Happy 50th post!:) I'm so excited to see my little blog grow:) To celebrate I have chosen an extraordinary cake recipe to share with you today. This decadent peanut butter chocolate cake has been a favourite of mine for over three years. I have slightly modified Nava Atlas's Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cake because I'm not a fan of chocolate chips and wanted a layered cake with lots of frosting. For those of you who don't already know, Nava is a famous author of vegan and vegetarian cooking books, an artist and the host of VegKitchen, a wonderful website that features an impressive collection of vegan recipes.
The cake couldn't be simpler to make and you don't have to be a peanut butter fan to love it. There is peanut butter in the cake, and there is more peanut butter in the frosting, but don't worry, it's not as heavy as it sounds:) I usually make it as a 3-layer but you can also find below a picture of the 2-layer version.
The cake is quite dense and has a wonderful nutty flavour, both from the peanut butter and whole wheat flour. For this reason serving it with a glass of your favourite vegan milk is a great way to enjoy it. The peanut butter chocolate frosting is rich, silky, creamy and absolutely delicious, and after resting in the fridge for a while it gets a melt-in-the-mouth consistency. You can plain-frost the cake and have a casual dessert or play around with the decorations and turn it into a fabulous special occasion centrepiece. I couldn't tell you how long it keeps, as this cake never made it to the following day:)
And here is the magic recipe:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake (courtesy of Nava Atlas)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I prefer the type that has bits of bran in it, that makes a big difference in texture)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminium-free)
- 1/3 cup unrefined caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup creamy, smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup applesauce (I like Bramley applesauce for its slightly tart taste)
- 1/2 cup soy milk (or another type of non-dairy milk)
Note: I've used different types of applesauce, some with more sauce and just a few bits of apple, others with more apple pieces and less sauce. You basically need just the sauce but a few bits of apple make the texture and taste even better.
Note: The measuring cups I use are 250 ml (1 cup), 125 ml (1/2 cup) and 80 ml (1/3 cup).
Note: A 450 g peanut butter jar is enough for the whole cake.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a bowl mix well the wet and dry ingredients (picture 2 above).
- Divide the batter into 3 equal parts (I had only two tins so I first baked two layers and then the third).
- Lightly oil 2 x 7" (18 cm) sandwich tins (you can also cut 2 circles of parchment paper and line the bottom of the tins after greasing them).
- Pour the batter into the tins and use the back of a spoon to even out the surface as much as you can.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until they start to pull away from the side and the top turns slightly golden. A toothpick inserted in a few places should come out clean.
- Remove the tins onto wire racks. After 5 minutes carefully remove the cake layers from their tins and place them on the wire racks to cool completely. If you're using parchment paper, peel it off after taking the cake out of the tin. Use one tin to bake the third layer.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting
- 1 cup creamy, smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 75 g vegan chocolate (60%)
- about 1/2 cup soy milk (light coconut milk and almond milk work great too), divided
Chocolate ganache: In a double boiler melt the chocolate cut into small pieces with 3 Tb milk (a simple way is a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, water not touching the bottom of the bowl). Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool (picture 3 above).
In a bowl mix peanut butter (picture 4 above) and icing sugar, add the chocolate ganache and another 3 Tb milk and incorporate. Start adding milk (about 1/3 cup) until you get a thick yet easily spreadable consistency.
Divide it into three and frost the layers, the top and the sides.
Place the cake in the fridge for one hour, remove and either slice and serve right away or decorate it first.
Note: There isn't much liquid in the cream, so the longer it stays in the fridge, the harder the cream will get and the texture won't be that great. One hour is just enough.
I used some chocolate ganache and lemon drizzle to decorate it.
For the lemon drizzle you only need about 1/3 cup icing sugar to which you add a few drops of lemon juice until you get a thick but runny consistency. Create circles on top and let it drip on the sides. You can also use water or orange juice instead of lemon juice.
For the chocolate ganache you need 50 g chocolate, 2 Tb milk and 2 Tb agave nectar (or maple syrup), melt together in a double boiler, remove and keep stirring with a wooden spoon until it has a thick consistency and doesn't spread when drawing lines. If you're not used to decorating with chocolate ganache, just draw a couple of test lines until you get the right consistency. When ready, create circles between the lemon drizzle circles and again let some drip over the edges.
If you choose to make a 2-layer cake, for the frosting use 1/2-3/4 cup peanut butter, 50 g chocolate, 1/3 cup icing sugar and add less milk.
I hope you like this cake as much as I do. Enjoy and spread the magic:)
A lot of time, effort and passion goes into each recipe I post. My greatest satisfaction comes from your feedback. If you made this recipe, then please take a minute of your time to leave a comment below. And if you like it, please share it so that others have access to it as well. Thank you all in advance!