Remember all of those times I’ve told you box mixes are no faster than home made? Real life example, coming your way. About a month ago, I volunteered to make some cakes for a church function. I had to make 2- two layer cakes. I whipped up the yellow layer cake early in the day. Then, I waited a little late in the day to start making the second cake. I thought- if I could just use a mix and whip up a semi-homemade cake and add a homemade frosting, all would be well in cake buffet land. I looked in my pantry. No cake mixes. How could I not have one vanilla or chocolate cake mix??? Called my next door neighbors. No luck. Call my dear friend Mel, just a few houses down the street. No luck, again. Mel is a fave among the young group in our neighborhood. She’s one of those peeps who will break into dance, no matter where she is when she hears “Dancin’ Queen”. We love Melanie. So anyway, there we were chatting it up and I realize the clock is ticking and I need to make a cake. The testimonial is coming up, pay attention. As we are talking, I get out the cookbook: Sky High Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne, with beautiful photos by Tina Rupp. This cake catches my eye: Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze. Did I mention earlier in the day, when Melinda (not to be confused with Melanie) and I were on the treadmill, Melinda suggested I make a choco peanut butter cake? Hello, SIGN. Looked at the ingredient list. Yes, all in my pantry. I throw together the cake before finishing the convo with Mel(anie). Proof. In the time it would have taken to run to the store and buy a cake mix, the cake was in the oven.
Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting & Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder preferably Dutch process
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- Peanut Butter Frosting follows
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze follows
- ½-1 cup chopped peanut brittle or nuts for decoration (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans or two nine inch pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, wrap layers in plastic wrap and place in freezer until ready to frost, at least one hour.To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top or bottom of cake with chopped peanut brittle or nuts.
-I made this cake into a two layer cake. It baked up perfectly in two 9 inch layer pans. My pans are bakery standard, with 2 inch sides.
-Make sure to freeze the cake before frosting. It will make the cake easier to handle and frost.
-The original recipe called for 1 ½ cups water, I reduced it to 1 ¼ because of our altitude (4,500 ft) I did not make any other adjustments.
-See the coating of nuts at the bottom of the cake? I strategically placed the nuts there, to hide the fact that the cake was not entirely even on the bottom.
Peanut Butter Frosting
- Makes about 5 cups
- 10 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 stick (4 ounceunsalted butter at room temperature
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter commercial brand (because oil won’t separate out)
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.