.  Form an emulsion and press plastic wrap directly on the surface until ready to use.  For use, ganache must be soft enough to spread.


After the cake has fully cooled, slice the cake into 4 layers.  Spread the first layer with roughly 80 g of peanut butter icing.  Place the next layer on top and spread with roughly 80 g ganache.  Place another layer of cake and spread with peanut butter icing.  Place the final layer of cake on top.  We always used the bottom of the cake as the top layer because it was level and smooth.

Once the cake is assembled, mask the cake with a very thin layer of icing and chill until set before finishing.  We used dough blades to mask our cakes.  I found it to be so much easier than using a spatula.

Once the cake has set, top the cake with roughly 150 g of peanut butter icing and spread evenly.  Use a spatula to create a swirl pattern.  Coat the sides of the cake with ganache and immediately coat gently with chocolate shavings.  You could also use chocolate cake crumbs or cookie crumbs.  Store the cake refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month.  I hope you guys enjoy making the cake as much I as did!

Happy Baking!

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