September 9, 2012

Pin It Peanut Butter Birthday Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Taken From Joy the Baker and All Recipes

Week 37

I did some things this weekend.  I ran 18 miles, I ate chocolate dipped soft serve and I made my sister a birthday cake.  A peanut butter birthday cake...with chocolate ganache frosting...mmmm.

I've been eyeing this peanut butter cake recipe since I bought Joy the Baker's cookbook in March, but I was waiting for the perfect occasion.  My sister Sharon loves a good chocolate peanut butter combo, as does any sane, sugar loving person. Instead of using the peanut butter cream cheese frosting that the recipe calls for, I decided to try a chocolate ganache instead.

So here is the cake.  I followed Joy's directions except I only baked my cake for ~19 minutes.
Adding buttermilk to batter.
Cake in the oven!
Ah, perfect.  
This was cake take #2 because I baked the first version for the recommended 30-45 minutes that the recipe called for. Way too long. I ended up with a dry, hard, crusty cake. It was very sad.  The second version was much better!  I recommend checking it after about 15 minutes in case your oven runs hot like mine. 

For the chocolate ganache I used:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz. good semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee grounds

Cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. You'll want to let the ganache cool so it thickens up, otherwise you will have a glaze. A version of this recipe can be found here (minus the rum). I also found some helpful hints about ganache and different ways to use it (glazed, whipped, piped) here

The recipe I used didn't quite make enough to frost the whole cake.  I would recommend doubling it if you are going to using it on a 2 layer cake and want to frost between the layers.  I ended up using come canned Duncan Hines vanilla frosting for the sides and decorating. 
I also whipped the ganache to thicken it a bit and make it a little fluffier.  I was supposed to whip it for 2- 3 minutes but ended up over-whipping it a bit.  There was no warning, but make sure not to over-whip the ganache or it will get hard and crumbly.
Ganache in between and topping the peanut butter cake.
Vanilla on the sides.
I learned many things making this cake, mostly by trial and error, which just means I'll have it perfected for the next time :)
Happy Birthday Sharon!


  1. Sounds and looks delicious! Wonderful decorating as well; I am proud!