Happy birthday to me…happy birthday TO meee…
Another year! And today I am 22.
My birthday never fails to make me contemplative. I’m always grateful for everything I’ve been blessed with in the last year, the things I’ve been able to do and accomplish, and anxious to not waste the next year I’ve been given to live. In true Rissa, list-making fashion, I always make a list of goals on my birthday and look back at last year’s. In many ways, my birthday is my own personal New Year.
Some goals I accomplished last year? Run 3 half marathons. Check. Start an Etsy shop. Check. Keep a daily gratitude journal. Check.
Some goals I hope for 22? GRADUATE COLLEGE! Ha! 😉 Keep on blogging – I’m enjoying this journey I’m on. Stay as healthy and fit as I feel now. Among many others.
I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with my family – best way to spend my birthday. I LOVE THEM! Family is everything 🙂 And I want to take a brief moment of husband appreciation because it is really thanks to Ty that I can go to school full time, work part time, train for half marathons, and run my blog all at the same time because Ty is willing to help out around the house and take care of me. He’s the best ❤
And this is really the best depiction of my siblings and our personalities. I love it 😀 These are my best friends 🙂
But enough of the thoughtful – birthdays are for celebrating too!!! And what better way to celebrate than this pure indulgence of a cake?
Of all the wonderful, wonderful foods and flavors in the world, no other combination holds my heart like chocolate and peanut butter. It’s a match made in heaven. It’s the world’s most perfect duo. It’s…just perfection! (Where are my chocolate peanut butter lovers? I know I’m not alone!!!)
But this is your warning right now: THIS CAKE IS INTENSE. Read: Must be eaten with milk. And it will certainly soothe your chocolate peanut butter craving soul.
I won’t lie; this cake has lots of steps and takes a fair amount of time. It’s definitely a “special-occasion” kind of cake. But it’s not hard! The recipe looks more intimidating than it is because there are 3 components to the cake. Just follow the recipe and you will be fine. It takes a little patience but it’s soooooo worth it.
I will also admit this is not one of my recipes – I’ll give credit where it’s due! It comes from a family friend and deserves to be shared with the world!!!
So indulge today for me 🙂
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Time: Roughly 3 hours
Yield: 1 3-tiered cake, 8-9 inches in diameter
- Chocolate cake
- 2 C flour
- 2 and 1/2 C sugar
- 3/4 C dutch processed cocoa
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 C vegetable oil or similar
- 1 C sour cream
- 1 and 1/2 C water
- 2 Tbls white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- Peanut butter frosting
- 10 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 1 stick (1/2 C) butter, room temp
- 5 C powdered sugar
- 2/3 smooth peanut butter (NOT natural peanut butter – something like Jif or Skippy)
- Chocolate peanut butter glaze
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbls smooth peanut butter (see above note)
- 2 Tbls light corn syrup
- 1/2 C half and half OR evaporated milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease the bottoms and sides of three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans and line with greased parchment paper.
- Make the cake.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Beat in oil and sour cream.
- Gradually beat in the water (this is so it doesn’t splash everywhere).
- Blend in vinegar and vanilla, and then the eggs.
- Divide batter among the three prepared pans (just shy of 3 cups of batter per pan).
- Bake for 30-35 mins, until a toothpick inserted in the baked cakes comes out clean.
- Let cool on wire rack for 20 mins before inverting out of the pan and peeling off the paper. The cakes are VERY soft so handle carefully.
- Let finish cooling in the freezer for a half hour or until partially frozen (they will be much easier to work with).
- While cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
- Gradually add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until all is incorporated and frosting is light and fluffy.
- Add peanut butter and beat until well blended.
- Begin assembling the cake.
- Place first layer of cake on your cake stand/serving plate.
- Spread about 2/3 C of peanut butter frosting over the top of the first cake layer.
- Repeat with the next layer.
- Place top on and apply a thin coat (your “crumb coat”) of frosting over the top and sides.
- Frost top and sides of the cake.
- Let cake chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
- Make the chocolate peanut butter glaze.
- In a double-boiler or a bowl over simmering water, combine chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup.
- Cook, whisking often, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Pour glaze over chilled cake and allow the glaze to run down the sides of the cake in long drips.
- Refrigerate uncovered for at least 30 minutes to set.
- GO ENJOY YOUR CAKE! You worked hard for it 🙂