Dark Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache

Adapted via The Kitchn and Ina Garten
Serves: 12 to 14

For the Cake:
♦ 2 cups white sugar
♦ 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
♦ 3/4 cup cocoa powder
♦ 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
♦ 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
♦ 1 tsp salt
♦ 2 large eggs
♦ 1 cup milk
♦ 1/2 cup vegetable oil
♦ 2 tsp vanilla extract
♦ 1 cup boiling water

For the Frosting:
♦ 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
♦ 2 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
♦ 2 sticks (16 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
♦ 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
♦ 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
♦ 3/4 cup heavy cream

For the Ganache:
♦ 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
♦ 1 cup peanut butter morsels
♦ 1/3 cup heavy cream

Bake the cakes: Heat oven to 350°F – grease two 9-inch round baking pans (or three 8-inch round baking pans) and line with parchment paper; grease and flour once more.

Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Mix in boiling water – the batter will be very thin. Carefully divide the batter between the prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then run a knife along the edge and tap the cakes out of the pans. Cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Make the ganache: place the chocolate and peanut butter morsels in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat – bring to just a boil, and remove from heat. Pour over the morsels, and allow to sit for a minute.

For assembly: set one cake half onto a plate – spread with 1/2 – 3/4 cup frosting; place second cake on top, and frost with remaining frosting. Decorate top and edges with ganache as desired.

To read more about this cake and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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