When Erin emailed me about participating in Caroline’s virtual baby shower I could not say yes fast enough. Caroline is one of my favorite bloggers and I’ve loved seeing her excitement about the soon-to-come baby over the last several months. It is so obvious that she and Logan are going to be amazing parents.
Deciding on a dessert to make in honor of Caroline wasn’t all that hard because I know she loves peanut butter and chocolate almost as much as I do. Plus, I’ve been drooling over the peanut butter cake in the Joy the Baker Cookbook for months now! An even better coincidence, I was able to bring this cake for my brother-in-law’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. He is also a peanut butter and chocolate lover. Smart people.
The cake has a lot of components but they all came together really well. A peanut butter cake that was light and moist, not dense like I would have expected (it also had just the right amount of peanut butter flavor, not overwhelming at all) was the perfect base. The salted caramel cream cheese icing could have been eaten by the spoonful and the rich chocolate ganache brought it all together very nicely. I don’t usually mess with nuts in my cakes, but I decided to sneak in a layer of chopped honey roasted peanuts to add a contrasting texture. The additional peanut flavor didn’t hurt either!
It seems I’m not the only blogger excited for Caroline! Be sure to check out the other posts to see what other treats were involved at the shower:
Healthy Food For Living – Carrot Cake Colada
Bran Appetit – Strawberry Mint Sparkling Lemonade
Baked Bree – Pancetta and Chive Quiche
Simply Whole Kitchen – Mini Quinoa Bites with Goat Cheese Pesto
Food Doodles – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Filled Whole Wheat Cream Puffs
Kevin & Amanda – Baby Cinnamon Buns
Baked by Rachel – Mini Lemon Lime Cheesecakes
Bake Your Day- No Bake Lemon Cheesecakes with Lemon Blueberry Sauce
Eat Good 4 Life – No Bake Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes
Fearless Homemaker – Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Cream
Itzy’s Kitchen – 10 Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies
Texanerin Baking – 100% Whole Grain Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Icing, Chocolate Ganache & Honey Roasted Peanuts
2 8 or 9-inch layers of peanut butter cake cooled (recipe below)
1 batch of salted caramel cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
1 batch of chocolate ganache cooled (recipe below)
1 cup honey roasted peanuts, roughly chopped plus additional for garnish
To put together cake, place 1 layer of peanut butter cake on a large flat plate (if you are traveling with the cake, it helps topout a little frosting underneath so that I does not slide)
Level bottom cake layer with a cake leveler or serrated knife
Top with about a cup of frosting and spread evenly; sprinkle chopped peanuts over frosting
Level second cake layer and then place it over frosting and peanuts
Frost top and sides of cake evenly with remainder of frosting
Drizzle chocolate ganache over cake as desired and sprinkle with a few extra peanuts as a garnish
Allow ganache to set about an hour before slicing and serving cake
Store leftover cake in refrigerator up to three days
Peanut Butter Cake
Source: Joy the Baker Cookbook
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease two 8 or 9-inch round pans; line bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and then grease and lightly flour entire pans; set aside
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside
Cream peanut butter, butter and sugars in the large bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy; scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula and continue to beat for another minute
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium speed until combined between each addition; scrape sides of the bowl again
Put mixer on low speed and slowly add half of the flour mixture; stop mixer and add buttermilk then mix on low just until combined; add remaining flour and mix on low speed just until mixture is almost combined; remove bowl from stand and fold batter with a spatula just until smooth
Divide batter evenly between pans and lightly tap on counter to remove air pockets
Bake cake for 15 minutes and then turn each pan 180 degrees; continue to bake for 10-15 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out of the center clean
Allow cake layers to cool in pans 10 minutes until carefully removing from pan and allow to completely cool on a wire rack
Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from this Salted Caramel Buttercream
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar*
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup salted caramel sauce
Beat cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed for several minutes or until light and creamy
Add sugar, a cup at a time, mixing on low speed between each addition; increase speed to high and mix until fluffy
Add vanilla and caramel sauce mixing until well-combined and frostilists light and creamy
*If consistency is too wet for cake add additional sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beat well until frosting reaches desired consistency
Source: Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside
Put remaining ingredients in a heavy saucepan and place over medium-high heat; stir constantly until butter is melted
When cream mixture comes to a boil and bubbles begin to rise on entire surface, remove from heat and pour over chocolate
Allow chocolate to sit for one minute then stir to combine until smooth and creamy
Allow to cool before pouring over cake; if not using immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to a week
Salted caramel cream cheese frosting?! Amazing! Congratulations to Caroline, what an absolutely perfect cake to bring!
Oh my goshhh so many amazing flavors together :) Love your blog!
Making this amazing cake for Caroline was a great choice. There is hardly anyone that would pass on a cake with these wonderful flavors. Outside of the great taste, the cake is really eye catching. The presentation was executed perfectly. I am sure this brought a big smile to Caroline’s face, well done and very thoughtful!
This looks so amazing! Congrats Caroline!
I think I need to marry into your family so that I can get cakes like this made for me for my birthday. This is UNREAL. You took Joy’s cake and like…amazing-ed it. Squared.
You are an honorary member, next year’s cake will be out of control since I missed my chance for your birthday this year!
Lauren, I’m in complete shock over the love and kindness that surrounds me. I can’t even begin to thank you enough for such a wonderful surprise. I just can’t seem to dry my eyes after reading all of these amazing posts! I have such wonderful friends.
You TOTALLY know me best when it comes to desserts. This is the absolute perfect combination of all things good…and I need a piece…right now. Ever since I made your salted caramel frosting, I was in love. I put it on a chocolate cake…without any peanut butter. What was I thinking?!? This cake is perfection.
Someday (hopefully very soon), we’re going to take a family trip to NYC. This baby (and mommy) needs some culture…and fast! ;-) I can’t wait to meet you in person someday soon! Eeee! You are too sweet.
Thank you so so so much!
Yessss, chocolate and peanut butter lovers unite!! This cake is totally mouth-watering, and you all are so sweet to do this for Caroline and her baby-to-be. :) Love it!
Oh, wow. This cake is AMAZING. Happy showering!
Fantastic combination Lauren! Love the first shot.
This is truly gorgeous, Lauren, and perfect for celebrating of any kind! I love that ganache, I am afraid that I would have no self-control over this cake!
Wow! The flavor combination for this is going to be crazy good! Thanks for sharing!
wow this is quite the cake! Looks incredible!! I love the virtual shower idea, so cute!
this sounds so so so so good! really, i wish i could have a slice right now. so fun to be part of the virtual shower with you!
Beautiful cake! This sounds incredibly delicious – I love the combo of flavors. I really wish I could be sitting down to a slice of this right now :D
YUMMY! I’ve tried making a peanut butter cake before but I wasn’t impressed. This looks perfect, though! Especially with all those amazing changes you made. A perfect mixing of flavors. :)
I want this in my mouth right now
Wow. I’m not sure what else to say about this phenomenal cake! I want to face plant right into it ;).
How haven’t I come across your blog before? Weird. Well now I am glad that I have found you through this nice event. That peanut butter cake looks unreal, like almost fake it is so good. I am sure it was super good!! Glad to have found you!!
BEAUTIFUL treat for the shower! I absolutely love it! Who wouldn’t want a slice?
PB, Caramel and Chocolate it is a combination for the angels to sing and my heart to melt just looking at this pictures!!!
This cake looks beautiful and encompasses all of y favorite flavors! I love Joys new book too- such unique recipes! Xx
Lauren, you’ve completely excelled yourself, this looks DELICIOUS! I love that Joy the Baker cookbook but I’ve not yet made the peanut butter cake. Now I just have to!
wow this looks amazing!
What a great cake! I can’t wait to try it because it looks absolutely delicious!
That is definitely one sweet surprise! Congratulations to Caroline!
This is so sinful Lauren and the virtual shower is a really neat idea. Glad things are going well with your venture.
That title alone! Has everything good going on in it :) Pretty cake too!
oh this is so fun! what a perfect dessert!
BTW- I posted yesterday about following dreams and a show called “Failure Club” doing just that- it reminded me of you and how courageous and inspiring you are to be doing this! I just love it!
You are the sweetest and always leave me the best comments, thank you!
Making this cake without a purpose…other than to sit on my counter and be eaten non-stop…would be totally dangerous. And yet…worth it.
Oh yes, it would be completely worth it!
What a lovely contribution to the shower-it sounds (and looks) fabulous!
this is beautiful! i’d need lots of practice to make a cake that looks like this :)
Sounds like a good excuse to start baking a cake!
What a gorgeous cake. So great for the baby shower!
Have bookmarked this, sounds so yummy. Thanks for a lovely post :)