Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake

For those of you who read my post about the Peanut Butter S'mores Cake, you already know my deep love of peanut butter. Love, love, love it! One of my favorite ways to enjoy peanut butter is in a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich: smooth peanut butter, strawberry jam and white bread. Hmmm. (I'm having flashbacks to my childhood just thinking about it). I can never get tired of a PB&J sandwich, so turning it into a cake was the obvious next move for me.

I've tried a couple peanut butter cake recipes, but haven't been impressed. Both recipes I tried were too dry and didn't have enough peanut butter flavor, for my taste. In a more recent search for a peanut butter cake, I came across this Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake from The Cake Blog (a new favorite cake stop - make sure to check it out!). I decided to give their peanut butter cake a try, and I'm so happy I did! Their recipe is a winner. It's moist and has a great peanut butter flavor combined with the slightest hint of cinnamon. It's delish. 

I decided not to use their peanut butter frosting, and instead, went with one I already knew I loved from Annie's Eats. Annie's peanut butter frosting has whipped cream folded into it, so it has a lighter, fluffier texture to it (a theme you'll see I love in my frosting). 



I did run into crumbly edges on my cakes when I took them out of the cake pans. If that happens to you, just make sure to cool it completely, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it chill before you level the top. When it's chilled, level it, and fill in any crevices when you do the crumb coat (that way, your cake will be smooth and even when it's time for the real coat of frosting).



I did plenty of sampling with cake top shavings and I'm so pleased with all the flavors. If you love peanut butter, you're going to go nuts for this cake!


Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake

Yield: one 6" inch, 3-layer cake (I added a half recipe and made 8" inch cakes)

Ingredients:

For the Peanut Butter Cake (by Tessa Huff, The Cake Blog)
2 1/4 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Frosting (by Annies Eats)
3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
3 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, divided
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of coarse salt

Seedless strawberry jam
Lightly salted peanuts


Instructions:

For the Peanut Butter Cake
1. Preheat oven to 35o0 degrees F. Grease and flour three 6-inch pans. 
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and peanut butter until creamy. Add in the sugar and mix on medium for about 3 minutes. 
4. Decrease the speed to low and add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
5. With the mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture, then stream in the milk and mix until incorporated. Add in the remaining flour and mix until combined. 
6. Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for about 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

For the Peanut Butter Frosting
1. Combine the heavy cream and 1/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until light, fluffy and stiff peaks form, being careful not to over mix.
2. Transfer the whipped cream to a separate bowl. In the now empty bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and peanut butter. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 45 seconds.
3. Add the remaining confectioners' sugar to the bowl and mix in, slowly at first until incorporated, then increasing the mixer speed to high. Blend in the vanilla extract and salt, and continue to whip on high speed until very fluffy, about 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
4. Use a large spatula to gently fold about a third of the whipped cream into the peanut butter frosting. Once the first additional has been evenly incorporated, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain.

Assembly:
1. While cakes are still a bit chilled, level all of your layers to make three equal cakes.
2. Place your first layer on the cake plate or turn table and pipe a border of the peanut butter frosting around the edge to create a wall for the jam. Fill the center with about 1/2 cup strawberry jam and carefully spread it around.
3. Place the second layer of cake on top of the first layer and repeat step two.
4. Place the third layer of cake, bottom side up, on the second layer and create a crumb coat around the entire cake. Refrigerate or freeze to set.
5. When cake is set, place a second coat of frosting on the cake, pipe stars around the top and fill the middle with remaining jam. Use peanuts for garnish.

Sources: The Cake Blog and Annie's Eats

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