This Chocolate Layer Cake with Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting is rich, chocolatey and absolutely decadent!
Some days just call for a nice big, fat piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting don’t they?? How bout we make today THAT day? Deal??
My favorite chocolate cake of all time is from a great little tavern called McNally’s in my husband Tom’s hometown of Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. It’s just a little place, but they serve the most awesome food. The soups, the sandwiches, the desserts…I think I put on five pounds just thinking about this place. They have this famous sandwich called “the Schmitter”. It’s crazy good, but that literally needs to be a whole nother post for a whole nother day. Today, let’s just talk about this yummy cake. Like I said, it’s my favorite chocolate cake of all time. I kid you not. When Tom and I order it, it’s like the waitress puts it in front of us, turns her back and boom it’s gone. That fast. Not a single crumb left on the plate. McNally’s makes theirs with chocolate buttercream frosting with a hint of coffee flavor which I totally love, but since I love chocolate and peanut butter I decided to try peanut butter frosting in today’s recipe with some nice chocolate curls on the top. And friends I have to say, it’s a winner. Just a little change up from the usual double chocolate combo.
The chocolate cake I feature here is Ina Garten’s chocolate cake recipe. It is the closest recipe I have gotten to the taste of my McNally’s favorite. Ina adds some strongly brewed coffee to the recipe which enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder and some buttermilk to make the cake super moist and light, just like McNally’s. My peanut butter frosting is so easy and just the perfect complement to the chocolate cake. I just ice the top and the middle of the layer cake because with a little less icing it justifies eating two pieces of cake instead of one! Right?
This is some serious cake here friends. If you like rich, moist, chocolatey cake topped with creamy, sweet peanut butter frosting this cake has your name written ALL over it. And if you don’t….well, what the heck?? Are you crazy??? You NEED to try this cake. I guarantee you’re gonna love it!
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee freshly brewed
- Peanut Butter Frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter one stick, room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups confectioners sugar sifted
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 Tbsp. whole milk
- Chocolate Curls:
- One bar semisweet or milk chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 by 2 inch round cake pans with no-stick cooking spray. I use Bakers Joy.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients just until incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in pans for about 30 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks to cool.
- FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING - In the bowl of a stand alone mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter at medium speed until smooth. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add the confectioners sugar, about one minute. Add the vanilla and one tablespoon of milk at a time and continue to beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE CURLS - Draw a vegetable peeler across the side of a semisweet chocolate or milk chocolate bar.
- Set one of the cake layers on a serving plate and evenly spread half of the frosting over the cake spreading to the edge. Top with the second layer, rounded side up and spread the remaining frosting over the top. Garnish with chocolate curls. Place in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.
(Cake adapted from Ina Garten’s Double Chocolate Cake)